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The Confusions and Exuberances of Biopolitics


Correspondence address: Paul Rutherford, Department of History, University of Toronto, Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street, Room 2063, Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G3 Canada. E-mail:


This paper is the first of a two-part exploration of the significance of biopolitics to the study of geography. Our first paper surveys the emergent field of biopolitics by looking at the philosophical underpinnings of the concept and some of the ways in which scholars, including geographers, have utilized the concept as an analytical tool. Throughout the papers, we make the argument for a greater degree of empirical rigor and conceptual clarity in the way the term biopolitics is deployed and operationalized.

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