|Title||Rethinking the norm of Life Beyond Biopolitics. Towards an Ethical Framework|
This thesis is concerned with the qualification of forms of life in approaches of biopolitics and vitalism, two main perspectives that map discussions around the politics of life in contemporary political theorising. The literature on biopolitics highlights how modes of life are given meaning as effect of regimes of power that construct the value ascribed to forms of living. The idea of a norm of life captures the functioning of biopolitical apparatuses that operate through logics of inclusion and exclusion of forms of life, by rearticulating the ancient Greek distinction between zoe and bios. Opposite to biopolitics, vitalism looks at life in its materiality and attempts to re-ground the value ascribed to forms of living in an ontological dimension that starts from the assumption of a power intrinsic to life as the principle to inform also the laws of the social and political domain. Even though formulating an apparently opposite account to biopolitics, the thesis argues that perspectives of vitalism entail an idea of life that reproduces qualifications and exclusions in drawing out their political projects. By so doing, they are unable to reframe the terms of the debate of the politics of life in a way that fundamentally challenges the premises of biopolitics.