Schwanebeck, Wieland (2019):
"James Bond’s Biopolitics." Humanities 8 (2).62: 1-13.
Journal Article

This chapter traces Foucauldian technologies of power in the James Bond universe and characterises the Bond franchise’s biopolitics in the cultural environment of the 1960s and 1970s, when 007 became a mass phenomenon. The majority of the chapter is dedicated to a case study of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service, Ian Fleming’s tenth Bond novel (1963) and the sixth film in the EON series (1969). The chapter highlights the intersection between reproduction and fertility on the one hand and the infliction of death and mass genocide on the other, and it examines how James Bond juxtaposes the disciplinary means that are directed against the body (as an organism) on the one hand, and the state-powered regulation of biological processes that control the population on the other. The two versions of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service amount to the franchise’s most straightforward foray into the realm of biopolitics and would pave the way for the franchise’s subsequent biopolitical and eugenic moments, like when the figure of the genocidal villain gets to articulate the franchise’s own subliminal agenda regarding population control and the future of the (British) species.