The Biopolitics of Stalinism

The first book to investigate Soviet socialism from a biopolitical perspective.

9781474410533Western theories of biopolitics focus on its liberal and fascist rationalities. In opposition to this, Stalinism was oriented more towards transforming life in accordance with the communist ideal, and less towards protecting it.

Sergei Prozorov reconstructs this rationality in the early Stalinist project of the Great Break (1928–32) and its subsequent modifications during High Stalinism. He then relocates the question of biopolitics down to the level of the subject, tracing the way the ‘new Soviet person’ was to be produced in governmental practices and the role that violence and terror would play in this construction.

Key Features

*   Extracts Soviet socialism as a distinct strain of political theory, distinguishing it from the grab-bag of totalitarianism or a Russian deviation from ‘proper’ socialism

*   Critically engages with the canonical theories of Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben and Roberto Esposito, and the new materialist theories of Michel Henry, Quentin Meillassoux and Catherine Malabou

*   Analyses the origins of the postcommunist rehabilitation of Stalinism under Putin

*   Develops a new concept of affirmative biopolitics, advancing current debates in political theory and philosophy


‘A fascinating study. Prozorov is not only one of the most interesting scholars of 20th and 21st century Russia, but he’s able to engage with high theory in a readable and entertaining manner.’

Human Rights Centre, the University of Essex, Professor Bill Bowring

Visit the Publisher’s Website by clicking here – Coming out at the end of the month!

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