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Exit from the Regime of Life Control: Biopolitics, Anticipatory Risk and the Excess of Experience

Exit from the Regime of Life Control: Biopolitics, Anticipatory Risk and the Excess of Experience <jats:p>In its early 20th century materialisation, risk was calculable and these calculations were primarily based on assessments of the past. By the end of the century, risk was increasingly considered to be fundamentally incalculable and it has become the object of the work of anticipation. This paper elucidates this shift by examining three regimes of life control. The Life/Culture System pervades early 20th century cultural and political thinking: working with the vitalism of life promises a better future. Following WWII, life's vitalism, creativity and potential and are viewed with suspicion. The State is valorised as the guarantor of an objective, accountable and democratic regime of life control. Biopolitics comes to the fore; risk is called forth. Today, there is a renewed interest in life's inherent plasticity, in controlling life by recombining life. Efforts to work with free-floating and incalculable risk signal a new regime of control: the Emergent Formation of Life . However, something is commonly neglected here: the domain of the everyday. This paper argues that the Emergent Formation of Life regulates life by inscribing emergent recombinant practices into people's everyday experience. Exit from the Emergent Formation of Life takes place on same terrain – immanent, ordinary experience. An analysis of shifts in public health efforts to contain infectious disease and of the everyday experience of life beyond population health illustrates this argument.</jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Somatechnics Edinburgh University Press

Exit from the Regime of Life Control: Biopolitics, Anticipatory Risk and the Excess of Experience

Somatechnics , Volume 1 (2): 412 – Sep 1, 2011

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press
Subject
Articles; Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2044-0138
eISSN
2044-0146
DOI
10.3366/soma.2011.0027
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p>In its early 20th century materialisation, risk was calculable and these calculations were primarily based on assessments of the past. By the end of the century, risk was increasingly considered to be fundamentally incalculable and it has become the object of the work of anticipation. This paper elucidates this shift by examining three regimes of life control. The Life/Culture System pervades early 20th century cultural and political thinking: working with the vitalism of life promises a better future. Following WWII, life's vitalism, creativity and potential and are viewed with suspicion. The State is valorised as the guarantor of an objective, accountable and democratic regime of life control. Biopolitics comes to the fore; risk is called forth. Today, there is a renewed interest in life's inherent plasticity, in controlling life by recombining life. Efforts to work with free-floating and incalculable risk signal a new regime of control: the Emergent Formation of Life . However, something is commonly neglected here: the domain of the everyday. This paper argues that the Emergent Formation of Life regulates life by inscribing emergent recombinant practices into people's everyday experience. Exit from the Emergent Formation of Life takes place on same terrain – immanent, ordinary experience. An analysis of shifts in public health efforts to contain infectious disease and of the everyday experience of life beyond population health illustrates this argument.</jats:p>

Journal

SomatechnicsEdinburgh University Press

Published: Sep 1, 2011

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