From the European South

a transdisciplinary journal of postcolonial humanities

Biopolitiche di razza, genere e cittadinanza nel discorso politico italiano



Biopolitics of race, gender, and citizenship in the Italian political discourse. This article highlights the long-term continuities in the history of contemporary Italy regarding the patriarchal view of women’s role as reproducers of the nation. In particular, it will draw connections between the 1925 Fascist policies on family, maternity and reproduction, and the biopolitics of race, gender and citizenship observed in the recent Italian political discourse. By taking as a starting point the results of the latest elections, the article will focus on the analysis of some case studies ranging from the end of Matteo Renzi’s government in 2016 to the election campaign that took place be-tween the summer of 2017 and the spring of 2018, in the run-up to the elections held on 4 March 2018, won by the right. The analysis will highlight the strategic use of modern biopolitics enacted by seemingly opposing political parties, in continuity with some Fascist policies on reproduction fo-cused on the family as the cornerstone of the nation and procreation as an act entrusted to wom-en. Michel Foucault’s concept of biopower and biopolitics will be enhanced by the work of feminist scholar Nira Yuval-Davis to highlight how power and control are exerted on women’s bodies and their reproductive capacities as a response to anxieties about ‘ethnic substitution’ and obliteration of the ‘white race’.


Reproductive capacities, fertility, body, race, gender, Italy



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