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Number of results: 3

Securing through the failure to secure? The ambiguity of resilience at the bombsite

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Security Dialogue, 46 (1): 69-85
Abstract: 

Resilience discourses resignify uncertainty and insecurity as the means to attain security.

Security failure is resignified as productive and becomes part of the story about security learning and improvements in anticipatory capability. In this article, I explore questions of failure mediation and ‘securing through insecurity’. If resilience policies suggest that failure and insecurity can be mediated and redeployed in the cause of success, what becomes of visceral sites of security failure such as the terrorist bombsite? This article focuses on a site where security agencies failed to prevent the bombing of a packed nightclub in Bali, in order to explore ambiguity of failure in the resilience era. It considers the efforts of politicians and activists to perform the site as resilient, and the spatial and temporal excess which eludes this performance. The article contributes to critical literatures on resilience by showing, through the ambiguities of resilience at the bombsite, that resilience is a chimera with regards to its supposed incorporation of insecurity.

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.

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.

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