Political Agency: The Subject and the Citizen in the Time of Neoliberal Global Capitalism

Marina Gržinić


Today the notion of the ‘subject’ in the first capitalist world is reserved only for the citizens (fully acknowledged) as such of the first capitalist neoliberal world. Therefore the ‘old’ political ‘subjects’ are seen as a form of an archaic subjectivity and delegated to the so-called third worlds’ capitalisms. The consequences are terminal regarding political agency. Or to reformulate this going back to the most significant shift in the historicization of capitalism, the shift from biocapitalism to necrocapitalism (the shift, break and simultaneity of biopolitics and necropolitics and as well biopower and necropower), we see a twofold mechanism at work. First, if necropolitics presents a new mode of governmentality for neoliberal global capitalism that is a decision over the administration of death (as being opposed to biopolitics as a control over life) then we must ask in which concrete, political, economic and social ideological situation the sovereign decision over death without impunity is normalized and accepted. Second, who are those that are ‘selected’ and targeted as the goal of this necro ‘sovereign’ decision? The answers will pull a paradoxical difference inside the notion of the subject and as well respond to why any demand regarding political subjectivities in the time of a neoliberal global capitalism seems a bad joke and something obsolete.

Article received: June 5, 2017; Article accepted: June 16, 2017; Published online: October 15, 2017; Original scholarly paper

How to cite this article: Gržinić, Marina. "Political Agency: The Subject and the Citizen in the Time of Neoliberal Global Capitalism." AM Journal of Art and Media Studies 14 (2017): 1-11. doi: 10.25038/am.v0i14.205


citizen, subject, biopolitics, necropolitics, biopower, necropower, sovereignty and governmentality

Full Text:



Agamben, Giorgio. Homo Sacer: Sovereign Power and Bare Life, trans. Daniel Heller-Roazen Palo Alto: CA: Stanford University Press, 1998.

Foucault, Michel. The Birth of Biopolitics: Lectures at the Collège de France, 1978–1979. Translated by Graham Burchell. New York: Picador, 2010.

James, Robin. “Notes On Weheliye’s Habeas Viscus: or why some posthumanisms are better than others.” Posted on November 26, 2014, online https://www.its-her-factory.com/2014/11/notes-on-weheliyes-habeas-viscus-or-why-some-posthumanisms-are-better-than-others/

Malkki, Liisa H. “Speechless Emissaries: Refugees, Humanitarianism, and Dehistoricization.” Cultural Anthropology 11, 3 (1996): 377–404. doi:10.1525/can.1996.11.3.02a00050

Mbembe, Achille. “Necropolitics.” Public Culture, 15 (2003): 11–40. doi: 10.1215/08992363-15-1-11

Mondzain, Marie-José. Confiscation : Des mots, des images et du temps (Paris: Liens qui libèrent, 2017).

Nordentoft Mose, Kirstine and Vera Wriedt. “Mapping the Construction of EU Borderspaces as Necropolitical Zones of Exception.” Birkbeck Law Review 3, 2 (December 2015): 278–304.

Stoler, Ann Laura. “Colonial Aphasia: Race and Disabled Histories in France.” Public Culture 23, 1 (2011): 121–156. doi: 10.1215/08992363-2010-018

Weheliye, Alexander G. Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics, and Black Feminist Theories of the Human. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2014.

Wynter, Sylvia. “Unsettling the Coloniality of Being/Power/Truth/Freedom: Towards the Human, After Man, Its Overrepresentation – an Argument.” CR: The New Centennial Review 3, 3 (2003): 257–337.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25038/am.v0i14.205


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 AM Journal of Art and Media Studies

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

The content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

AM Journal of Art and Media Studies ISSN 2217-9666 - printed, ISSN 2406-1654 - online, UDK 7.01:316.774

Contact: amjournal@outlook.com

Publisher: Faculty of Media and Communications, Singidunum University, Belgrade, Serbia

Indexed in: ERIH PLUSEBSCODOAJ, and in The List of Scientific Journals Categorization of Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of Republic of Serbia (M24-2021). Beginning with No. 12 2017, AM is indexed, abstracted and covered in Clarivate Analytics service ESCI.