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Amedeo Policante


Amedeo Policante is a political philosopher and critical theorist, whose research focuses especially on the study of violence in its many forms. He currently holds a Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, supported by the Warwick Innovation Fund and the Department of Philosophy, withing the framework of Philosophy in a Time of Crisis: a collaborative research project led by Professor Miguel de Beistegui.

Before coming to Warwick, he has completed a doctorate at the University of London, Goldsmiths College, thanks to a scholarship funded by the Research Unit for Politics and Ethics (RUPE). In previous years, he was a member of the School of Excellence of the University of Bologna and a visiting postgradute student at the University of Berkeley and the London School of Economics. Since 2014, he has been an active member of the Centre for the Study of Political Ideologies at Nottingham University, while collaborating to the editorial board of Materiali Foucaultiani, Nyx and Finzioni.


[Year 2 and 3] - Contemporary Biopolitical Thought (click here for futher details)


Amedeo Policante's research intertwines political philosophy, critical theory and the study of international relations, focusing especially on the study of violence in its many forms. His intellectual work has been founded on a continuous confrontation with the history of political thought, which is reflected in several published articles and book chapters on the political philosophy of thinkers such as Karl Marx, Roland Barthes, Carl Schmitt and Michel Foucault. These works have been disseminating via traditional means such as academic journals, magazines and newspapers; and alternative means such as ‘The Pirate Camp’, a collaborative artistic project featured at the 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2011.

He is the author of two monographs: I Nuovi Mercenari: Mercato Mondiale e Privatizzazione della Guerra (Ombre Corte, 2013) investigating the on-going commodification of security and the resulting fragmentation of social space both at the global and at the urban level; and The Pirate Myth: Genealogy of an Imperial Concept (Routledge, 2015) focusing on shifting representations of piracy in legal, literary and popular culture, and the role they have played in international politics since the eighteenth century.

Currently, he is working on two linked projects: a cartography of contemporary post-Foucaltian biopolitical theory; and a genealogy of modern discourses on drugs, focusing on the relationship between social processes of individuation and the conditions of possibility for true discourses about human subjects.


Philosophy in a Time of Crisis

Through a series of publications, a dedicated website, and conferences, the project intends to promote philosophy as an essential tool to reflect upon the major crises and challenges of our time, and the meaning and nature of crisis itself. Initially, the focus of the project will be Europe, approached as a striated space traversed by interconnected points of crisis and by multiple margins that are continuously (re)generated, controlled and policed. Three converging thematic axes will be explored: 1) territory, borders, security; 2) processes of deterritorialisation; 3) precarious forms of life. Our first conference Margins of Europe: Thinking Borders Today will take place in Paris on the 14th and 15th of June, 2018. For more information visit the project page.

Selected Publications


- Amedeo Policante, The Pirate Myth: Genealogies of an Imperial Concept, London: Routledge, 2015.

- Amedeo Policante, I Nuovi Mercenari: Mercato Mondiale e Privatizzazione della Guerra, Verona: Ombre Corte, 2013.

Chapters in edited volumes:

- ‘International Law and Imperial Discourses on Piracy in the Nineteenth Century', in Beatrice De Graaf (ed.) Securing the World: Global Perspectives on Security History in the Nineteenth Century, Cambridge University Press, forthcoming

- “The Pirate States of Barbary: Mediterranean Orientalism and the Shifting Boundaries of the International Community” in Corsairs and Pirates in the Eastern Mediterranean, 15th-19th century. Ed. David Starkey. Athens: Sylvia Ioannu Publications, 2016.

- “The New Pirate Wars: The World Market as Imperial formation”, in Empire in the Age of Austerity. Ed. Russell Foster. London: Routledge, 2014.

- “The Pirate Camp: An Heterotopia for the 21st Century?” in The Pirate Camp Reader, Torino: Kanichen-Haus, 2013.

- “After the event: the mythical representation of violence”, in Situating Global Resistance: Between Discipline and Dissent. Eds. Lara Coleman and Karen Tucker. London: Routledge, 2011.

Refereed Journal articles:

- “Foucault on Drugs: Ecstasy and the Governmentalization of Pleasures”, forthcoming.

