Renzi, A., Elmer, G. The Biopolitics of Sacrifice: Securing Infrastructure at the G20 Summit (2013) Theory, Culture and Society, 30 (5), pp. 45-69.
This article investigates infrastructure spending from a biopolitical perspective and rethinks its connections to emerging regimes of (in)securitization. Starting with a study of the organization and contestation of the G8/G20 summits in Toronto in June 2010, the analysis moves through the shifty territory of a governmental logic that is reconfiguring the body politics of civic participation, as well as the ways in which discourses on economic growth, property and public safety intertwine in the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis. The case of Toronto shows significant changes to recent security practices, control techniques and funding arrangements. Rather than ‘war on terror’, ‘austerity and crisis’ are the new keywords sustaining current governmental rationality and the criminalization of dissent, which are no longer funded by defence budgets but by economic stimuli packages. This new rationality, while still relying on fear as an affective mode to mobilize masses, has exchanged a set of discourses on the clash of cultures or civilization for one on sacrifice. Following Foucault’s work on the government of populations and security, it is now possible to talk about ‘a sacrifice series’ to describe the series of elements that connect military or economic logics of (in)securitization.
biopolitics; contemporary activism; crisis; Foucault; global city; militarization; neoliberalism