Panel: Beyond Biopolitics? The Limits, Silences and Exclusions of Contemporary Accounts of Rule

What are the limits, silences and exclusions of contemporary accounts of biopolitics? Much of the current literature on biopolitics draws upon a particular conception of how life has been rendered politically meaningful derived from the molecular and digital sciences. It has been argued that this account of life has mobilised a form of security politics organised around an ever-present concern with the management of contingency. This manifests itself through a diverse set of technologies such as risk-management and resilience. This panel aims to explore the excess of biopolitical logics, rationalities and practices that exceed this formulation. Specifically, we seek to explore the plurality of ways in which life and death are conceived and governed. This panel aims to provide an inter-disciplinary dialogue on these concerns from across postcolonial studies; gender studies; security studies; citizenship and migration studies; political economy and war studies.

The panel welcomes submissions that respond to the following dilemmas:

  • What other formulations of life are politically meaningful to contemporary forms of rule? How is the human/non-human made intelligible?
  • What are the plurality of rationalities that inspire the contemporary biopolitics of violence?
  • How do we account for the biopolitical production of abjection and disposability?
  • How can we bring into our frames of analysis the complex biopolitical genealogies of race, sexuality and gender?

  • What forms of collectivities beyond population are crucial for explaining contemporary forms of rule?

Please send an abstract of 200 words by the 6th February to either Jamie Johnson ( or Joe Turner (


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