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Rangsit Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities

ISSN 2286-976X (Print)

ISSN 2539-5513 (Online)

The Concept of Biopower: The Use of Terror as a Political Technique of Controlling and Governing Citizens



This paper discusses how the concept of biopower explains the use of terror as a political tactic for controlling and governing citizens. It attempts to demonstrate that biopower adds something to our understanding of fear as a political weapon. The paper mainly examines what biopower adds to the analysis of the use of terror and power as being exercised over bodies and populations. It begins the analysis by tracking back to the mainstream political thought of sovereignty, power, and fear in the work of Niccolò Machiavelli and Thomas Hobbes and before contrasting these ideas with Michel Foucault's notion of governmentality to show what is distinctive about the concept in a systematic manner. This is followed by the third section that provides an account of the use of biopower as a tactic of governmentality. It explains how biopower is reproduced by introducing three conceptualizations; as a technique shaping good elements from bad, biopolitical territorial borders, and the biopolitical framework of representability. Lastly, the paper provides the uses of biopolitics as the way biopower exercises the use of terror in War on Terror. The paper concludes fear is rather created and constructed as a form of a modern strategic model of power to control the bodies and populations beyond the level of the state itself.

Keywords: Biopower, biopolitics, governmentality, fear, Foucault, terror, sovereignty

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Approved By TCI (2021 - 2025)

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