Michel Foucault’s observation that we live in the age of biopolitics has now become a truism. Hardly any newspaper article about stem cell research, pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, or therapeutic cloning fails to broach the topic; hardly any critique of the applied life sciences fails to warn of their biopolitical consequences-usually to call in the next sentence for legal regulation, which is to say for even more biopolitics. Although in the concept’s infl ationary usage its genealogy is seldom considered, Foucault’s dictum that the modern human being is “an animal whose politics places his existence as a living being in question” is certainly one of the most cited in his work. For Foucault, biopolitics “brought life and its mechanisms into the realm of explicit calculations and made knowledge-power an agent of transformation of human life.” He located the “threshold of biological modernity” in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries when the population-that collective subject-surfaced as an object of political interventions (Foucault 1978: 143). Together with the historically older disciplinary institutions, which establish an “anatomo-politics of the human body” and produce individuals who are as economically productive as they are militarily and politically reliable, the biopolitics of population constitutes one of the two poles of a “life-administering power” (Foucault 1978: 136, 139).