Wither Anarchy? Harvesting the ‘Global’ Bio-tech Body, Indian Markets and Biomedical Technologies

  • Anna M. AgathangelouEmail author
Part of the Global Power Shift book series (GLOBAL)


The co-emergence of life and value, bodies and the body politic is a major aspect of world politics today. This chapter, first, frames key debates in IR on anarchy, order and postcolonial understandings of the ‘corporeal’ and the ‘international’ with a focus on debates of biocapital and biovalue in STS. Second, I grapple with how biological sciences are simultaneously contesting and facilitating global biotechnology ventures, and how the ‘international’ and ‘corporeality’ co-emerge. I argue that what counts as corporeal and what counts as international must be critically examined in order to break away from the delirious and omnipresent re-inscriptions of imperialism and its dominant presumptions of anarchy and order that come with the imaginary, the thinking, and praxis of bio-value. In the attempt to craft a distinctive geopolitical niche, states and markets bio-innovate the making and (un)making of living beings and their distribution as symptomatic of practices, discourses, and strategies that define, zone, and make possible the appropriation and governing of life. The emergence of infrastructures of biotechnology and ‘lively capital’ debates in India and the play Harvest orient us at what is at the forefront of claiming and constituting ‘global’ power. Reading these debates in India, I want to argue, opens up the space for articulating analytics grounded in the empirical-as-‘material-semiotic configurations’ and ‘orientations’ that offer lessons and methods for IR and STS by challenging strategies of zonings (i.e., the ‘international’ and the ‘corporeal,’ theory and practice, bioeconomy and capital) upon which a geopolitically spatiotemporal order of modernity depends. I conclude with some insights into the ethical imperative to read ontologies and epistemologies that transgress and alter the hierarchies and disciplinary formations that come with anarchy and order.


Corporeality Anarchy/Order Tech-nobodies Bio-tech body Bio-value Biomedical technologies Life sciences The international 


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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