From the Nomad’s Gonads to Madame Bovary’s Ovaries
Cover of issue 38
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How to Cite

From the Nomad’s Gonads to Madame Bovary’s Ovaries: Biopolitics and Its Discontents. (2009). The Political Science Reviewer, 38, 185-228.


From time to time in American history, political scientists have looked to biology—or what was once called "natural history""—for insights into politics and political behavior. Thomas Jefferson, for example, once advanced a plan to solve the problem of slavery based upon the ""new"" science of natural history, while several presidents of the American Political Science Association have called upon Darwinian biology to provide the intellectual underpinnings for a new science of politics. Despite these early and intermittent efforts, a biological approach to the study of politics has only recently begun to take hold. In the past quarter of a century, political science has witnessed the publication of a spate of books by JAI Press (which is devoted to publishing biopolitical research), the creation of the Center for Biopolitics at Northern Illinois University, the publication of a journal devoted to biopolitical research (Politics and the Life Sciences), and the establishment of a section within the American Political Science Association (the Association for Politics and Life Sciences) devoted to biopolitical scholarship.
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