We are doing better: Biopolitical nationalism and the COVID-19 virus in East Asia

Jeroen de Kloet*, Jian Lin, Yiu Fai Chow

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    8 Citations (Scopus)


    The COVID-19 pandemic stirs up strong nationalist and localist sentiments; places pride themselves on containing the virus more effectively: We are doing better. We call this ‘biopolitical nationalism’, understood by us as the dynamics between body, geopolitics and affect. When looking at mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, we analyse how the biopolitical efforts of these places are being compared, applauded and supported. Under a discourse of life and survival, this celebration of biopolitical control does not fall into the classic reproduction of capital, but speaks to geopolitical identification. Biopolitics has morphed into a field of competition, of rivalry, of nationalistic – or, perhaps more generally, localist – power games. What can we do as Cultural Studies scholars?
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)635-640
    Number of pages6
    JournalEuropean Journal of Cultural Studies
    Issue number4
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 4-Jun-2020


    • Biopolitics
    • China
    • Covid-19
    • Hong Kong
    • Taiwan

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