Knowledgebase

Number of results: 159

Security: A New Framework for Analysis

Document type: 
Book
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Lynne Rienner Publishers
Abstract: 

Traditionalists in the field of security studies tend to restrict the subject to politico–military issues; while wideners want to extend it to the economic, societal, and environmental sectors.

This book sets out a comprehensive statement of the new security studies, establishing the case for the broader agenda.

The authors argue that security is a particular type of politics applicable to a wide range of issues. Answering the traditionalist charge that this model makes the subject incoherent, they offer a constructivist operational method for distinguishing the process of securitization from that of politicization. Their approach incorporates the traditionalist agenda and dissolves the artificial boundary between security studies and international political economy, opening the way for a fruitful interplay between the two fields. It also shows how the theory of regional security complexes remains relevant in today's world.

Happiness and Economics: How the Economy and Institutions Affect Human Well-Being

Document type: 
Book
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Princeton University Press
Abstract: 

Curiously, economists, whose discipline has much to do with human well-being, have shied away from factoring the study of happiness into their work.

Happiness, they might say, is an ''unscientific'' concept. This is the first book to establish empirically the link between happiness and economics--and between happiness and democracy. Two respected economists, Bruno S. Frey and Alois Stutzer, integrate insights and findings from psychology, where attempts to measure quality of life are well-documented, as well as from sociology and political science. They demonstrate how micro- and macro-economic conditions in the form of income, unemployment, and inflation affect happiness. The research is centered on Switzerland, whose varying degrees of direct democracy from one canton to another, all within a single economy, allow for political effects to be isolated from economic effects.

Not surprisingly, the authors confirm that unemployment and inflation nurture unhappiness. Their most striking revelation, however, is that the more developed the democratic institutions and the degree of local autonomy, the more satisfied people are with their lives. While such factors as rising income increase personal happiness only minimally, institutions that facilitate more individual involvement in politics (such as referendums) have a substantial effect. For countries such as the United States, where disillusionment with politics seems to be on the rise, such findings are especially significant. By applying econometrics to a real-world issue of general concern and yielding surprising results, Happiness and Economics promises to spark healthy debate over a wide range of the social sciences.

NeoConOpticon: The EU Security-Industrial Complex

Document type: 
Report
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Transnational Institute / Statewatch
Abstract: 

Are we turning a blind eye to a new kind of arms race?

One in which all the weapons are pointing inwards? This report reveals the extent to which Europe’s largest defence and IT contractors are benefiting from a €1.4 billion EU “security research” programme.

The EU’s security and R&D policy is coalescing around a high-tech blueprint for a new kind of security. Eventhough it is often with a benign intent behind collaborative European ‘research’ into integrated land, air, maritime, space and cyber-surveillance systems. It envisages a future world of red zones and green zones; external borders controlled by military force and internally by a sprawling network of physical and virtual security checkpoints; public spaces, micro-states and ‘mega events’ policed by high-tech surveillance systems and rapid reaction forces; ‘peacekeeping’ and ‘crisis management’ missions that make no operational distinction between the suburbs of Basra or the Banlieue; and the increasing integration of defence and national security functions at home and abroad.

It is not just a case of “sleepwalking into” or “waking up to” a “surveillance society”, as the Britain’s Information Commissioner famously warned, it feels more like turning a blind eye to the start of a new kind of arms race, one in which all the weapons are pointing inwards. Welcome to the Neo-ConOpticon.

 

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. 

Die Sicherheitsgesellschaft: Soziale Kontrolle im 21. Jahrhundert

Document type: 
Book
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Springer VS - Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften
Abstract: 

Soziale Kontrolle von abweichendem Verhalten und Kriminalität wandelt sich in hohem Tempo.

ELENA, Vorratsdatenspeicherung, Videoüberwachung, immer neue Anti-Terror-Maßnahmen oder Verschärfungen der Strafvollzugsgesetze stehen in der tagespolitischen Diskussion scheinbar unabhängig nebeneinander. Tatsächlich sind sie jedoch Ausdruck einer neuen Formation sozialer Kontrolle, die mit Techniken der Selbstführung, der Kontrolle und des Ausschlusses arbeitet. Das Buch stellt diesen grundlegenden Wandel dar und analysiert ihn vor dem Hintergrund der ökonomischen, soziokulturellen und diskursiven Umbrüche der vergangenen Jahre. Diese bilden die Grundlage dafür, dass Staat und Gesellschaft Kriminalität und Abweichung heute neu definieren und anders darauf reagieren. 

