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Life as Surplus: Biotechnology and Capitalism in the Neoliberal Era Paperback – Feb 20 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: University of Washington Press; First Edition edition (Feb. 20 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 029598791X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0295987910
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.3 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 299 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #371,352 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


Melinda Cooper's forceful Life as Surplus is a political economy of the exploitation of life in the biotech era that exposes the modes of re/production attuned to late twentieth-century neoliberal capitalism..Cooper's brilliant and inventive mapping of prevailing contemporary biopolitical imaginaries is precious.


A fascinating study of speculative impulses that serve as the foundation of increasingly commercialized life sciences.

(Book News)

Life as Surplus is interesting, and examines some of the fundamentals of science practice...Well written, a nd well documented. Useful for professionals and for academic coursework on science and society. Recommended.



A book of topical timeliness and conceptual and political importance. Cooper reads two terms—biopolitics and neoliberalism—in exciting, exceptional ways, and provides an astute account of contemporary American political culture.

(Kaushik Sunder Rajan, author of Biocapital: The Constitution of Postgenomic Life)

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Highly recommended Oct. 24 2008
By Jake O'Connor - Published on
Format: Paperback
Insightful, innovative, highly readable, though at times dense. Cooper provides a novel analysis of the encounter between neoliberal innovation economies, biotechnology and the religious right. The strength of the book lies in its theoretical rigour and historical detail. It also advances some provocative ideas about the nature of neoliberal economics, namely that its long-term success is fed by its own regulation/deregulation dynamics.
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Prescient, smart & vital Aug. 14 2011
By C. Berrigan - Published on
Format: Paperback
A prescient & insightful contribution not only to Science & Technology Studies, but to broader dialogues about biopolitics, markets, capitalism and environmentalism. I find myself recommending this book to many people whose interests and scholarship cross a wide spectrum. I can't wait for her next book.