Neuropolitics, by William Connolly
A less romantic notion [of neuropolitics, compared to Timothy Leary's] emerges from William Connolly’s 2002 Neuropolitics, a cryptic Deleuzian manifesto that defines its subject as “the politics through which cultural life mixes into the composition of body/brain processes. And vice versa” (Connolly 2002, xiii).
The predominant uses of “neuropolitics” since the 1990s correspond neither to Leary’s nor Connolly’s. Rather, in the spirit of the “neuro-turn,” the term designates a neurobiological (and predominantly neuroimaging) approach to questions of applied political science, such as people’s political attitudes or how they assess candidates and choose to vote. Similarly to neuroethics, which has been defined as the neuroscience of morality and the ethics of neuroscience, neuropolitics concerns both the neurologization of the political field and the study of the biopolitical implications of neuroscientific theories and practices. Considering such a double understanding, several ways in which the brain has been mobilized in politics can be identified (Meloni 2012 and Vander Valk 2012b offer taxonomies that partially overlap with ours).