Tag: COVID-19

Crying for Repression: Populist and Democratic Biopolitics in Times of COVID-19.

We live in very Foucauldian times, as the many think-pieces published on biopolitics and COVID-19 show. Yet what is remarkable—biopolitically—about the current situation has gone largely unnoticed: We are witnessing a new form of biopolitics today that could be termed populist biopolitics. Awareness of this populist biopolitics helps illuminate what is needed today: democratic biopolitics.…

International Economic Law & COVID-19

International economic law (IEL), broadly defined, refers to the rules governing the cross-border movement of goods, people, technology and finance capital, as well as the institutions created to design and enforce such rules. IEL has, over the past three decades, developed exponentially as a field of study, evolving from a sub-field of public international law…

Must Society be Defended from Agamben?

Many European countries have by now been in lockdown for more than a week. This has given everyone ample time to reflect on our current condition. Many of the world’s leading critical thinkers have shared their thoughts with us through op-eds, blog posts, and so on. Among the more troubling are three opinion pieces Giorgio…

A Corona Utopia in Three Parts

“This episode of Black Mirror sucks!” The slogan that briefly went viral in the United States after the election of Trump has now acquired an even more infectious, irresistible irony for many in coronavirus-stricken Europe. The fear of loved ones and ourselves getting infected by the inconspicuous threat that is Covid-19 has merged with confusion…

Covid-19 and the Continuity of the Familiar

The outbreak of Covid-19 is billed as a ‘once in a century event’. It has appeared as the prophesised rupture in our social, economic and political fabric of the world, with the recognition that what follows may not resemble what humanity has become used to. It is posed as a discontinuity in the normality of…

Virus: All That Is Solid Melts into Air

There is a debate within the social sciences about whether it is easier to ascertain the truthfulness and quality of a society’s institutions under normal daily circumstances or in exceptional situations, during times of crisis. One can probably learn from both types of situation, but each of them is certain to bring to the fore…

Against Agamben: Is a Democratic Biopolitics Possible?

Giorgio Agamben’s recent intervention which characterizes the measures implemented in response to the Covid-19 pandemic as an exercise in the biopolitics of the ‘state of exception’ has sparked an important debate on how to think of biopolitics. The very notion of biopolitics, as it was formulated by Michel Foucault, has been a very important contribution to our…

Covid: The Ethical Disease

This morning, as I was cycling down a road I frequently take on my way to work, I came across a blockage, big orange plastic net boards cutting across the way, stopping all traffic from going through. Some road works, nothing out of the ordinary. It just meant I could not pass through, had to…