Theory, Culture and Society:026327642110001 (forthcoming)

Carlos Palacios
Macquarie University
This article develops a diagnostic lens to make sense of the still baffling development of a ‘humanitarian marketplace’. Ambivalently hybrid initiatives such as volunteer tourism, corporate social responsibility or even fair trade do not strictly obey a distributive logic of market exchange, social reciprocity or philanthropic giving. They engender a type of ‘economy’ that must be apprehended in its own terms. The article argues that the large-scale collaborative effects of such a dispersed market can be theorized without resorting to the classical biopolitical move of simplified agency/holistic reification. The argument proceeds counterintuitively, by appropriating the notion of symbiosis as redefined by contemporary biology, contending through historical contextualization and conceptual work that nature itself offers the best example to grasp spontaneous collaboration among unrelated human beings as a non-automatically balanced and intrinsically political affair that calls for critical management through an ex post facto interventionist policy of selective cultivation.
Keywords biopolitics  market  gift  Foucault  symbiosis  biology
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DOI 10.1177/02632764211000120
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Indifferent Globality: Gaia, Symbiosis and 'Other Worldliness'.Myra J. Hird - 2010 - Theory, Culture and Society 27 (2-3):54-72.
Biopolitics, Thanatopolitics and the Right to Life.Muhammad Ali Nasir - 2017 - Theory, Culture and Society 34 (1):75-95.

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