Emerging Biological Rationalities for Policy: (Molecular) Biopolitics and the New Authorities in Education

  • Kalervo N. GulsonEmail author
  • P. Taylor Webb
Part of the Education Policy & Social Inequality book series (EPSI, volume 1)


This chapters poses two interrelated questions: (1) What do we assume policy can do, when it is informed and constituted by biological rationalities of the postgenomic age and new biosocial governance?; and (2) what are the implications of new biological rationalities for the constitution of education policy, and its varied practices of use and analysis? The chapter provides an overview of education policy as a form of biopolitics, including the connection between education and eugenics. The chapter moves to a discussion of molecular biopolitics and illustrates how this field alters conceptions of education policy as a site of population management to an emerging site that focuses on dismantling and remaking of the ‘body’. In this sense, a new bio-edu-policy will continue to manage populations but it will now manage designed, enhanced and optimized populations in efforts to govern more efficiently. We conclude by speculating on what kinds of future policy subjects, and new forms of policy authority, are imagined and created by an education policy informed by new biological rationalities.


Education Policy Policy Science Biological Rationality Political Behaviour Genetic Determinism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Thanks to Sam Sellar, Liz de Freitis, Deborah Youdell, Eva Bendix Petersen and Andrew Murphie for reading and commenting on various drafts of this chapter.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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