The necropolitics of COVID-19: Race, class and slow death in an ongoing pandemic'

The Information System Seminar Series features, Tony Joakim Ananiassen Sandset, researcher at Center for Health Sciences Education, UiO 

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Abstract

Achille Mbembe states that ‘the ultimate expression of sovereignty resides, to a large degree, in the power and the capacity to dictate who may live and who must die […]. To exercise sovereignty is to exercise control over mortality and to define life as the deployment and manifestation of power’ (Mbembe, 2003. Necropolitics. Public Culture15(1), 11–40. https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-15-1-11). For Mbembe a key question is ‘under what practical conditions is the right to kill, to allow to live, or to expose to death exercised?’ (Mbembe, 2003. Necropolitics. Public Culture15(1), 11–40. https://doi.org/10.1215/08992363-15-1-11). This article will map the necropolitical underpinnings of racial and class-based health disparities and vulnerabilities in the current COVID-19 pandemic. The article will directly engage with the question of ‘under what practical conditions are the right to expose to death’ unfolding in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Drawing on news media representations and public health data in the UK and the U.S, the article will provide a disciplinary conjecture arguing for the importance of looking at what I call a ‘state of acceptance’ plays into the necropolitical dynamics of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published Sep. 24, 2021 4:00 PM - Last modified Oct. 25, 2021 4:59 PM