The Nation-State & Biopower: Impacts on Individuals, Empowerment and the Limitations of Liberty

Donald J. Thieme, Salve Regina University


The emergence of radical biotechnological advances in food, science and medicine fundamentally challenge the relationships among individual humans, science and governance in the Western liberal democratic Nation-State. Both in concept and in practice, the post-Westhpalian Nation-State is poorly situated to deal with the scope, pace, diversity and linkages between individual choice, societal mores and norms, scientific potential, and the requirements of effective governing. ^ The purpose of this research was to identify possible convergences—and collisions—of governmentality, medical science, and individual agency, choice and liberty in the liberal democratic Nation-State. While much has been written on each of these three fields independently, few authors have grappled with the complex interplay of these three. This is a qualitative study with extensive research in the fields of philosophy, science, and theories of government. The findings indicate there is a Medical Renaissance in progress that has significant impact not only on individual lives, but in the living of life as part of societies and structures. ^ This study advances our understanding of effective governance in an era of rapid biotechnological change and counters the belief of some that the Nation-State is an archaic construct. The findings provide insights into the challenges and opportunities for a new framework of governance. There is fertile ground for further research—this dissertation aims to illuminate the questions to guide that discourse of discovery.^

Subject Area

Philosophy|Biomedical engineering|Political science

Recommended Citation

Thieme, Donald J., "The Nation-State & Biopower: Impacts on Individuals, Empowerment and the Limitations of Liberty" (2018). Doctoral Dissertations. AAI10749728.