Reading the End-of-life Controversy through Political Lenses: Public Power and Intimacy

Anna Durnová


This article presents end-of-life controversies as a site through which we can disclose the operation of public power. Reviewing some recent political negotiations on end-of-life decisions (such as withdrawal treatment or the legalization of euthanasia), the article investigates the particular role that an intimate experience with the end of life plays in those political negotiations. As the collective acknowledgement of the individual emotional experience with body and mind during the end of life, intimacy enables us to conceive the nature of public power in the mutual engagement between the collective and the individual. Since this has an impact on the dynamic of political negotiations, the article concludes by suggesting that Western liberal democracies are facing not a disappearance of politics but a transformation of public power through intimacy.

Klíčová slova

biopolitics; discourse; end of life; intimacy; public power; Foucault; interpretive political science

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Mobi (English) ePub (English)


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