Knowledgebase

Number of results: 159

The Securitization of Catastrophic Events: Trauma, Enactment, and Preparedness Exercises

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 37 (3): 227-239
Abstract: 

Psychological knowledge has become incorporated into a range of security practices, discourses, and interventions in catastrophic events, including terrorism.

By engaging the existing literature on the medicalization and psychologization of security, this article reads the enactment knowledge deployed in preparedness exercises from the perspective of psychodrama and sociodrama rather than that of psychoanalysis or psychosocial risk management. Enactment has become an important mode of knowledge for the governance of terrorism, as preparedness exercises deploy action methods, drama, enactment, and performance to prepare for unexpected, catastrophic events. Taking seriously the conceptualization of enactment, as deployed in psychodrama and sociodrama, can also challenge the securitization of catastrophic events. The article concludes that enactment, which foregrounds action rather than speech, and suggests that meaning follows action, can also offer critical insights into securitization theory.

Transnational Power Elites: the new professionals of governance, law and security

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

Spurred by globalisation, technological and economic development has provided the backbone for social and political transformations that have changed the social structures that unite and differenti

ate individuals and groups in Europe and their interface with extra-European actors. These developments are not only exemplified by the rise of the EU, but also by the rise of a set of transnational European power elites evolving in and around the European construction.

This book maps out these EU and international interdependencies and provides a comprehensive picture of the European transnational power elites. Moving away from the majority of literature on European integration dominated by economics, law, IR and political science, the volume is written from a sociological perspective that takes into account the individuals that make the policy decisions, the formal and informal groups in which s/he is included, as well as the social conventions that regulate political and administrative activities in the EU.

This book will be of much interest to students of EU studies, sociology, critical security studies, and IR in general.

National Programmes for Mass Surveillance of Personal Data in EU Member States and their Compatibility wit EU Law

Document type: 
Report
Publisher / Publication: 
European Parliament / LIBE Committee
Abstract: 

In the wake of the disclosures surrounding PRISM and other US surveillance programmes, this study makes an assessment of the large-scale surveillance practices by a selection of EU member states: t

he UK, Sweden, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Given the large-scale nature of surveillance practices at stake, which represent a reconfiguration of traditional intelligence gathering, the study contends that an analysis of European surveillance programmes cannot be reduced to a question of balance between data protection versus national security, but has to be framed in terms of collective freedoms and democracy. It finds that four of the five EU member states selected for in-depth examination are engaging in some form of large-scale interception and surveillance of communication data, and identifies parallels and discrepancies between these programmes and the NSA-run operations. The study argues that these surveillance programmes do not stand outside the realm of EU intervention but can be engaged from an EU law perspective via (i) an understanding of national security in a democratic rule of law framework where fundamental human rights standards and judicial oversight constitute key standards; (ii) the risks presented to the internal security of the Union as a whole as well as the privacy of EU citizens as data owners, and (iii) the potential spillover into the activities and responsibilities of EU agencies. The study then presents a set of policy recommendations to the European Parliament. 

After Snowden: Rethinking the Impact of Surveillance

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
International Political Sociology, 8 (2): 121-144
Abstract: 

Current revelations about the secret US-NSA program, PRISM, have confirmed the large-scale mass surveillance of the telecommunication and electronic messages of governments, companies, and citizens

, including the United States' closest allies in Europe and Latin America. The transnational ramifications of surveillance call for a re-evaluation of contemporary world politics' practices. The debate cannot be limited to the United States versus the rest of the world or to surveillance versus privacy; much more is at stake. This collective article briefly describes the specificities of cyber mass surveillance, including its mix of the practices of intelligence services and those of private companies providing services around the world. It then investigates the impact of these practices on national security, diplomacy, human rights, democracy, subjectivity, and obedience.

The (in)securitization practices of the three universes of EU border control: Military/Navy – border guards/police – database analysts

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Security Dialogue, 45 (3): 209-225
Abstract: 

What practices of (in)securitization involve the notions of border and border control in the European Union? How do these practices operate? How are they assembled?

In the resulting assemblage, is the notion of borders – understood as state borders – still relevant for the control of individuals and populations moving across the frontiers of the EU? Drawing on empirical observations and with a specific focus on how border control is translated into different social universes, this article seeks to show that practices of control are routinely embedded in a practical sense that informs what controlling borders does and means. This practical sense is itself informed by different professional habitus and work routines involving deterrence and the use of force, interrogation and detention, surveillance of populations on the move and the profiling of (un)trusted travellers. Its strength varies in relation to its shared dimension by most of the operators, and is adjusted to the materiality of borders as well as to the local contexts in which it is deployed. It activates, or does not activate, the maximal use of various control technologies (satellites, pre-registration and interoperable exchange of data between the state and private bureaucracies, biometrics identifiers, body-scanners). For understanding practices of (in)securitization, actual work routines and the specific professional ‘dispositions’ are therefore more important than any discourses actors may use to justify their activities.

