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Alexis Heraclides and Ada Dialla

Among the handful of humanitarian interventions of the nineteenth century, the intervention in Cuba is the most controversial in view of the U.S. reluctance to leave Cuba and the huge advantages accrued, including acquiring even the faraway Philippines. This chapter presents the arguments for or against regarding the U.S. intervention as humanitarian, that are equally balanced and the views of the three sides in this troubled triangle: Cuban independence fighters, Spain and the U.S. (President McKinley, the Senate, key figures, press, public opinion). Then the events leading to the showdown are presented which indicate that the U.S. was until the eve of the war reluctant to intervene militarily if it could be avoided and Cuba pacified. Following the intervention, whose justification was officially mainly humanitarian, the gradual tendency to also ‘grab’ the Philippines is examined in detail and the arguments of the anti-imperialists for this not to happen. The chapter concludes by reassessing the situation, especially as regards the U.S. and concludes with the views of publicists and other commentators then and today which on the whole have failed to agree as to the humanitarian character or not of this case.

in Humanitarian intervention in the long nineteenth century
Israeli security experience as an international brand
Erella Grassiani

This chapter demonstrates how knowledge about security becomes a commodity that can be marketed, sold, and, in fact, moved. Engaging the reputation of the Israeli Defence Forces as not only experts in security, but notably practitioners of security, the chapter shows how private security firms in the United States construct their business model around precisely this reputation. The chapter highlights the capacities of markets to render things mobile and relocate the abstract notion of Israeli security to another country where it manifests itself and transcends boundaries from the military sector to private service provisions for the civil sector. These companies do so by transforming the ‘Israeli Security Experience’ into a brand that symbolises not only security and safety but also values such as discretion and toughness.

in Security/ Mobility
Open Access (free)
Security, mobility, liberals, and Christians
Luis Lobo-Guerrero

This chapter explores the notion of connectivity as making possible forms of security and mobility in different historical periods. Starting from a reflection on present day liberal forms of mobility and security that rely on the active circulation of various elements, the mainstay of the chapter is an exploration of a sixteenth century Christian travel account mapping the biblical world and the kind of connectivity regarding mobility and security inscribed by this account. Their work unsettles today’s taken-for-granted notion of effortless mobility and connectivity through the description of dangerous travels in the sixteenth century, thus providing a change of perspective that highlights the contingency of contemporary mobility and security.

in Security/ Mobility
Open Access (free)
Surveillance and transgender bodies in a post-9/ 11 era of neoliberalism
Christine Quinan

This chapter addresses questions of neoliberalism and gender surveillance in a post-9/11 era. Working through an account of the situation of trans people in the USA provided by Leslie Feinberg’s novel “Drag King Dreams”, the chapter discusses the boundaries of citizenship in a system that actively attempts to exclude, alienate, and violate certain identities, particularly transgender individuals and racialized or religious ‘others’. The chapter highlights aspects of non-conformity and the governmental practices that are triggered by deviances from mainstream norms. It critically engages the hardships for individuals that are produced from such governmental practices, most notably surveillance.

in Security/ Mobility
Public presence, discourse, and migrants as threat
Giannis Gkolfinopoulos

This chapter looks at the hunger strike of migrants in the Law School building of the University of Athens in 2011. The focus lies on the media representations of the occupation of the building and the discursive construction of threats around the hunger strike. Notably, the construction of threat images turns out to be closely related to the university and the Law School building – both as an institution and as a concrete building – whose dignity was presented as endangered.

in Security/ Mobility
Open Access (free)
Security/ Mobility and politics of movement
Marie Beauchamps, Marijn Hoijtink, Matthias Leese, Bruno Magalhães, and Sharon Weinblum

This chapter introduces the space of inquiry that opens up at the intersection of security and mobility. It begins with briefly setting the stage of the security/mobility dynamic, after which a conceptual exploration follows. Security is regarded as a discourse revolving around threat. Distinct about security today is it being premised on openness which encourages intervention upon and thus regulation of mobility. Mobility is regarded as socially produced motion and concerns the ways in which the fact of displacement is made possible. Attention is then directed at the productive effects of both concepts and their interaction: they bring about particular relations of power, thereby privileging certain forms of security and mobility. The introductory chapter ends with an overview of the structure of the book and the individual chapters.

in Security/ Mobility
Sharon Weinblum

This chapter engages the Israeli border discourse against the backdrop of arriving asylum seekers from Africa. Focusing on parliamentary debates, the chapter looks at how exclusionary techniques employed to regulate migrations are legitimised through the association of migrants as a problem of national security, as an economic threat, and a threat to national identity. Contrary to the literature which examines borders as dislocated sites of control, the chapter instead directs attention to the regulation of migrations through very classical discursive frameworks: as tools of ordering, controlling and physical enactment of statecraft and sovereignty.

in Security/ Mobility
Data becoming risk information
Nathaniel O’Grady

This chapter analyses the British Fire and Rescue Services, in particular how data travel through their digital infrastructures until it is finally computed into risk assessments that intend to predict future occurrences of fire and thereby serve as a means of government. The chapter points to the contingent nature of data, and how it changes both form and content as it becomes mobilised from one department to another. The emphasis is on the mobile as well as the immobile parts of this journey at the end of which stands a novel technique of intervention into one of the most archaic and yet up-to-date threats, that of fire.

in Security/ Mobility
French denaturalisation law on the brink of World War II
Marie Beauchamps

Adding a historical note to a practice that has recently garnered renewed attention, this chapter looks at the policy of denaturalisation in France at the beginning of World War II. Denaturalisation law as a juridical political discourse centres on the deprivation of citizenship; it draws on security rhetoric in order to rewrite the limits of inclusion and exclusion regarding citizenship and is a means to model the national community. Based on archival material collected at the French National Archives, the chapter argues that denaturalisation law is at the core of the security/mobility dynamic: emphasising a fear of movement on the one hand, and the operationalisation of adaptable juridical practices on the other hand, denaturalisation interrupts our capacity of dissent while fixing the means to govern beyond democratic control. The analysis contributes to a better understanding of the politics of nationality where notions of selfhood and otherness are being shaped, mobilised and transformed.

in Security/ Mobility
Ontological coordination and the assessment of consistency in asylum requests
Bruno Magalhães

This chapter examines the practices of judging the credibility of asylum requests in Brazil. Through ethnographic research with various Brazilian agencies involved in the asylum procedure, the chapter is concerned with how asylum cases come to be regarded as consistent or not; consistency being a requirement for granting asylum. The chapter draws on Annemarie Mol’s work on ontological coordination in order to understand how different enactments of an asylum case are arranged. As such, the chapter is critical of procedures based on checklists since these overviews encourage a singular view of an asylum case in which there is little room for unexpected and genuine new information which might challenge the established view of the case.

in Security/ Mobility