Robert D. Smith, What Type of Governmentality is This? Or, how do we govern unknowns, Somatosphere, Science, Medicine, and Anthropology, May 26, 2020.
This article is part of the series: Dispatches from the pandemic
In Le Temps, a French newspaper, anthropologist Julie Billaud wrote that the governance of COVID-19 represents “a move towards a biopolitical mode of governance that aims to manage human collectives through statistics, indicators, and other measurement tools.”[i] Others are less convinced. Social theorist Joshua Clover has written in Critical Inquiry, a French online journal,that COVID-19 represents not a push towards biopolitics, but an abandonment of it; suggesting that instead we have embraced a post-biopolitical era where we have ironically returned to “capitalism [as] sovereign.”[ii]