Author Archive

Conrad Kunadu

Conrad Kunadu is an MPhil Candidate in International Relations at the University of Oxford. His interests are in international cooperation and governance of emerging technologies and catastrophic risks, where he is primarily interested in biosecurity and pandemic preparedness. He has previously worked in an early-stage EdTech startup; was a project manager at a philanthropic foundation, and now co-runs the Oxford Biosecurity Group. Conrad also provides independent research to nonprofits and is ultimately excited about launching impactful projects.

Michel Foucault refers to biopolitics as “the processes by which human life, at the level of the population, emerged as a distinct political problem in Western societies”. Yet for Foucault, ‘biopower’ – power over human life at the population level – remains a force strictly wielded via individuals. This neglects the global biopower wielded by biology itself. Given the sheer influence of disease on global politics, we must move to considering ‘international biorelations’: a study that recognises diseases as significant non-state ‘actors’ shaping geopolitical landscapes and giving rise to critical, yet often neglected, transstate dynamics. Doing so would help us capture the co-constitution of global health forces and international structures, reveal the limitations of state-centric IR scholarship, and better understand …