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Mobile Livings: On the Bioeconomies of Mobility

By Marthe Achtnich

Cite As:
Achtnich, Marthe. 2022. “Mobile Livings: On the Bioeconomies of Mobility.” Cultural Anthropology 37, no. 1: 1–8.


This Colloquy brings into conversation two terms critical for an anthropological inquiry into our present condition: mobility and bioeconomy. It moves beyond established accounts of the bioeconomy based on biotechnology and biomedicine to draw attention to the tempo, intensity, and reach of the economization of mobile life across diverse scales and domains. Case studies include emerging forms of surveillance and bordering regimes that generate profit from the vitality and vulnerability of mobile life. They also entail the escalation of certain mobilities and the halting of others, not only demonstrating how value travels and is remade as it crosses boundaries of different kinds but also revealing how life’s disposability can make for a precondition for trading in life itself. Rethinking and extending conventional political economic analyses, the Colloquy offers new directions for anthropological understandings of economy and mobility. 


bioeconomy; mobility; migration; biopolitics; necropolitics; nonhuman; value