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Look Inside The Biopolitics of Intellectual Property

The Biopolitics of Intellectual Property
Regulating Innovation and Personhood in the Information Age


  • Author: Gordon Hull, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
  • Publication planned for: December 2019
  • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2019
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108712057

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About the Authors
  • As a central part of the regulation of contemporary economies, intellectual property (IP) is central to all aspects of our lives. It matters for the works we create, the brands we identify and the medicines we consume. But if IP is power, what kind of power is it, and what does it do? Building on the work of Michel Foucault, Gordon Hull examines different ways of understanding power in copyright, trademark and patent policy: as law, as promotion of public welfare, and as promotion of neoliberal privatization. He argues that intellectual property policy is moving toward neoliberalism, even as that move is broadly contested in everything from resistance movements to Supreme Court decisions. This work should be read by anyone interested in understanding why the struggle to conceptualize IP matters.

    • Proposes a new theory of intellectual property (IP) to offer readers a comprehensive view that integrates diverse developments across IP into one theoretical frame
    • Advances research into biopower and law
    • Takes economic arguments seriously without basing the argument on them, which allows readers to see the specificity and role of neoliberal economic arguments in current IP theories
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Tracing the shifting logic of intellectual property over the centuries, Gordon Hull demonstrates that neoliberalism is less concerned with markets or freedom than it is with the economization of everyday life. This groundbreaking genealogy combines Foucauldian theory of biopower with a rich empirical analysis to illuminate how norms and technologies of ownership are now at stake in the shaping of our very subjectivity.' William Davies, Goldsmiths, University of London and author of The Limits of Neoliberalism

    'A fascinating and richly detailed examination of contested and changing conceptions of intellectual property in the context of shifting regimes of biopower. A must-read for anyone interested in biopolitics and American law.' Ladelle McWhorter, University of Richmond and author of Racism and Sexual Oppression in Anglo-America

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    Product details

    • Publication planned for: December 2019
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108712057
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 mm
    • availability: Not yet published - available from December 2019
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Theorizing intellectual property
    3. Copyright
    4. Trademark
    5. Patents
    6. Conclusion: politics was already in the way
    7. Works Cited.

  • Author

    Gordon Hull, University of North Carolina, Charlotte
    Gordon Hull is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Public Policy at the University of North Carolina, Charlotte. He has published numerous articles on contemporary philosophical and political theory, intellectual property, privacy, and the history of philosophy. He is also the author of Hobbes and the Making of Modern Political Thought (2009).

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