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date: 12 July 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the scholarly treatment of the term biopolitics from the mid-1970s to the present, and it describes how feminist theorists have influenced and also departed from this treatment. In the process, it addresses two questions. The first is how feminist theorists have redefined biopolitics as an affirmative or at least value-neutral concept that can help scholars come to terms with recent technological and environmental variations on democratic engagement. The second is how, having reconceived biopolitics in this way, feminist theorists have developed new approaches to classical questions in the fields of gender and sexuality studies. Feminist interpretations of biopolitics, for example, have added depth and nuance to ongoing conversations concerning women’s identity, embodiment, and reproductive activity in modern and contemporary democracies.

Keywords: biopolitics, democracy, environment, gender, sexuality, technology, women

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