Afterword: Writing Neoliberal Values: Literacies of Necropolitical Violence

  • Rachel C. Riedner
Part of the Rhetoric, Politics and Society book series (RPS)


In previous chapters, I discussed Achille Mbembe’s (2003) expansion of biopolitics into necropolitics, which describes the creation of “death worlds” in which subcontracted laborers, sex workers who have children, women who move in and out of halfway homes, impoverished men of color who have HIV, and many others are disposable. Mbembe describes “topographies of cruelty,” in which populations of people are surveilled and incarcerated, neglected and abandoned, or left to die because they are not value-producing. Building upon Mbembe’s work, with attention to how the politics of death works through gender as well as race, I have argued that analyzing rhetorical processes for the selective encouragement of life, and the creation of death worlds, is essential for understanding current forms of neoliberal governmentality. Chapters focus on human-interest stories that rhetorically extend and circulate necropolitical violence.


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© Rachel C. Riedner 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel C. Riedner
    • 1
  1. 1.George Washington UniversityUSA

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