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Beyond Biopolitics: Theory, Violence, and Horror in World Politics (Interventions) Paperback – 26 Jul 2012

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Product details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (26 July 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 041564366X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415643665
  • Product Dimensions: 1.9 x 15.2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,720,708 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


‘In this fascinating book, Debrix and Barder keep their eyes trained on a kind of violence that is excessive, ‘recreational,’ and if not altogether apolitical then linked to political critiques, projects, or aims by only the thinnest or most obscure of threads…This is a bracing, bold, and serious attempt to inventory such violence while also acknowledging its unspeakability or the impossibility of making full sense of it. An important and timely intervention.’

Jane Bennett, Johns Hopkins University, USA.

Why must we move beyond biopolitics? Debrix and Barder assail the foundations of biopolitical critique, showing how such approaches remain wedded to a liberal model of life-affirmation which blinds them to central aspects of death and destruction. Pushing their analysis beyond the limits of human life, Debrix and Barder show how "agonal sovereignty" mobilizes fear, flesh, and failure to erase those modes of being whose singularity resists the logics of contemporary international politics. Drawing on such diverse sites of terror as Mexican narco killings, the Guantanamo concentration camp, and the transmission of transnational disease, Beyond Biopolitics identifies the complex economies of horror underpinning international relations, while also providing an accessible and critical reading of Arendt, Schmitt, Mbembe, Agamben, and Foucault.

Kennan Ferguson, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, USA


‘Confronting the violence that “pulverizes being” Debrix and Barder invite us to expand our attachment to biopolitics and to take in the “horror” of contemporary violence, understanding that what is at stake is not the end of human life itself but the end of the human condition. Mobilizing a host of philosophers from Butler, Agamben and Mbembe to Esposito and Cavarero, they urge us to reckon with power as something that kills. This is a valuable, provocative and passionate intervention.’

Sherene H. Razack, University of Toronto, Canada

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