Cultural Studies of Science Education

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 915–927 | Cite as

The problem of bio-concepts: biopolitics, bio-economy and the political economy of nothing

Original Paper

Abstract

Scholars in science and technology studies—and no doubt other fields—have increasingly drawn on Michel Foucault’s concept of biopolitics to theorize a variety of new ‘bio-concepts’. While there might be some theoretical value in such exercises, many of these bio-concepts have simply replaced more rigorous—and therefore time-consuming—analytical work. This article provides a (sympathetic) critique of these various bio-concepts, especially as they are applied to the emerging ‘bio-economy’. In so doing, the article seeks to show that the analysis of the bio-economy could be better framed as a political economy of nothing. This has several implications for science education, which are raised in the article.

Keywords

Bio-concepts Biopolitics Bio-economy Political economy of nothing 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeographyYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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