Infopolitics, Biopolitics, Anatomopolitics

Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal 39 (1):103-128 (2018)
Colin Koopman
University of Oregon
This paper argues for a distinctive concept of "infopolitics" as a theoretical tool for understanding how new regimes of data are exerting increasing political control of our lives. It seems almost undeniable today that there is a politics at stake in such ubiquitous features of our society as social media interaction, electioneering (and election hacking) through those interactions, cell phone addiction, personal information monetization, the lack of security in personal data markets, and massively-scaled state surveillance. Yet, even if the fact of the politics of these domains is now in view, what is insufficiently understood is how such a politics functions. What characterizes the politics of all of this data that is driving so much of our lives? To put the question in the terms afforded us by the political philosophy of Michel Foucault: what is the modality of power expressed in our contemporary politics of information? In response to these questions, this paper argues that the modality of "infopower" operates on us through the formats of data.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy  Data Ethics  Information Politics  Michel Foucault  Biopolitics
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ISBN(s) 0093-4240
DOI 10.5840/gfpj20183914
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