Date of Award
Master of Arts
Michel Foucault and Giorgio Agamben have developed theoretical lenses for depicting how we should understand individuals in sovereign states, and the way in which these states interact with said individuals. Through an approach that assesses the framework of biology, race and ethnicity contribute to the notions of biopolitics and of ‘bare life,’ and exemplifies the constructs of how discrimination against the ‘other’ is embedded in western thought. These systematic processes are utilized through notions of biopower and the ‘state of exception’ as a means of maintaining hierarchical power structures. This paper will be assessing the role of the international in these processes of analysing borders, and humanitarian intervention in the promotion of western values. At the individual level, those who are classified under these ‘biopolitical’ or ‘bare life’ find themselves as victims of sovereign power; their existence is dependent on majoritarian and cultural feasibilities. Individuals are unpredictable, which makes them the target of norms and ideologies of the sovereign state, framing them as a threat and security risk to the western order.
Callahan, Melinda Ann, "Theories of Foucault and Agamben: the Issues of Borders and Sovereignty”" (2020). MA Major Research Papers. 2.