New PDF release: Governing through Biometrics: The Biopolitics of Identity

By Btihaj Ajana (auth.)

ISBN-10: 1137290757

ISBN-13: 9781137290755

ISBN-10: 1349340472

ISBN-13: 9781349340477

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Second, the problem of human ‘fallibility’ and lack of objectivity makes the process of identification by human agents rather inefficient and unreliable. : 38–9). Therefore, governments and institutions have resorted to technology in order to control individual identities in the most accurate way. Anthropometry Some of the earlier and most notable examples of technologies of identification can be found in the developments that took place during Biometrics: The Remediation of Measure 27 the nineteenth century.

The peculiar convergence of these two processes is another way of distinguishing modern politics from classical politics and understanding the aporia of modern democracy. That is to say, the placement of ‘the freedom and happiness of men [ . . : 9). By invoking the Roman figure of homo sacer, Agamben gives flesh to his argument vis-à-vis the way in which bare life is included in the juridical order precisely by means of its exclusion. : 83). : 71–83). : 83). This means that for Agamben, the state of exception is the space par excellence where ‘all subjects are potentially homo sacers [ .

254). And this is precisely the point at which the notion of racism comes into play. Racism, for Foucault, is a way of creating caesuras within speciesbodies and fragmenting the biological continuum. In doing so, racism allows the (sub)division of the population into manageable groups, some of which are regarded as ‘good’, while others are perceived as ‘inferior’ (ibid, 254–5). From here, racism takes up a function that is intimately intertwined with death. It is the function by which ‘killing’ is made acceptable in order to eliminate biological threats (not only diseases but also the ‘bearers’ of diseases) and enhance the national stock (through eugenic practices, for instance).

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Governing through Biometrics: The Biopolitics of Identity by Btihaj Ajana (auth.)


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