Handbook of Biology and Politics
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Handbook of Biology and Politics

Edited by Steven A. Peterson and Albert Somit

The study of biology and politics (or biopolitics) has gained considerable currency in recent years, as articles on the subject have appeared in mainstream journals and books on the subject have been well received. The literature has increased greatly since the 1960s and 1970s, when this specialization first made an appearance. This volume assesses the contributions of biology to political science. Chapters focus on general biological approaches to politics, biopolitical contributions to mainstream areas within political science, and linkages between biology and public policy. The volume provides readers with a comprehensive introduction to the subject.
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Chapter 7: The brain and politics

Robert H. Blank


This chapter provides an overview of the relevant research in neuroscience and then focuses on the underlying theoretical propositions in the linkage between the human brain and politics. It examines how this knowledge might assist our understanding of political phenomena and discusses the potential contributions for understanding politics emerging from neuroscience, now and in the future. It also outlines the strengths and limitations of neuroimaging technologies and other rapidly developing methods in neuroscience and assesses their potential uses in finding pathways from the brain to politics. Finally, it highlights some of the difficulties with establishing a link between the biological realm and politics.

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