Knowledgebase

Number of results: 252

Anticipating uncertainty, reviving risk? On the stress testing of finance in crisis

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Economy and Society, 42 (1): 51-73
Abstract: 

Widely regarded as a watershed moment in the governance of the present global financial crisis, the US Treasury's Supervisory Capital Assessment Program (SCAP) of spring 2009 undertook to ‘stress t

est’ the solvency of the largest American banks by projecting their capital adequacy going forward. The SCAP is shown to have been an important intervention that restored market confidence in US banks because it rigorously embraced and acted through a subtle but significant change in the repertoires of risk management, a very public turn to anticipatory techniques designed to ensure preparedness for low-probability, high-impact events. And, as the subsequent failures of stress-testing exercises to inspire confidence in European banking are also shown to demonstrate, the performative power of these anticipatory techniques itself turns on their seemingly precise methodological application and animation by a positive affective charge.

The Complexity of Global Security Governance: An Analytical Overview

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Global Society, 22 (4):423-443
Abstract: 

By suggesting predictable and controllable patterns of development, the literature on global governance seems to simplify the world for decision-making tractability.

In this respect, security narratives often remain analytically frozen, while the dynamics of global life are not. Relying on complexity thinking, this article both comments on the construction and potential reconstruction of the concept of security as it relates to the question of global governance and engages with the cognitive multiplicity of the notion of global security governance. Such an exploration suggests the need for the complexification of the discourses and practices of security governance through the adaptive contingency of “security as resilience”, which rejects the detachment between human and natural systems and the ability of the former to control the latter. The argument is that the logic of “security as resilience” is more appropriate than the conventional logic of “security as control”. In policy terms, therefore, the complexity of global security governance intimates an ability to cope with vulnerabilities, defy adversity and construct a new proficiency in response to the uncertainty, cognitive challenges, complex unbounded risks and the need for continuing adaptation prompted by the alterations in global life.

The molecular practices of security. Thinking security bottom-up

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Paper presented at the 8th Pan-European Conference on International Relations, Warsaw, 18.- 21. September 2013
Abstract: 

The paper aims to broaden the theoretical framework of securitization theory.

In an effort to draw stronger attention to political practices and strategies which define what must be viewed as a security issue, the paper introduces a post-structural approach to hegemony theory. While many critical security scholars are aware of Laclau and Mouffe’s theory of hegemony, for the most part the potentials of their theoretical tools have not been fully taken into account. The paper introduces such concepts as layered hegemony, discursive strategies, and everyday practices and suggests that such a framework can provide fruitful ground for the analysis of processes of securitization and de-securitization by broadening the concept of discourse, permitting closer examination of strategic processes, and allowing for reflection on hegemonic struggle. While the securitizing move is scrutinized, it is argued that the very form of securitization remains stable. In this respect, the paper takes a serious look at the contradictory and conflict-ridden ground of societal processes. 

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’?

Ethnic Violence and the Societal Security Dilemma

Document type: 
Book
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Routledge
Abstract: 

Ethnic Violence and the Societal Security Dilemma explores how the phenomenon of ethnic violence can be understood as a form of security dilemma by shifting the focus of the concept away from its t

raditional concern with state sovereignty to that of identity instead.

The book is divided into theoretical and empirical chapters, beginning with the categorisation by the author of the security dilemma concept into ‘tight’, ‘regular’ and ‘loose’ formations, and its combination with the Copenhagen School’s notion of societal security. This reconceptualisation of the traditional security dilemma then provides a framework capable of explaining conflictual dynamics between ethnic groups and how some cases can be resolved without recourse to outright war. 

EU Home Affairs Agencies and the Construction of EU Internal Security

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
CEPS -Papers in Liberty and Security in Europe, no. 53
Abstract: 

Regulatory agencies such as Europol, Frontex, Eurojust, CEPOL as well as bodies such as OLAF, have over the past decade become increasingly active within the institutional architecture constituting

the EU’s Area of Freedom, Security and Justice and are now placed at the forefront of implementing and developing the EU’s internal security model.

A prominent feature of agency activity is the large-scale proliferation of ‘knowledge’ on security threats via the production of policy tools such as threat assessments, risk analyses, periodic and situation reports. These instruments now play a critical role in providing the evidence-base that supports EU policy- making, with agency-generated ‘knowledge’ feeding political priority setting and decision-making within the EU’s new Internal Security Strategy (ISS).

