Foucauldian biopower in action: the case of sports events for the disabled in Taiwan, 1972–1992

Cheng Hao Huang*, P. David Howe, Mei Chun Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper explores the development of sports for individuals with disabilities in Taiwan from its inception in 1972 to 1992. We start by outlining games hosted at the national level and highlight how and why they were the first of their kind in the Sinophone world. Data are collected using Foucault’s genealogical method, and we use the concept of biopower to explore the state apparatus through which individuals with disabilities are controlled. This highlights how the Games for the Disabled were not simply a means to provide sporting opportunities but were also a vehicle through which the biopower of the sovereign was exerted. By staging the games, the authorities of Taiwan achieved the goal of governing bodies with disabilities in an effort to make subjugated citizens aware that individuals with disabilities should be utilised to contribute towards the nation’s greater good.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)494-511
Number of pages18
JournalSport in Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Biopower
  • Foucault
  • Games for the Disabled
  • Taiwan
  • disability sports

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies


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