Assessing Security Technology’s Impact: Old Tools for New Problems

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Science and Engineering Ethics, 20 (3): 659-673
Abstract: 

The general idea developed in this paper from a sociological perspective is that some of the foundational categories on which the debate about privacy, security and technology rests are blurring.

This process is a consequence of a blurring of physical and digital worlds. In order to define limits for legitimate use of intrusive digital technologies, one has to refer to binary distinctions such as private versus public, human versus technical, security versus insecurity to draw differences determining limits for the use of surveillance technologies. These distinctions developed in the physical world and are rooted in a cultural understanding of pre-digital culture. Attempts to capture the problems emerging with the implementation of security technologies using legal reasoning encounter a number of problems since law is by definition oriented backwards, adapting new developments to existing traditions, whereas the intrusion of new technologies in the physical world produces changes and creates fundamentally new problems.

Surveillance in Europe

Document type: 
Book
Publisher / Publication: 
Routledge
Abstract: 

Surveillance in Europe is an accessible, definitive and comprehensive overview of the rapidly growing multi-disciplinary field of surveillance studies in Europe.

Written by experts in the field, including leading scholars, the Companion’s clear and up to date style will appeal to a wide range of scholars and students in the social sciences, arts and humanities.

Toxic assets, turbulence and biopolitical security: Governing the crisis of global financial circulation

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Security Dialogue, 44 (2): 111-126
Abstract: 

Focusing on a highly significant governmental intervention in the global financial market crisis – the US Treasury Department’s Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP) of autumn 2008 – this article m

akes a threefold contribution to the growing literature concerned with the interstices of finance and security. First, the TARP is shown to have attempted to govern the turbulence not simply as a crisis of the markets, the banks and Wall Street, but as a problem of the biopolitical security of the US population. US$700 billion worth of toxic assets were to be purchased by the TARP in order to restore the opportunities afforded by uncertain global financial circulations for individual wealth and well-being. Second, by conceptualizing and exploring the TARP in Foucauldian terms as an ‘apparatus of security’, the article demonstrates how this concept can hold together analytical concerns with the biopolitical rationality of power, on the one hand, and the contingent, processual and lively forms taken by specific governmental orderings, on the other. The TARP apparatus certainly amounted to a biopolitical intervention in the crisis, but it only emerged from the relation between the discursive, material and institutional elements that made it possible. Third, the unplanned transformation of the TARP into an apparatus that targeted bank solvency and recapitalization rather than toxic assets is held, in effect, to have been a key moment that heralded a move towards techniques of preparedness and resilience designed to mitigate the dangers of uncertain global financial circulations.

An Important Failure: Knowledge Limits and the Financial Crisis

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
Economy and Society, 41(3): 299-315
Abstract: 

This paper introduces a theme section on knowledge limits in and after the financial crisis.

It explores how and why practitioners have generally responded less conservatively to crisis than academics, and argues that academics within a variety of problematics could do more by reflecting critically on the heroic ideas about the role of knowledge which were current across the social sciences in the decade before the crisis. It then turns to introduce the section's papers before finally raising the possibility of a more explicitly political approach to understanding finance.

Underwriting Security

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Security Dialogue, 39 (2–3): 309–332
Abstract: 

This article enframes 'risk' as a biopolitical security technology.

It explains how biopolitics of security take life as their referent object of security; how the grid of intelligibility for biopolitics is economic; and how, in the second half of the 20th century, life also came to be understood as emergent being. Contingency is constitutive especially of the life of emergent being, and so the article argues that a biopolitics of security that seeks 'to make life live' cannot secure life against contingency but must secure life through governmental technologies of contingency. Risk is one of these technologies. The article also explains how risk has come to pervade the biopolitics of security of the 21st century, and how, through the way in which it is traded on the capital markets, it has begun to acquire the properties of money. The article closes by describing how the biopolitics of security differ from traditional prophylactic accounts of security, and how these biopolitics of security exceed the liberal political thinking that rationalizes and legitimates them.

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