This paper examines the nature and purpose of knowledge generated by EU Home Affairs agencies. It asks where does this knowledge originate? How does it measure against criteria of objectivity, scientific rigour, reliability and accuracy? And how is it processed in order to frame threats, justify actions and set priorities under the ISS? 

The Challenge Project: Final Recommendations on the Changing Landscape of European Liberty and Security

Document type: 
Report
Publisher / Publication: 
CEPS CHALLENGE Programme (Changing Landscape of European Liberty and Security)
Abstract: 

This paper presents the final policy recommendations coming out of the CHALLENGE project on the Changing Landscape of European Liberty and Security.

It aims to provide a synthesis of the main policy-relevant inputs that have been presented during the five-year research project and at the same time, refining them in light of the Stockholm programme to be adopted at the conclusion of the Swedish Presidency of the EU in December. The paper first offers a synthesised overview of the most relevant policy contributions achieved by the CHALLENGE project and then moves into an overview of the specific recommendations organised by policy theme. A final section reviews those recommendations that can be considered to be more ‘general’ or ‘horizontal’ in character and that are particularly targeted towards the development of new strategies for the implementation of innovative evaluation mechanisms. 

The European Council’s Guidelines for the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice 2020: Subverting the ‘Lisbonisation’ of Justice and Home Affairs?

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies
Abstract: 

In its Conclusions of 26-27 June 2014, the European Council has adopted the new “Strategic Guidelines for Legislative and Operational Planning for the coming years within the EU’s Area of Freedom,

Security and Justice (AFSJ)”. These Guidelines reveal a pre-Lisbon Treaty mindset among the EU member states and the Justice and Home Affairs Council. This essay argues that the Guidelines are mainly driven by the interests and agendas of national Ministries of Interior and Justice and are only “strategic” to the extent that they aim at first, re-injecting ‘intergovernmentalism’ or bringing back the old EU Third Pillar ways of working to the new EU institutional setting of the AFSJ and second, at sidelining the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and rule of law in the AFSJ. The paper argues that the European Council Guidelines seek to prevent the advances in Justice and Home Affairs cooperation as envisaged in the Treaty of Lisbon, particularly its emphasis on supranational democratic, legal and judicial accountability. As a consequence of this move to ‘de-Lisbonise’ JHA cooperation, fundamental rights and rule of law-related initiatives will be neglected and the interest of the individual will be displaced from the centre of gravity in the coming AFSJ 2020 policy agenda. 

The European Council’s Guidelines for the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice 2020: Subverting the ‘Lisbonisation’ of Justice and Home Affairs?

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
CEPS - Centre for European Policy Studies
Abstract: 

In its Conclusions of 26-27 June 2014, the European Council has adopted the new “Strategic Guidelines for Legislative and Operational Planning for the coming years within the EU’s Area of Freedom,

Security and Justice (AFSJ)”. These Guidelines reveal a pre-Lisbon Treaty mindset among the EU member states and the Justice and Home Affairs Council. This essay argues that the Guidelines are mainly driven by the interests and agendas of national Ministries of Interior and Justice and are only “strategic” to the extent that they aim at first, re-injecting ‘intergovernmentalism’ or bringing back the old EU Third Pillar ways of working to the new EU institutional setting of the AFSJ and second, at sidelining the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and rule of law in the AFSJ. The paper argues that the European Council Guidelines seek to prevent the advances in Justice and Home Affairs cooperation as envisaged in the Treaty of Lisbon, particularly its emphasis on supranational democratic, legal and judicial accountability. As a consequence of this move to ‘de-Lisbonise’ JHA cooperation, fundamental rights and rule of law-related initiatives will be neglected and the interest of the individual will be displaced from the centre of gravity in the coming AFSJ 2020 policy agenda. 

Europe's 21st Century Challenge: Delivering Liberty

Document type: 
Book
Publisher / Publication: 
Routledge
Abstract: 

This volume presents the final results of the CHALLENGE research project (The Changing Landscape of European Liberty and Security) - a five-year project funded by the Sixth Framework Programme of D

G Research of the European Commission. The book critically appraises the liberties of citizens and others within the EU, and the different ways in which they are affected by the proliferation of discourses, practices and norms of insecurity enacted in the name of collective and individual safety. It analyses from an interdisciplinary perspective the impacts of new techniques of surveillance and control on the liberty and security of the citizen. The book studies illiberal practices of liberal regimes in the field of security, and the relationship between the internal and external effects of these practices in an increasingly interconnected world, as well as the effects in relation to the place of the EU in world politics.

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