Arminjon, M., Marion-Veyron, R.
Coronavirus biopolitics: the paradox of France’s Foucauldian heritage (2021) History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, 43 (1), art. no. 5.
In this short paper we analyse some paradoxical aspects of France’s Foucauldian heritage: (1) while several French scholars claim the COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of what Foucault called biopolitics, popular reaction instead suggests a biopolitical failure on the part of the government; (2) One of these failures concerns the government’s inability to produce reliable biostatistical data, especially regarding health inequalities in relation to COVID-19. We interrogate whether Foucaldianism contributed, in the past as well today, towards a certain myopia in France regarding biostatistics and its relation to social inequalities in health. One might ask whether this very data could provide an appropriate response to the Foucauldian question: What kind of governance of life is the pandemic revealing to us? © 2021, The Author(s).
Biopolitics; COVID-19; Epidemiological surveillance; Foucault; France; Social inequalities in health