Site Navigation

Biopower/ Biopolitics

Biopower is a concept introduced by French philosopher Michel Foucault (1926-84). It describes a modern form of political power which impacts all aspects of human life. The related term Biopolitics was used by Foucault to describe the style of state government that uses Biopower to regulate its populations. Biopolitics describes means of control and discipline that focus on prolonging and improving the life of populations. It is manifested by a preoccupation with the health and welfare of citizens and workers, and is implemented through fitness, nutrition and wellness programmes; heightened policing of criminality and deviance; regimes that attempts to ‘purify’ the body politic by eliminating undesirable others, and through rewards, such as tax incentives for traditional family structures.

Related Material


Events - Talks

Sarah Wilson: Jean Genet

Audio & Video Archived Online

Leading art historian Sarah Wilson reflects on her work on Genet, spanning Jean-Paul Sartre and...
Events - Talks

How Women Work: Art, Gendered Labour and Resistance

Video Archived Online

 Featuring Jo Applin, Angela Dimitrakaki, Julia Morandeira, Nina Power, Maria Ruido and Marina...
Events - Talks

Anti-Psychiatry and its Legacies

Video Archived Online