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Biopolitics

The term biopolitics was first used by Rudolf Kjellén, a Swedish political scientist working at the University of Uppsala. As a student of Friedrich Ratzel, a German geographer, he developed organic state theory, suggesting the state to be an organic, living form. His 1916 book outlined the field of geopolitics, with Volk as a racial or ethnic conception of the state based on autarky or self-sufficiency. Adolf Hitler adopted policies based on Kjellén’s key principles. Biopolitics in its first generation of use refers to the intersection of two fields, as well as organicist and biologically based conceptions of the nation and state, and was part of Kjellén’s broader project of “geopolitics” concerning natural and border territories.

French theorist Michel Foucault uses the term in his lecture ...

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