The Virus: A Neoliberal Detective in an Immune Slovenian Society




The Virus, (auto)immunity, Covid-19 in Slovenia, neoliberal detective fiction, cultural conservatism


This article draws on Jacques Derrida’s and Roberto Esposito’s conceptualisations of the immunitarian paradigm to analyse the Slovenian crime novel The Virus. In the first part, we examine the links between neoliberalism and the rise of the Slovenian authoritarian state during the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. In the second part, we show that the neoliberal ethos is expressed in the figure of the self-serving and self-disciplined detective, in the nature of desocialised and privatised crime, and in the figure of the self-righteous criminal. Although the actions of the detective and the criminal are autoimmunitarian, both function – paradoxically – as guardians of the common good by pursuing private interests. In the final section, we deconstruct the binary oppositions underlying the dual status of murdered victims, who are simultaneously criminally responsible and possess an unusual (non-heteronormative) or pathological sexual identity.


Download data is not yet available.


Ariès, Philippe, Western Attitudes Toward Death from the Middle Ages to the Present, prev. Patricia M. Ranum, Baltimore, John Hopkins University Press, 1974, str. 86–108.

Boman, John, H. in Thomas J. Mowen, »Global crime trends during COVID-19«, Nature Human Behaviour, 6 (2021), str. 821–822.

Bauman, Zygmunt, Liquid Life, Cambridge (Ma.), Polity Press, 2005.

Benjamin, Walter, The Selected Writings, Vol. 4, 1938-1940, prev. Edmund Jephcott et al, Cambridge (Ma.), Harvard University Press, 2006.

Borradori, Giovanna, Dialogues with Jürgen Habermas and Jacques Derrida, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2003.

Cawelti, John, Adventure, Mistery and Romance: Formula Stories as Art and Popular Culture, Chicago in London, The University of Chicago Press, 1977.

Christensen, Matthew, »Managed Risk and the Lure of Transparency in Anglophone African Detective Noir«, Textual Practice, 29 (2/2015), str. 315–333.

Derrida, Jacques, Acts of Religion, London in New York, Routledge, 2002.

Esposito, Roberto, Communitas. Izvor in usoda skupnosti, prev. G. Malej, Ljubljana, Maska, 2017.

Esposito, Roberto, »The Twofold Face of Immunity«, Crisis & Critique, 7 (3/2020), str. 73–79.

Flaker, Vito, »Heroin use in Slovenia: A Consequence or a Vehicle for Social Changes«, Eur Addict Res, 8 (2002), str. 170–176.

Freud, Sigmund, »Totem in tabu«, v: Sigmund Freud, Spisi o družbi in religiji, prev. S. Hajdini et al., Ljubljana, Društvo za teoretsko psihoanalizo, 2007, str. 47–203.

Golob, Tadej, Virus, Novo Mesto, Goga, 2020.

Salecl, Renata, A Passion for Ignorance: What We Choose Not to Know and Why, Princeton in Oxford, Princeton University Press, 2020.

Schreiner, Patrick, Podreditev kot svoboda: življenje v neoliberalizmu, prev. M. Bratina, Ljubljana, Krtina, 2019.

Smith, Adam, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, Indianapolis, Liberty Fund, 1984.

Šumonja, Miloš, »Neoliberalism is not dead – On political implications of Covid-19«, Capital & Class, 45 (2/2021), str. 215–227.

Vidmar Horvat, Ksenija, »Conspiracy Theories and the Crisis of the Public Sphere: COVID-19 in Slovenia«, Javnost, 28 (2/2021), str. 219–235.

Žižek, Slavoj in Rastko Močnik, »Spremna beseda«, v: S. Žižek in R. Močnik (ur.), Memento Umori, Ljubljana, Državna založba Slovenije, 1992, str. 295–349.

Žižek, Slavoj, »Parallax«, London Review of Books, 25 (22/2003).



How to Cite

Mlačnik, P. (2023). The Virus: A Neoliberal Detective in an Immune Slovenian Society. Filozofski Vestnik, 43(1).