‘Doggy-Biopolitics’: Governing via the First Dog
2016 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Biopolitics, traditionally understood as management of the human population, has been extended to include nonhuman animal life and posthuman life. In this article we turn to these advancements of Foucauldian biopolitics to explore the mode of government enabled by the dog of the US presidential family—the First Dog called Bo Obama. We follow the construction of Bo in various outlets from well-known and less famous sources, as the websites of the White House and an animal rights organisation. Bo’s microphysical escapades in and around the White House show how posthuman biopolitics, which targets the vitality of the dog population, is linked to seductive neoliberal management techniques and subjectivities that enhance ‘cuddly management.’ Bo also facilitates a proliferation of interspecies family norms and an empathic embrace of difference. We thus suggest that Bo makes possible a mode of government nurtured by vitality, playfulness and posthuman norms, what we call ‘doggy-biopolitics.’
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Animal studies, posthuman biopolitics, Michel Foucault, First Dog, domestic animals, management techniques, US governing
Sociology Engineering and Technology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-285900OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-285900DiVA: diva2:921314
Sociologidagarna 2016: Överskridande sociologi, 10-12 mars.