The War on Terror and Ontopolitics: Concerns with Foucault’s Account of Race, Power Sovereignty
AbstractIn this article, I explore several of Foucault’s claims in relation to race, biopolitics, and power in order to illuminate some concerns in the wake of the post-9.11.01 political regime of population management. First, what is the relationship between sovereignty and power? Foucault’s writings on the relation between sovereignty and power seem to differ across his writings, such that it is not clear whether he had definitively circumscribed the role of sovereignty in relation to “power.” Second, while central sovereign authority, at least in ”Society Must Be Defended” has been displaced by Foucault’s analysis of power, the question still remains as to what drives or instantiates the exercise of power. I lay out an account of what I will call “ontopolitics,” as one that foregrounds the role of sovereign authority in ascribing racial divisions. Moreover, these divisions are driven by cultural, social, and moral criteria that complement—or circumscribe—biopolitics—and are inscribed at the level of the ontological, or onto-ethical.
Copyright (c) 2011 Falguni A. Sheth
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