- “The Return of the Pirate: Postcolonial Trajectories in the History of International Law”, Política Común. A Journal of Thought, 5, 2016.

- “The New Pirate Wars: The World Market as Imperial formation”, Global Discourse, 3(1), 2015.

- “Game of Drones: Cubicle Warriors and the Drudge of War”, Nyx, 7, 2014: 110-116.

- “Vampires of Capital: Gothic Reflections between Horror and Hope”, The Cultural Logic, 3(1) 2012. [republished as ‘Vampires of Capital: Gothic Reflections Between Horror and Hope’, Works and Days, 59(3): 213-230].

- “Franciscan Profanators: or the radical pacifism of a broken window”, Nyx: A nocturnal, Issue 5, 2011.

- “Foucault, Subjectivity and Flight: Witchcraft, Possession and the Resistance of the Flesh”, Material Foucaultiani 1(1), 2012: 235-259.

- “The myth of student violence”, Nyx: A nocturnal, 4(1), 2011.

- "Of Cameras and Balaclavas: Violence, Myth and the Convulsive Kettle", Globalizations, 8.4, September 2011: 457-471. (

- “Note on Labour”, Nyx: A nocturnal, Issue 3, 2010.

- “War against Biopower: Timely Reflections on an Historicist Foucault", Theory & Event, 13.1 March 2010. (

Selected Conferences:

- ‘Foucault on Drugs: Neoliberalism, Truth and the Repressive Hypothesis’, Theorising the Drug War, International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy at the University of Essex (29th and 30th of June, 2017)

- ‘The Work of Logistics: Privatization of Security and Fragmegration of Global Space’, Logistics&Power: A Symposium, University of Nottingham (4th of April, 2016).

- “Plunder as Primitive Accumulation? Reflections on Piracy and Imperialism in the Nineteenth Century”, La Pirateria fra Storia e Diritto, Università di Firenze, 10th of December 2015. (Invited Speaker)

- “Rogue State: Travels and Misadventures of an International Political Concept”, First Conference on ‘Ideologies in Translation’, University of Nottingham & International Islamic University, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, (May 5th, 2015).

- “Neo-Liberalism and Its Discontents: (Dis-)embedding the World Market in the 21st century”, Open Lecture organized and funded by the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1st of April, 2015).

- ‘Pirate Legends on the Mediterranean Frontier: Orientalism and the Shifting Borders of the International Community’, Corsairs and Pirates in the Eastern Mediterranean, 15th-19th century. Museum of Cycladic Art, Athens. Invited Keynote Speaker funded by the Sylvia Ioannou Foundation (October 17-19, 2014).

- “Foucault and Pirates: International Law, World Trade and Primitive Accumulation”, International Relations, Capitalism and the Sea: The Historical Sociology of Oceans and Inner Seas. Sponsored by the British International Studies Association at the University of London, Birkbeck College (April 2013).

- “Pirates: Genealogy of a Political Myth”, 2-days Seminar at Goldsmiths College, University of London. Sponsored by the Politics Department and the Research Unit for Politics&Ethics (May 2012).

- “Security and Racism: Sovereign Violence after Biopolitics”, Foucault and the Critique of Our Present: Reworking the Foucauldian Toolbox, Goldsmiths College, University of London (April 2012)

- “The Biopolitics of Free Trade: Doux Commerce and the Securitization of the World Market”, Reading Michel Foucault in the Postcolonial Present: A Symposium, University of Bologna, Italy, (March 2011).

- “Anarchism, Nomadism and the Working Class: Lessons from Deleuze”, The Libertarian Impulse: Theories, Histories, Comparisons. RUPE Seminar series 2009-2010, Goldsmiths College, (March 2010).

- "Of Cameras and Balaclavas, Violence, Myth and the Convulsive Kettle", Disciplining Resistance, Institute for Advanced Studies, University of Bristol (September 2009).

The Pirate Myth - Amedeo Policante  Amedeo Policante - I Nuovi Mercenari 195cover_web.jpg Amedeo Policante - Foucault and Witches



Amedeo Policante