The problem of bio-concepts: biopolitics, bio-economy and the political economy of nothing
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.
KeywordsBio-concepts Biopolitics Bio-economy Political economy of nothing
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