Between biopolitics and necropolitics: forms of power in an epidemic context, 205-219

Cosmin F. Spaschi


Biopolitics and necropolitics are two important aspects of postmodern critical theories. By explaining how several mechanisms control the lives of citizens, postmodern philosophers come to believe that there is also an impact on the dimension of death. In my analysis, I will develop these ideas and apply them in the context of the current pandemic situation. Many rights have been limited or even completely reduced today in some areas affected by the virus. Thus, I will present how power mechanisms act in this crisis. The various forms of isolation, as well as the tests applied to people, are the most important forms of current biopolitics. At the same time, in the areas severely affected by the epidemic, we find a differentiation that applies to those infected with Coronavirus. The age-related criteria, as well as those regarding other pre-existing conditions, illustrate how necropolitics act. Depending on the chances of survival, the treatment applied to people is different. This aspect reflects that some human categories are more dispensable than others. At the end of the study, I will support the idea that the development of these approaches from an ethical and philosophical perspective is necessary. Due to the methodology used, this paper can be a starting point for the construction of such future studies.


biopolitics, necropolitics, postmodernism, sovereignty, pandemic, ethics, posthuman, Michel Foucault, Rosi Braidotti, Achille Mbembe.

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ISSN 2668-0009; ISSN-L 2668-0009