New article - 'Government of life and potentiality - Critique of Agamben's account of biopower', by Aécio Amaral
Amaral, Aécio (2014) 'Governo da vida e potencialidade: crítica do biopoder em Agamben', in Nildo Avelino & Salvo Vaccaro (Orgs.) Governamentalidade e segurança. São Paulo: Intermeios, p. 209-242. (Coleção "Contrassensos - crítica política")
The article critically engages Giorgio Agamben's account of biopower. It outlines the hypothesis that in spite of the centrality attributed to a thought on potentiality in the opposition between power as potenza and political power as potere established in Homo Sacer, Agamben nevertheless does not consider the centrality acquired by potentiality within current biopolitical approaches to life. By focusing on the role played by potentiality within both contemporary technoscience and the logic of the state of emergency, it argues that the biopolitical reduction of experience displayed by technoscientific experiments and by sovereignty is not at the service of the "anthropological machine" as a dispositive for the production of the human as bare life, but of the development of technological forms of potential life instead. If this is so, the kind of resistance presented by Agamben, based on the idea of potenza passiva as opposed to the submission of bios to production, ends up losing sight of the prosthetic nature of biopower and the play of potentiality and actuality proper to it.