The Biopolitics of Covid-19
Seán Brennan on April 2, 2020, Slugger O’Toole (news and opinion blog)
Increasingly, states will have to choose between the ‘bare life’ theories of Italian theorist Giorgio Agamben or the ‘social care’ theories of French philosopher Michel Foucault. Agamben argues, left to their own devices, states will provide minimal social security and maximum disciplinary powers. In contrast, Foucault argues, if a population becomes aware of its power, it can radically transform a state through the everyday administration of social care so people can better take control of life or death issues. In support, the Italian theorist, Roberto Esposito suggests, Foucault’s aim for social care offers new opportunities to immunise communities from a raft of pandemics, from the economic to the medical.