Sociological Theory 34 (4):358-381 (2016)

Thomas Tierney
College of Wooster
This essay responds to German theorist Thomas Lemke’s call for a conversation between two distinct lines of reception of Foucault’s concept of biopolitics. The first line is comprised of sweeping historical perspectives on biopolitics, such as those of Giorgio Agamben and Antonio Negri, and the second is comprised of the more temporally focused perspectives of theorists such as Paul Rabinow, Nikolas Rose, and Catherine Waldby, whose biopolitical analyses concentrate on recent biotechnologies such as genetic techniques and the biobanking of human tissues. This essay develops this conversation by bringing the two lines to bear on the neoliberal “bioeconomy” that has developed over the last three decades, and uses the perspective of Italian theorist Roberto Esposito to represent the first line. Esposito’s unique combination of Foucauldian biopolitics and the Maussean gift tradition provides a critical perspective that engages and challenges the neoliberal inclination of many theorists from the second line.
Keywords Paul Rabinow  Roberto Esposito  biopoltics  Michel Foucault  bioeconomy  neoliberalism
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DOI 10.1177/0735275116678998
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References found in this work BETA

Two Treatises of Government.John Locke - 1988 - Cambridge University Press.
Bíos: Biopolitics and Philosophy.Roberto Esposito - 2008 - Univ of Minnesota Press.
Two Treatises of Government.Roland Hall - 1966 - Philosophical Quarterly 16 (65):365.

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Epidemic and Insurance: Two Forms of Solidarity.Laurence Barry - forthcoming - Theory, Culture and Society:026327642210879.

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