Governmentality and Sovereignty in the Brazil-Bolivia Border: National Security and Public Health as Devices of Power


This article proposes an analysis of the governmental statehood of the border, from its main mechanisms of power in action: Security and Health, in which the “public” and “national” spheres become increasingly imbricated. This state management is based on the border thought as a limit, as an area of danger and contagion, and is legitimated, locally, by a military ethos built throughout the history of Corumbá-MS. In the first part of the article, we will observe ethnographically the performance of this territorial and political sovereignty of the State, with a focus on the changing role of the armed forces, who increasingly act with as police in an ongoing process of reconfiguration of security policies in the border. In the second section of the text, we will articulate the health policies in the region with this process of securitization, from vaccination operations, through sanitary barriers, to the municipal maternity, in the case of care for Bolivian pregnant women. This research allows us to understand different situations of conflict around the state paradigms and the ubiquity of national values ??that tend not only to refuse otherness at the border, but also to (re) produce it in a negative way.

Frontier; Governmentality; National Security; Biopolitics; Public Health

Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Políticos (IESP) da Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) R. da Matriz, 82, Botafogo, 22260-100 Rio de Janeiro RJ Brazil, Tel. (55 21) 2266-8300, Fax: (55 21) 2266-8345 - Rio de Janeiro - RJ - Brazil