The administration and management of life, health, and populations—or “biopolitics”—have long been a tacit concern of scholars of historic and contemporary Vietnam. Yet to date, there has been relatively little formal treatment of the constructs of biopolitics or biopower by scholars working in the field of Vietnamese studies. Noting the rich evidence for a “biopolitical Vietnam” already extant in interdisciplinary literatures, this introduction to the special issue explores the potential analytic and disciplinary payoffs of yet more focused and intentional inquiries into the politics of life across Vietnamese contexts.

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