Knowledgebase

Number of results: 10

Climate and security: evidence, emerging risks, and a new agenda

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
Climatic Change, 123 (1): 1-9
Abstract: 

There are diverse linkages between climate change and security including risks of conflict, national security concerns, critical national infrastructure, geo-political rivalries and threats to huma

n security. We review analysis of these domains from primary research and from policy prescriptive and advocacy sources. We conclude that much analysis over-emphasises deterministic mechanisms between climate change and security. Yet the climate-security nexus is more complex than it appears and requires attention from across the social sciences. We review the robustness of present social sciences analysis in assessing the causes and consequences of climate change on human security, and identify new areas of research. These new areas include the need to analyse the absence of conflict in the face of climate risks and the need to expand the range of issues accounted for in analysis of climate and security including the impacts of mitigation response on domains of security. We argue for the necessity of robust theories that explain causality and associations, and the need to include theories of asymmetric power relations in explaining security dimensions. We also highlight the dilemmas of how observations and historical analysis of climate and security dimensions may be limited as the climate changes in ways that present regions with unprecedented climate risks.

Security and the performative politics of resilience: Critical infrastructure protection and humanitarian emergency preparedness

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Security Dialogue, 46 (1): 32-50
Abstract: 

This article critically examines the performative politics of resilience in the context of the current UK Civil Contingencies (UKCC) agenda.

It places resilience within a wider politics of (in)security that seeks to govern risk by folding uncertainty into everyday practices that plan for, pre-empt, and imagine extreme events. Moving beyond existing diagnoses of resilience based either on ecological adaptation or neoliberal governmentality, we develop a performative approach that highlights the instability, contingency, and ambiguity within attempts to govern uncertainties. This performative politics of resilience is investigated via two case studies that explore 1) critical national infrastructure protection and 2) humanitarian emergency preparedness. By drawing attention to the particularities of how resilient knowledge is performed and what it does in diverse contexts, we repoliticize resilience as an ongoing, incomplete, and potentially self-undermining discourse.

Frames of War - When Is Life Grievable?

Document type: 
Book
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Verso Books, New York
Abstract: 

In Frames of War, Judith Butler explores the media's portrayal of state violence, a process integral to the way in which the West wages modern war.

This portrayal has saturated our understanding of human life, and has led to the exploitation and abandonment of whole peoples, who are cast as existential threats rather than as living populations in need of protection. These people are framed as already lost, to imprisonment, unemployment and starvation, and can easily be dismissed. In the twisted logic that rationalizes their deaths, the loss of such populations is deemed necessary to protect the lives of 'the living.' This disparity, Butler argues, has profound implications for why and when we feel horror, outrage, guilt, loss and righteous indifference, both in the context of war and, increasingly, everyday life.

Eurobarometer - Europeans' attitude towards Security

Document type: 
Report
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Eurobarometer Special Survey 464b
Abstract: 

The aim of this report is to analyse the results of the questions asked regarding citizens’ overall awareness, experiences and perceptions of security.

The survey explores the issue of security by looking at a whole host of areas: overall perceptions of security and threats, perceptions of the actions taken by the police and other law enforcement authorities to combat those threats, and their attitudes toward national and international cooperation in dealing with the various security challenges faced by the Member States of the EU. 

National Enterprise Emergency: Steps Toward an Ecology of Powers

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Theory, Culture & Society, 26 (6): 153-185
Abstract: 

The figure of today’s threat is the suddenly irrupting, locally self-organizing, systemically self-amplifying threat of large-scale disruption.

This form of threat, fed by instability and metastability, is not only indiscriminate, it is also indiscriminable; it is indistinguishable from the general environment. The figure of the environment shifts: from the harmony of a natural balance to the normality of a generalized crisis environment so encompassing in its endemic threat-form as to connect, across the spectrum, the polar extremes of war and the weather. Michel Foucault characterizes the dominant contemporary regime of power, coincident with the rise of neoliberalism, as ‘environmental’: a governmentality which will act on the environment and systematically modify its variables. Its actions, he emphasizes, are not standardizing since the shift in the figure of the environment has moved it out of reach of normalization. Given the indiscriminateness of the environment’s autonomous activity, environmentality must work through the ‘regulation of effects’ rather than of causes. It must remain operationally ‘open to unknowns’ and catch nonlinear, transversal phenomena before they amplify the stirrings to actual crisis proportions. What systematicity is this? And: does power’s becoming-environmental mean that, politically, we are dealing with natural subjects? Where Foucault’s question ends is where, today, we must begin, in light of how the recomposition of power whose dawning he glimpsed in 1979 has since played out. In the context of Foucault’s theories of power, the question amounts to asking: is this still ‘biopolitics’?

