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Impersonal Life: Law as a Site of Convergence

Sarah Burgess


This essay performs a critical reading of three 2013 Kansas State “pro-life” laws to investigate what it means for law to be a site of convergence for questions of life. It challenges the idea that law is simply the place in which life is defined, constituted, or recognized. A close reading reveals instead that the logic put forth in these legislative acts figures law as external to the very question of life. Drawing on Roberto Esposito’s work in Third Person, the essay demonstrates how such a relation between life and law renders law complicit with biopolitical practices.


abortion laws; recognition; bioconvergence; Roberto Esposito; biopolitics; law; legal person; personhood initiatives; Kansas; pro-life law

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