Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Stadt- und Regionalsoziologie

Prof. Maria Kaika at Think&Drink Colloquium

Think&Drink-Colloquium Monday, November 30th 2015 Prof. Maria Kaika, University of Manchester THE BIOPOLITICS OF DEBT: FROM THE POLITICS OF FEAR TO THE POETICS OF EMANCIPATION
  • Wann 30.11.2015 von 18:00 bis 20:00
  • Wo Raum 002:Universitätsstraße 3b, 10117 Berlin
  • iCal


Monday, 30.11.2015


Prof. Maria Kaika, The University of Manchester


The Biopolitics of Debt: From the Politics of Fear to the Poetics of Emancipation


Over the last decades, the popular promise for a better life was renewed not through increase in welfare spending, but through offering everyone easy access to credit. When Bush, Blair, Sarkozy, etc. promised better environment, education, housing, and health for all, the real promise was one of enabling everybody to become deeply indebted in order to purchase their future welfare credits. It was a promise which enrolled livelihoods, bodies, and the future labour of whole nations into global financial speculative mechanisms, and turned millions of people across the globe into Indebted Wo/men (Lazzarato 2007), a new bio-political subject whose future depends on the performance of global financial markets. The paper focuses on two movements (SOSte-to-nero and 136 IN Greece, and the PAH- Platform for Mortgage affected people in Spain) that questioned this process. The movements instituted radical gestures which took citizens outside the cadre of defining themselves as indebted subjects whose sole option is to sell their commons (home or water) to global speculators, and turned powerless indebted citizens into potentially powerful decision makers. This radical gesture opens up a politics against a pending 'anthropological catastrophe' of establishing the indebted wo/man as the inevitable anthropological category for financial capitalism.


More information:





Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
Kultur-, Sozial- und Bildungswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Unter den Linden 6
10099 Berlin



Institut für Sozialwissenschaften
Universitätsstraße 3b
10117 Berlin