Knowledgebase

Number of results: 252

The law enforcement challenges of cybercrime: are we really playing catch-up?

Document type: 
Report
Publisher / Publication: 
Directorate General for Internal Policies: Policy Department C: Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)
Abstract: 

With a number of high-profile criminal cases, such as ‘Silk Road’, cybercrime has been very much in the spotlight in recent years, both in Europe and elsewhere.

While this study shows that cybercrime poses significant challenges for law enforcement, it also argues that the key cybercrime concern for law enforcement is legal rather than technical and technological. The study further underlines that the European Parliament is largely excluded from policy development in the field of cybercrime, impeding public scrutiny and accountability. 

Cyber Security in the European Union and Beyond: Exploring the Threats and Policy Responses

Document type: 
Report
Publisher / Publication: 
Directorate General for Internal Policies: Policy Department C: Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)
Abstract: 

This study sets out to develop a better understanding of the main cybersecurity threats and existing cybersecurity capabilities in the European Union and the United States.

The study further examines transnational cooperation and explores perceptions of the effectivness of the EU response, pinpointing remaining challenges and suggesting avenues for improvement. 

EU border security and migration into the European Union: FRONTEX and securitisation through practices

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
European Security, 19 (2): 231-254
Abstract: 

This article examines the contribution of the activities of FRONTEX, the Agency in charge of managing operational cooperation at the external borders of the European Union (EU), to the securitisati

on of asylum and migration in the EU. It does so by applying a sociological approach to the study of securitisation processes, which, it argues, is particularly well-suited to the study of securitisation processes in the EU. Such an approach privileges the study of securitising practices over securitising ‘speech acts’ in securitisation processes. After identifying two main types of securitising practices in general, the article systematically examines the activities of FRONTEX and the extent to which they can be seen as securitising practices on the basis of these two (non-mutually exclusive) criteria. The article shows that all the main activities of FRONTEX can be considered to be securitising practices. The article therefore concludes that the activities of FRONTEX contribute to a significant extent to the ongoing securitisation of asylum and migration in the EU. It also highlights that this does not automatically make FRONTEX a significant securitising actor in its own right and that more research is needed on the relations between FRONTEX and the EU institutions, especially in the light of the current negotiations aiming to amend the founding Regulation of FRONTEX.

Policing Uncertainty: Intelligence, Security and Risk

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Intelligence and National Security, 27 (2): 187-205
Abstract: 

Today, the idea of risk is ubiquitous, a presence in debates across a range of fields, from investment banking to politics, from anthropology and sociology to health, environmental and cultural stu

dies. While this ubiquity attests to the importance of the concept it is at the same time a potential weakness in that it injects the term into a wide range of debates in each of which its meaning can be subject to different emphases and meanings. The notion of risk is of obvious importance to security intelligence, but here too its ubiquity has had an impact on specificity of meaning. While the term is widely used in both the profession and study of intelligence, its usage can carry different meanings and it can be used interchangeably with linked terms. Given the importance of the idea of risk to intelligence, clarity of meaning is essential. This article sets out to consider the meaning of, and relationship between, uncertainty and risk in a security intelligence context, propose a framework on which a common understanding can be built, and illustrate how this can help in thinking about the nature and role of security intelligence.

Internal and External Aspects of Security

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
European Security, 15 (4): 385-404
Abstract: 

This contribution analyses the merging of internal and external aspects of security.

Whereas according to the ‘doxa’ emerging after 11 September 2001, such convergence is the logical and necessary answer to global terrorism, this article argues instead that the de-differentiation between internal and external security does not result from the transformation of political violence, but mainly from institutional games and practices of securitisation that define the importance of security as superior to sovereignty and freedom. A web of security institutions has developed beyond national borders, and policing at a distance has disentangled security from state sovereignty. The question of who is in charge of security is now tackled at the transnational level, generating competition among professionals of politics and (in)security over the existence of threats and legitimate answers to them. Moreover, the role of technology, especially concerning information exchange, has reinforced the importance of security professionals. The impact of Europeanisation has been central as it has formalised transnational ties between security professionals, and the emergence of European institutions in charge of fundamental rights and data protection may provide a space to discuss collectively who is entitled to define what constitutes a threat.

