Revisiting the Omnes et Singulatim Bond: The Production of Irregular Conducts and the Biopolitics of the Governed

  • Martina Tazzioli University Aix-Marseille
Keywords: biopolitics, omnes et singulatim, refusal, spatial disobedience, collective struggles


This article starts from the non-juridical meaning of subjectivity that counter-conducts entail and from the asymmetrical forms of refusal they generate. Foucault’s understanding of counter-conducts as productive practices, internal to the regime of norms that they oppose, enables analysing struggles and modes of life that were not defined by Foucault in these terms, or those counter-conducts that are more recent. In the first section, the article engages with the meaning of “counter-conduct,” situating it within the omnes et singulatim nexus, interrogating how the level of multiplicities is at stake in contemporary forms of counter-conduct. Then, it focuses on The Punitive Society, showing that the modes of life and strategies of flight against the capitalist system described by Foucault allow us to grasp the excess of discordant conducts with respect to technologies of power that try to discipline them. In the final section, the article explores the entanglement between singularities and multiplicities at play in the government of refugees, focusing on the spatial disobedience enacted by rejected refugees at Choucha refugee camp in Tunisia. Refugees’ strategic embracement of the condition of subjects eminently governed by the humanitarian rationale illuminates a form of biopolitics of the governed.
Special Issue on Counter-Conduct