|Journal||The Sociological Review|
|Journal publication date||26 Dec 2016|
|Number of pages||18|
|Early online date||26/12/16|
Two political interventions by leaders of the UK Conservative party provide our ‘way in’ to explore unfolding debates on antiomicrobial resistance (AMR). Separated by a decade, Michael Howard (2004) and David Cameron (2014) give expression to a ‘biotic politics’. Each invokes anxieties about infections, resistance and the immunitary ‘other’ and yet each evokes differing future logics. We anchor our discussion within immunitary theory, and in particular Derrida’s writings on ‘anticipatory catastrophism’ and ‘immunitary imagination’. We reveal how invocations fuelled by the repressed dread of a future return to the ‘dark ages’ plays into an economic imaginary, where ‘living with’ the biotic weakens the market, but ‘living against’ perpetually projects the market into the future. Catastrophism around that which is feared becomes, itself, a new source of ‘anticipatory evolution’ hastening and actualising the very thing that is feared, resistance. The AMR imaginary performs the ideal market logic as it becomes a means of limitless invocation fuelled by the repressed dread of a future return.
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