The normalisation of exception in the biopolitical security dispositif

International Social Science Journal (Chinese Edition)
No.3, 2013
The normalisation of exception in the biopolitical security dispositif
Gonzalo Velasco Arias
The aim of this article is to analyse our contemporary understanding of the political in terms of the new and paradoxical relationship between security and the unforeseen future. I will consider both the mechanism of the state of exception, whereby the legal system protects itself by unlawful measures, as well as the biopolitical government of contingency. The connection between these two ways of protecting the political order from uncertainty will be the philosophical concept of immunity. I will argue that even though the apparently self-contradictory necessity of unlawful measures to protect the law is a structural feature of the political, the fear of catastrophic events turns it into the norm. As a consequence, the future is seen: the future is no longer a political tense, but on the contrary what politics must avoid above all. Through this analysis, I attempt to show the link between the theoretical revival of the problem of law in times of crisis after 9/11, the biopolitical approach to international relations, and the philosophical concept of immunity, which is neglected in the social sciences.