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.

ASSERT - Assessing Security Research: Tools and Methodologies to Measure Societal Impact

Document type: 
Research project
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration.
Abstract: 

The need for considering societal impacts of EU security research has been acknowledged on many occasions by different actors.

The problem though is that in traditional thinking, societal impacts are reduced to side effects of instrumental (technological and legal) security measures. This binary thinking has to be overcome. It should and can be demonstrated that societal dimensions of security research taken into account from the very beginning of the “design process” can increase the variety pool of feasible solutions. Starting from a synthesis of state of the art discussions on societal security, we will identify best practice cases exploring and assessing societal impacts of science and technology in the security domain and beyond, and carefully analyse their structural properties. This will be done in a multidisciplinary fashion from different perspectives, including end-users, stakeholders, researchers, policy-makers and NGOs. Bringing together these different perspectives in a series of workshops will create the basis for the development of a tool and a strategy for the sustainable implementation of societal impacts in future EU research activities in the field of security.

Five challenging future scenarios for societal security

Document type: 
Report
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB)
Abstract: 

In this document, MSB presents five different scenarios showing how society might develop up to 2032.

The societies described in the scenarios are faced with various types of challenges and opportunities for societal security. It deals firstly with the changing threat and risk scenario and secondly with how the conditions facing society to deal with accidents and emergencies are being influenced by society at large. Possible developments are explored through the scenarios from a number of different perspectives. The scenarios are aimed at provoking thoughts and ideas, challenging routine thinking and paving the way for a structured discussion on the significance o f various future developments. In addition to the five future scenarios, this document also gives a brief description of how the scenarios are structured.

Societal security, the security dilemma, and extreme anti-migrant hostility in Russia

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Journal of Peace Research, 48 (4): 509-523
Abstract: 

The societal security theory posits that extreme anti-migrant hostility – such as demands to deport all migrants unconditionally – emerges when host communities see migration as a threat to the sur

vival of their group identity. An alternative interpretation – the immigration security dilemma – attributes extreme hostility to the human tendency to prepare for the worst under uncertainty when central authority weakens. Does extreme intergroup hostility relate more to threats framed in terms of group survival or to those framed in terms of uncertainty about government capacity and migration effects? I investigate this question empirically with the Russian national survey data (2005, N = 680) asking who in Russia supports the deportation of all internal and external migrants, legal and illegal, and their children to their places of origin – an extreme and widespread view that would require forced population movements not seen in the region since Stalin’s Great Terror. In multivariate tests, agreement with the societal security (survival) rhetoric explained about five percent of variation in support for unconditional, wholesale deportation of migrants; agreement with the security dilemma (uncertainty) rhetoric – about 20%. A comparison of attitudes in the same survey to Armenian, Uzbek, Chechen, and Chinese migrants and the association of each ethnic group with different types of security threat further support this finding. Hostility toward ethnic groups viewed as a weak security threat was more diagnostic of public support for wholesale deportation of migrants than hostility toward groups viewed as a strong security threat.

Towards a new societal security dilemma: comprehensive analysis of actor responsibility in intersocietal conflicts

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Review of International Studies, 39 (1): 185-208
Abstract: 

Scholars of the societal security dilemma implicitly or explicitly aim to analyse actor responsibility in intersocietal group confrontations.

However, adherence of these approaches to (neo-)realist theoretical assumptions of the security dilemma hinders this objective. This article provides analytical principles upon which a new societal security dilemma can be constructed in order to conduct a more comprehensive analysis of actor responsibility. A new societal security dilemma framework can be built upon three principles: (1) a security dilemma results in violence depending on how the actors themselves interpret the political structure in which they interact with others; (2) differentiation of actors' intentions as malign or benign is inconsequential; what matters is how actors interpret security and which tools they choose to adopt to achieve security; and (3) identity is not exogenous to the politics of security. Adopting these principles requires reconceptualisation of the security dilemma. It will be argued that a new societal security, which reflects the politics of security, can provide a more comprehensive, dynamic, political, and realistic analysis of actor responsibility in societal-level confrontations. These new principles will be illustrated through re-reading of the dissolution of Yugoslavia to analyse actor responsibility as a sketch of the new societal security dilemma theorising.

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