Biopolitics’ second life. From the body as surplus to the insti-tution of life (1995-2020).
- surplus of life,
How to Cite
The international debate concerning biopolitics has been a global impact during the last three decades. After Michel Foucault’s introduction of the term in the philosophical discussion in the Seventies, the problematic has been particularly developed in the Italian philosophy of the Nineties.
Authors like Giorgio Agamben and Antonio Negri significantly contribute to define a perimeter that, if represents an important evolution of the Foucauldian investigation, constitutes only one among many approaches to this issue. In the new century, indeed, a multiplicity of new positions about biopolitics emerged: if Agamben and Negri, even in a very distinct way, share the idea of a surplus of the biopolitical body (individual and collective) with respect to the forms of political power, the second line of biopolitics, also in a pluralistic way, emphasizes the problem of the forms of life, of the protection of life and of its affirmation through, and not against, the institutions. The philosophical studies of Roberto Esposito and Miguel Vatter, the sociological research of Thomas Lemke and the medical investigation of Didier Fassin, among others, claim that the individual and collective body is a creation of political power, rather than a excess, autonomous with respect to the political apparatuses. In this view life is a political construction, and the forms of this creation affirm or negate life itself.
This essay intends to reconstruct this transformation: in the first part we will describe the anti-institutional foundation of the biopolitical philosophy especially in the Italian context, then we will analyze the positions that provoke a change in this theoretical framework. Finally, also taking into account recent developments, we will illustrate some possible evolutions of the whole problematic.