Foucault News

News and resources on French thinker Michel Foucault (1926-1984)

Peter Triantafillou (2022) Biopower in the age of the pandemic: the politics of COVID-19 in Denmark, European Societies, DOI: 10.1080/14616696.2022.2061553

ABSTRACT
The exceptional forms of state power mobilized under COVID-19 have attracted scholarly attraction and created important insights on the pandemic politics. However, it seems that the current understanding tends to regard the states’ responses as a zero-sum game between two powers only, a game in which liberal rule in varying degrees is traded for raw sovereign power. Inspired by the notion of biopower, this article aims to provide a more nuanced account of the various powers invoked to handle the pandemic. Based on the case of Denmark, it is argued that three forms of power were mobilized: sovereignty, discipline and security mechanisms. Yet, indirect security mechanisms informed by epidemiological knowledge and modelling have played a far more comprehensive role than the two other power mechanisms. In a complex interaction with epidemiological expertize, liberal governmentalities limited the mobilization of sovereignty and discipline and, instead, tended to endorse indirect security mechanisms.

KEYWORDS:
Biopolitics, state power, pandemics, epidemiological regulations, Foucault

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: