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Biological Citizenship: The Science and Politics of Chernobyl-Exposed Populations

Adriana Petryna
Osiris
2nd Series, Vol. 19, Landscapes of Exposure: Knowledge and Illness in Modern Environments (2004), pp. 250-265
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3655243
Page Count: 16
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Biological Citizenship: The Science and Politics of Chernobyl-Exposed Populations
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Abstract

In the transition out of socialism to market capitalism, bodies, populations, and categories of citizenship have been reordered. The rational-technical management of groups affected by the Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine is a window into this contested process. Chernobyl exemplifies a moment when scientific knowability collapsed and new maps and categories of entitlement emerged. Older models of welfare rely on precise definitions situating citizens and their attributes on a cross-mesh of known categories upon which claims rights are based. Here one observes how ambiguities related to categorizing suffering created a political field in which a state, forms of citizenship, and informal economies were remade.

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