The promise of security: resilience, surprise and epistemic politics

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses, 2 (2): 73-87
Abstract: 

Over the past decade, resilience has become a quasi-universal answer to problems of security and governance, from climate change to children's education, from indigenous history to disaster respons

e, and from development to terrorism. This article places the proliferation of resilience in relation to the earlier proliferation of security discourse and practice. Why resilience today? It answers this question by unpacking the epistemic regimes that underpin the move to resilience. Rather than tracing the differences between protection, prevention, pre-emption and resilience, the article argues that the political transformation that resilience entails becomes explicit in relation to the promise of security. Although the language of ‘promise’ and ‘promising’ has been widely used in relation to security, its political implications have remained unexplored. Underpinned by an epistemology of surprising events, resilience discourses reconfigure the promise of security. Through an empirical engagement with the turn to resilience in DFID's humanitarian policy in the UK and a theoretical reconsideration of Hannah Arendt's conceptualisation of the promise, I offer a critical vantage point on the transformation that resilience portends for our contemporary condition.

The Changing Agenda of Societal Security

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
In: Brauch H.G. et al. (eds) Globalization and Environmental Challenges. Hexagon Series on Human and Environmental Security and Peace, vol 3, Springer Verlag, pp 581-593
Abstract: 

Security dynamics have some shared features irrespective of their referent object or ‘sector’, and ‘different kinds of security’ often interact so that one actor’s fear for military security trigge

rs countermeasures that make another state worried about its economic security, which in turn triggers countermeasures that let a security dilemma loose operating across ‘kinds’ of security. For these two reasons, it is useful to study economic security, military security, political security, environmental security and other forms together, side by side. But there are also significant differences between, for instance security against military threats and against migration (when viewed as a threat), or between economic security and environmental security. This makes it useful to look systematically at the security of what might be called ‘sectors’ (economic, military, etc) and draw out the particularities regarding what are the main objects defended, who typically acts in this sector, and not least, what dynamics of security and insecurity are characteristic of this sector.

Risk Society. Towards a New Modernity

Document type: 
Book
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Sage Publications Ltd
Abstract: 

This panoramic analysis of the condition of Western societies has been hailed as a classic.

This first English edition has taken its place as a core text of contemporary sociology alongside earlier typifications of society as postindustrial and current debates about the social dimensions of the postmodern. Underpinning the analysis is the notion of the `risk society'. The changing nature of society's relation to production and distribution is related to the environmental impact as a totalizing, globalizing economy based on scientific and technical knowledge becomes more central to social organization and social conflict. 

The Role of Values in Threat Analysis, SOURCE Deliverable D6.1

Document type: 
Report
Publisher / Publication: 
SOURCE Deliverable
Abstract: 

This report aims to clarify the role of values in the conceptualisation of security in threat analyses in the different sectors of the overall security landscape in Europe.

This is done on the basis of analyses of official documents, policy pronouncements, literature reviews and interviews. It is argued that the connection between values and threats often remains unclear in security strategies and risk assessments referring to values like human rights, democracy and the rule of law for their justification. In want of common operationalisations of these values, it results in a great variety of risk assessments where the value impact of risks is evaluated differently.  As a basis for security policy, there is therefore a need for making the normative judgments involved in the analyses more explicit. The authors of this report highlight three basic dimensions of such value judgments, related to questions of universalism vs. relativism and individualism vs. collectivism. These are exemplified by cases of refugee management and everyday security. Against this background, the landscape of European threat analysis is then reviewed, including a new type of national risk assessments prescribed by EU regulations on disaster risk management.  

Automated human behavior analysis

Document type: 
Technology Trend card
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Fraunhofer for the SOURCE project
Abstract: 

1 page fact sheet on the technology trends of Automated human behavior analysis

The term automated human behavior analysis (AHBA) stands  for  the  identification and assessment of human behavior for the purpose of  detecting suspicious behavior of persons in public or while personnel interactions such as surveys. This process is supported by automated processes. The aim of the automated behavior analysis is the detection of individuals with bad intentions (e.g. terrorists) and the prevention of their actions in advance or uncovering already committed deeds.     

Go to top