The recent debate about biopolitics in International Relations (IR) theory may well prove to be one of the most provocative and rewarding engagements with the concept of power in the history of the discipline. Building on Foucault's arguments concerning the role played by the concept of security in 19th-century liberal government, numerous IR scholars are now arguing for the relevance of his theories of biopolitics and governmentality for understanding the Global War on Terror (GWOT) and broader issues of security and governance in the post 9/11 world.
Conversely, others have criticized this idea. Marxist and Communitarian scholars have challenged the notion that the category of biopolitics can be 'scaled' up to the level of international relations with any analytical precision. This edited volume covers these debates in IR with a series of critical engagements with Foucault's own thought and its increasing relevance for understanding international relations in the post 9/11 world.
This book was based on a special issue of Global Society.