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Towards A Biopolitics Of The Victimized Body: Creating assault as a crime against health and life, c. 1945–1965
Södertörn University, School of Historical and Contemporary Studies, History.
2020 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of History, ISSN 0346-8755, E-ISSN 1502-7716, Vol. 45, no 1, p. 1-24Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article discusses the creation of assault as a crime against health and life as this discursive process is expressed through Swedish laws, legislative discussions, and legal practice from 1945 to 1965. Inspired by Michel Foucault’s theoretical reflections on biopolitics and sociologist Thomas Lemke’s outline to a analytics of biopolitics, the article argues that a most central component in the genealogy of assault as a crime against health and life was a shift in the first post-war decades, from a predominant legal idealistic paradigm within Swedish jurisprudence, by which assault was defined as a crime against bodily integrity, to a legal realistic epistemology, imbued with the scientific knowledge and empirical ‘truth’-producing practices of modern medicine. As an effect, new discourses around the victimized body emerged, through which prevailing knowledges and ‘truths’ around violent crime and its effects were challenged and marginalized. In this discursive process, the 19th-century legal-moral category of violent crimes finally collapsed into the overarching legal category prescribed by Brottsbalken (1965) as ‘crimes against health and life’. Consequently, the victimized body was deprived of all meaning but ‘life’ and thus created as a biopolitical space, available to series of life-governing interventions and regulatory practices.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2020. Vol. 45, no 1, p. 1-24
Keywords [en]
biopolitics, body, victims of violence
National Category
History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-38068DOI: 10.1080/03468755.2019.1596833ISI: 000465771400001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85063586004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-38068DiVA, id: diva2:1307070
Funder
The Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority, 08924/2017Available from: 2019-04-25 Created: 2019-04-25 Last updated: 2020-03-25Bibliographically approved

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Collstedt, Christopher

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • apa-old-doi-prefix.csl
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf