Medicine, Dissent and the “Chloroquinization” of Truth: Brazil and Pandemic

Antonio Pele*, Stephen Riley, Katharina Bauer

*Corresponding author for this work

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This article explores the management of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil radicalizing Foucault’s notion of governmentality. While dominant scholarship has been interpreting the human tragedy of the outbreak in Brazil in terms of necropolitics and Bolsonaro’s populist rhetoric, the present work highlights other dimensions. It shows that the management of the pandemic was deployed to govern the conduct of the Brazilian population. This article detects novel economies of medical truth, obedience, and salvation. It also examines the struggles and (bio)political resistance of Brazil’s vulnerable communities. While academic debates interpreted those movements in terms of care and compassion, this article highlights their radical political aspects. Extending Foucault’s notion of “counter-conducts,” this article reveals how those collectives shaped new forms of medical dissent. More concretely, they brought forward political practices of hope, solidarity, and resilience.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)586-603
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Critical Thought
Issue number4
Early online date23 Nov 2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

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© 2023 Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.


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