Governing through Biometrics: The Biopolitics of Identity

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88 Citations (Scopus)


Managing identity through biometric technology has become a routine and ubiquitous practice in recent years. From border control and asylum regulation to the management of social services and medical records, various fields are increasingly deploying biometric systems as a means of identity verification and authentication. The scope and nature of these systems are raising a host of concerns regarding the intensification of surveillance practices and the reduction of identity to a series of bio-data and algorithms.

By analysing biometric systems as a biopolitical practice within the domain of borders, immigration and citizenship management, this book interrogates what is at stake in the merging of the body and technology for security and governance purposes. It draws on a number of critical theories, philosophies and empirical examples, offering a multi-level and timely analysis of the socio-political and ethical implications of biometric identity systems.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages256
ISBN (Electronic)9781137290755
ISBN (Print)978-0230321618
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2013


  • Biometrics
  • Ethics, Morality, Anthropology, Cultural Relativism, Critique
  • Biopolitics


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