Biopolitics multiple: migration, extraction, subtraction

Aradau, Claudia and Tazzioli, Martina. 2020. Biopolitics multiple: migration, extraction, subtraction. Millennium, 48(2), pp. 198-220. ISSN 0305-8298 [Article]

Biopolitics multiple Accepted manuscript.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (443kB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

This article proposes ‘biopolitics multiple’ as an approach to the heterogeneity of biopolitical technologies deployed to govern migration today. Building on work that has started to develop analytical vocabularies to diagnose biopolitical technologies that work neither by fostering life nor by making people die in a necropolitical sense, it conceptualises ‘extraction’ and ‘subtraction’ as two such technologies that take ‘hold’ of migrants’ lives today. Extraction, explored in the paper through a focus on borderzones in Greece, captures the imbrication of biopolitics and value through the ‘outside’ creation of the economic conditions of data circulation. Subtraction, which is analysed in this article through a focus on Calais, captures the practices of (partial) non-governing by taking material and legal terrain away from migrants and reconfiguring convoluted geographies of (forced) hyper-mobility. This move allows us to understand the governmentality of migration beyond binary oppositions such as ‘making live/letting die’, biopolitics/necropolitics and inclusion/exclusion.

Item Type:


Identification Number (DOI):


Biopolitics, migration, extraction, subtraction, governmentality

Departments, Centres and Research Units:



15 October 2019Accepted
19 December 2019Published Online
1 January 2020Published

Item ID:


Date Deposited:

10 Dec 2019 14:53

Last Modified:

09 Jun 2021 11:54

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)