Theorizing Surveillance: The Panopticon and Beyond

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

This book is about explaining surveillance processes and practices in contemporary society.

Surveillance studies is a relatively new multi-disciplinary enterprise that aims to understand who watches who, how the watched participate in and sometimes question their surveillance, why surveillance occurs, and with what effects. This book brings together some of the world's leading surveillance scholars to discuss the "why" question. The field has been dominated, since the groundbreaking work of Michel Foucault, by the idea of the panopticon and this book explores why this metaphor has been central to discussions of surveillance, what is fruitful in the panoptic approach, and what other possible approaches can throw better light on the phenomena in question.Since the advent of networked computer databases, and especially since 9/11, questions of surveillance have come increasingly to the forefront of democratic, political and policy debates in the global north (and to an extent in the global south). Civil liberties, democratic participation and privacy are some of the issues that are raised by these developments. But little progress can be made in responding to these issues without an adequate understanding of how, how well and whether or not surveillance works. This book explores the theoretical questions in a way that is grounded in and attuned to empirical realities.

Security and Immigration: Toward a Critique of the Governmentality of Unease

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 27 (1): 63-92
Abstract: 

Some “critical” discourses generated by NGOs and academics assume that if people, politicians, governments, bureaucracies and journalists were more aware, they would change their minds about migrat

ion and begin to resist securitizing it. The primary problem, therefore, is ideological or discursive in that the securitization of migrants derives from the language itself and from the different capacities of various actors to engage in speech acts. In this context, the term “speech act” is used not in its technical Austinian sense, but metaphorically, to justify both the normative position of a speaker and the value of their critical discourse against the discourses of the security professionals. This understanding of critique reinforces the vision of a contest between ideas and norms, a contest in which academics can play a leading role. This essay seeks to avoid presenting the struggle as an ideological one between conserv- ative and liberal positions, or even as an “intertextual competition” between agencies in which academics have a key role. It examines why the discourses of securitization continue to be so powerful even when alternatives discourses are well known, and why the production of academic and alternative discourses has so little effect in either the political arena or in daily life. It emphasizes the work of politicization, of the mobilization of groups and technologies enabling some agents, especially political actors, the media, the security professionals and some sectors of the general population, to create a “truth” about the link between crime, unemployment, and migration, even when academics, churches, NGOs and some social policy oriented institutions have made powerful claims to the contrary for many years. 

Hydro-climatic change, conflict and security

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Climatic Change, 123 (1): 69-82
Abstract: 

Climate change is likely to increase the frequency and intensity of water-related hazards on human populations. This has generated security concerns and calls for urgent policy action.

However, the simplified narrative that links climate change to security via water and violent conflict is wanting. First, it is not confirmed by empirical evidence. Second, it ignores the varied character and implications of hydro-climatic hazards, the multi-faceted nature of conflict and adaptive action, and crucial intricacies of security. Integrating for the first time research and findings from diverse disciplines, we provide a more nuanced picture of the climate-water-security nexus. We consider findings from the transboundary waters, armed conflict, vulnerability, and political ecology literatures and specify the implications and priorities for policy relevant research. Although the social effects of future hydro-climatic change cannot be safely predicted, there is a good understanding of the factors that aggravate risks to social wellbeing. To reduce vulnerability, pertinent democratic and social/civil security institutions should be strengthened where they exist, and promoted where they are still absent.

Climate, conflict, and social stability: what does the evidence say?

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Climatic Change, 123 (1): 39-55
Abstract: 

Are violent conflict and socio-political stability associated with changes in climatological variables?

We examine 50 rigorous quantitative studies on this question and find consistent support for a causal association between climatological changes and various conflict outcomes, at spatial scales ranging from individual buildings to the entire globe and at temporal scales ranging from an anomalous hour to an anomalous millennium. Multiple mechanisms that could explain this association have been proposed and are sometimes supported by findings, but the literature is currently unable to decisively exclude any proposed pathway. Several mechanisms likely contribute to the outcomes that we observe.

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.

Pages

Go to top