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175 Pages·2016·1.69 MB·English
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On the Greek Origins of Biopolitics This book explores the origins of Western biopolitics in ancient Greek poli- tical thought. Ojakangas argues that the conception of politics as the regula- tion of the quantityand qualityof population inthenameof thesecurityand happiness of the state and its inhabitants is as old as Western political thought itself: the politico-philosophical categories of classical thought, parti- cularlythoseofPlatoandAristotle,werealreadybiopoliticalcategories.Intheir works on politics, Plato and Aristotle not only deal with all the central topics of biopolitics from the political point of view, but show how for them these topics are the very keystone of politics and the art of government. Although the Western understanding of politics was already biopolitical in classicalGreece,thebook does not arguethatthe historyof biopoliticswould constitute a continuum from antiquity to the twentieth century. Instead Oja- kangas argues that the birth of Christianity entailed a crisis of the classical biopolitical rationality, as the majority of classical biopolitical themes con- cerning the government of men and populations faded away or were outright rejected. It was not until the Renaissance of classical culture and literature – includingthetranslationofPlato’sandAristotle’spoliticalworksintoLatin–that biopolitics became topical again in the West. The book will be of great interest to scholars and students in the field of socialandpoliticaltheory,moralandpoliticalphilosophy,IRtheory,intellectual history, and classical studies. Mika Ojakangas is Professor of Political Thought, Rhetoric and Culture in the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Interventions Edited by: Jenny Edkins, Aberystwyth University and Nick Vaughan-Williams, University of Warwick The series provides a forum for innovative and interdisciplinary work that engages with alternative critical, post-structural, feminist, postcolonial, psy- choanalytic and cultural approaches to international relations and global politics. In our first 5 yearswe have published 60 volumes. We aim to advance understanding of the key areas in which scholars working within broad critical post-structural traditions have chosen to make their interventions, and to present innovative analyses of important topics. Titles in the series engage with critical thinkers in philosophy, sociology, pol- itics and other disciplinesandprovidesituatedhistorical,empiricalandtextual studiesin international politics. We are very happy to discuss your ideas at any stage of the project: just contact us for advice or proposal guidelines. Proposals should be submitted directly to the Series Editors: Jenny Edkins ([email protected]) and Nick Vaughan-Williams ([email protected]) ‘As Michel Foucault has famously stated, ‘knowledge is not made for under- standing; it is made for cutting’. In this spirit the Edkins–Vaughan-Williams Interventions series solicits cutting edge, critical works that challenge main- stream understandings in international relations. It is the best place to con- tribute post-disciplinary works that think rather than merely recognize and affirm the world recycled in IR’s traditional geopolitical imaginary.’ Michael J. 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This book explores the origins of western biopolitics in ancient Greek political thought. Ojakangas’s argues that the conception of politics as the regulation of the quantity and quality of population in the name of the security and happiness of the state and its inhabitants is as old as the weste
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