PDF | This article develops the affirmative biopolitics that Roberto Esposito intimates in his trilogy – Communitas, Immunitas and Bíos. The key to this affirmative. Roberto Esposito | Istituto Italiano di Scienze Umane . If communitas is what links its members together in a reciprocal commitment to donate, immunitas, on the. Biopolitics: From Supplement to Immanence: In Dialogue with Roberto Esposito’s Trilogy: Communitas, Immunitas, Bíos; A. Kiarina Kordela · Cultural Critique.

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Immunitas: The Protection and Negation of Life

Compared to a generality. The more we espostio at risk of being infiltrated and infected by foreign elements, the more the life of the individual and society closes off within its protective boundaries, forcing us to choose between a self-destructive outcome and a more radical alternative based on a new conception of community. Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands. Never more than at present has the demand for immunization come to characterize all aspects of our existence.

It is exactly on these grounds that the struggle for an affirmative biopolitics must be engaged and possibly won. The common is something largely unknown, and even refractory to our conceptual categories, which have been held for a long time by the general immunitarian dispositif. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Roberto Esposito

Biopolitics and Philosophyin “the continuum of immunity and community ,” Esposito both differentiates himself from other theoreticians of biopolitics and “synthesizes Agamben’s negative vision of biopolitics with Hardt and Negri’s notion of the common as signaling” precisely “a new affirmative biopolitics” B, xxix. This means that in order to escape the clutches of death, life is forced to incorporate within itself the lethal esposio.

If community refers to something general and open, immunity, imjunitas immunization, regards the particularity of a situation defined by its subtraction to a common condition. In this work, Esposito offers the reader a stunning genealogy of the category of immunization, one no longer thought merely through the medical sciences, but across a series of disciplines, including law, political theology, philosophical anthropology, and biopolitics, all culminating in the the esposiot of the transplant for imagining an immunization that might lead to ‘the immune common.


This becomes even more relevant when, with the current biopolitical turn, each good, whether material or intellectual, corporeal or technological, comes to regard, directly or indirectly, the sphere of biological life, including immmunitas it intellectual and linguistic resources, the symbolic and imaginary, needs and desires.

It is not difficult to recognize its growing presence in all the areas of internal and international politics, alongside a growing lack of distinction between public and private. The conflict opened against the project to privatize water, the one concerning the energy sources, or the discussion regarding the exclusive patents owned by pharmaceutical companies, which prevent the spread of low cost medicines to the poorest areas of the planet, they all go in this direction.

Neither we should confuse the common good with that one pertaining to the sovereignty of the State, or to any immunitsa administrations, regulated by the preliminary juridical subdivision between public and private. But first things first.

Starting from this reflection on the nature of immunization, Esposito offers a wide-ranging analysis of contemporary biopolitics. The paradigm of immunity is situated at the very core of this passage, difficult to reach from the side of the cumbecause immunity precisely derives its meaning, negative or privative, from the term munus.

The governance of life V. The fact that, throughout the entire course of the last century, the first one resulted to be greatly prevalent on the second one, does not mean that the latter could not rise again. That is, a discrimination among systems capable of facilitating our collective and individual experience, and apparatuses which, on the contrary, reduce its vital power. From the health sphere to that of biotechnologies, from the ethnic question to the environmental one, the only source of political legitimacy nowadays appears to be that of preservation and implementation of life.

e Essay – Community, Immunity, Biopolitics

And this is what, beyond a certain threshold, may destroy it. And if so, what does distinguish them, in the essence, from what has been defined with the term biopolitics? Sacer and sanctus 2. First because the contemporary dispositifse. In that case the immunitarian syndrome assumed a fully auto-immunitarian connotation and biopolitics came to perfectly coincide with thanatopolitics. What I am saying is that the radical divergence between a kind of negative interpretation, if not apocalyptic, and another, on the contrary, notably optimistic, even euphoric interpretation of biopolitics, has its roots in a semantic gap, already present in the Foucauldian works, esposoto two layers of sense never perfectly integrated together within this concept, and rather destined to split it in two reciprocally incompatible parts, or at least compatible only through a violent subjugation [ assoggettamento ] of one layer to the dominion of the other.


It protects and prolongs life. Therefore, the exodus from these dispositifs, or their deactivation, always involves a double result: Espowito knows what the auto-immune diseases are. Like the individual body, the collective body can be immunized from the perceived danger only by allowing a little of what threatens it to enter its protective boundaries.

Violence against violence 3. The power of the void IV. As it is well known, one of the major risks of our actual societies lies exactly in an excessive demand of protection, which in some cases tends to produce an impression of peril, whether real or imaginary, whose only finality is to enable more powerful means of preventive defence.

In the very moment in which the immunitarian dispositif [ dispositivo ] becomes the syndrome, at the same time defensive and offensive, of our time, community presents itself as the assigned place, that is the real and symbolic form, of the resistance to the excess of immunization which endlessly captures us. This is evident under the juridical profile, according to which to have immunity —parliamentary or diplomatic— means espostio to be subjected to a jurisdiction concerning all the other citizens, that is with derogation from a law which is common.

Obviously this is not always the case. In this way the discourse on community has kept oscillating between a political declination immunitxs with a regressive result —that is that of the small homelands of land and blood— and another modality theoretically fecund but politically untranslatable.