July 31, 2024
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v2.1 Reference

Biopower in Putin's Russia

From Taking Care to Taking Lives

In this book, Makarychev and Medvedev examine the importance of biopolitics in fueling Russia's confrontation with the West. In their view, the development of Putin's illiberal authoritarianism was largely triggered by what they call a biopolitical turn. This shift is exemplified by the use of an increasing number of regulatory mechanisms to discipline and constrain the human body. Such political practices concern issues of sexuality, reproductive behavior, adoption, fertility, family planning, public hygiene, and demography. This turn created a new disciplinary framework for the population and the elite. Bans and restrictions of a biopolitical nature, became one of the main tools for articulating the rules of belonging in the political community and drawing its political boundaries. Biopolitical discourses have taken up the core of the Russian identity formation, which contrasts a positive "conservative Russia" with a supposedly vicious "liberal West."

The presentation of the political genealogy of the body-centric structures of power and hegemony in Russia implies their transformation from bio- to necropolitics. Necropolitical (repressive and life-depriving) components are inscribed in the biopolitical regimes of power: they form the core of Putin's rule over Russia and are a key factor behind the war against Ukraine. 

About the Authors

Andrey Makarychev is Professor of Regional Political Studies at the University of Tartu Johan Skytte Institute of Political Studies. Sergei Medvedev is Professor at the Free University in Moscow and Affiliate Professor at Charles University in Prague.
Central European University Press

9789633867495 : biopower-in-putins-russia-makarychev-medvedev
July 31, 2024
$58.00 USD

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