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Title: Destituent Power and the Problem of the Lives to Come
Authors: Frost, Tom
Keywords: Destituent powerpotentialityform-of-lifeabortionreproductive rights
Issue Date: 2021
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Tom Frost, "Destituent Power and the Problem of the Lives to Come" in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2020) XXII/3", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2021, pp. 211-234
Journal: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 
The figure of form-of-life is a life lived as a ‘how’ or a mode of living, beyond every relation. Form-of-life is a form of impotent, destituent power that seeks to deactivate the biopolitics that continuously divides and separates life itself. Agamben’s work is remarkably silent on the question of reproductive rights. The pregnant woman’s life is regulated continuously by biopolitics, yet Agamben does not discuss this regulation. The woman’s relationship with her foetus is difficult to reconcile with Agamben’s philosophy that seeks to think beyond every relation. In addition, the right to abortion is difficult to reconcile with form-of-life. It is not clear how a woman seeking an abortion is not exercising a sovereign decision to create bare life. I use the UK’s abortion laws as a way to interrogate Agamben’s figure of form-of-life, and to illustrate how, by not accounting for reproductive rights, Agamben’s thought remains incomplete.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
DOI: 10.13137/1825-5167/31265
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2020) XXII/3

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