Living Off the Exception: Biopolitical Modernity and Sacratio in Francoist Spain

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Through an analysis of Francoist ideology and the novel Tiempo de silencio by Luis Martín-Santos, William Viestenz investigates how modern subjectivity evolves through the synchronic existence of a biopower that orders bodies within space and a concept of the sacred that deems certain forms of life unusable and unredeemable to the affairs of the State. With particular reference to the development of Madrid, the chapter argues that the juridical use of the sacred as a tool for exclusion was integral to both the spatial and symbolic ordering of the urban metropolis during Francoism. Efforts to modulate the shape of urban space relied on biopolitical modernity’s registration of bodies coupled with the sovereign ability to maintain zones of exception.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHispanic Urban Studies
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages20
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameHispanic Urban Studies
ISSN (Print)2662-5830
ISSN (Electronic)2662-5849

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, The Author(s).


  • Bare Life
  • Body Politic
  • Paternal Authority
  • Sovereign Decision
  • Sovereign Power


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