The Limits of Bodily Integrity: Abortion, Adultery, and Rape Legislation in Comparative Perspective

Publication Year



This volume argues that legislation on abortion, adultery, and rape has been central to the formation of the modern citizen. The author draws on rights literature, biopolitical scholarship, and a gender-studies perspective as a foundation for rethinking the sovereign relationship. In approaching the politicization of reproductive space from this direction, the study resituates the role of rights and rights-granting within the sovereign relationship. A second theme running throughout the book explores the international implications of these arguments and addresses the role of abortion, adultery and rape legislation in constructing civilizational relationships. In particular, by focusing on the Ottoman Empire, Turkey, France and Italy as case studies, the book presents a discussion of what 'Europe' is and the role of sexuality and reproduction in defining it.


Reproduction and race suicide -- Sexuality and citizenship formation -- Defining Europe -- Women and the political norm.

Reviews  and Endorsements

“In a tour de force, Miller studies the governance of reproduction in France, Italy, Turkey and the Ottoman Empire to reconfigure Foucault's and Agamben's theories of biopolitics, question liberal, radical and critical feminist analyses of gender and citizenship, and offer a new understanding of the significance of rape as a ‘crime against humanity.’” Karen Engle, University of Texas, USA

“…Miller conducts an inventive comparative analysis of the reproductive and sexual policies of France, Italy, Turkey, and the Ottoman Empire…Recommended.” CHOICE

Aldershot, Hampshire, England; Burlington, VT
Cloth: 9780754670612; paper: 9781138271074