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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
Analysing the example of data territorialisation
Andreas Baur-Ahrens

This chapter engages the (re)organisation of cyberspace by examining the ongoing debates on data territorialisation. Building on cybersecurity discourses after the Snowden revelations, the chapter analyses how the movement of data is supposed to be constrained such that it literally would not leave the territory of a nation state on its way from sender to receiver. The chapter thereby highlights – against the placeless notion of cyberspace – the importance of the physical infrastructure of servers and data exchange points that exist in concrete buildings on national territories. The argument behind the rerouting initiatives is that data, once it would not physically leave the country on its travels, would be easier to protect. However, as the chapter argues, such a political intervention into the open architecture of the Internet entails deep-seated transformations of power in cyberspace.

in Security/ Mobility
A discourse view on the European Community and the abolition of border controls in the second half of the 1980s
Stef Wittendorp

This chapter examines from a discourse perspective the debate on the abolition of border controls in the European Community (EC) in the second half of the 1980s. It analyses how the shifting constellation between the border as security device and as economic enabler made possible the removal of border controls as well as to conceive of new forms of regulating security and mobility. In a broader context, the chapter is critical of the view of the EC and now European Union as a post-national entity that has successfully moved beyond a divisionary and exclusive nationally-oriented politics. Instead, the regulation of mobility and thus the politics of inclusion and exclusion continues apace although perhaps in less visible and more unexpected places.

in Security/ Mobility
Open Access (free)
Politics of movement

This book brings together a number of contributions that look into the political regulation of movement and analyses that engage the material enablers of and constraints on such movement. It attempts to bridge theoretical perspectives from critical security studies and political geography in order to provide a more comprehensive perspective on security and mobility. In this vein, the book brings together approaches to mobility that take into account both techniques and practices of regulating movement, as well as their underlying infrastructures. Together the contributions inquire into a politics of movement that lies at the core of the production of security. Drawing on the insight that security is a contingent concept that hinges on the social construction of threat – which in turn must be understood through its political, social, economic, and cultural dimensions – the contributors offer fine-grained perspectives on a presumably mobile and insecure world. The title of the book, Security/Mobility, is a direct reference to this world that at times appears dominated by these two paradigms. As is shown throughout the book, rather than being opposed to each other, a great deal of political effort is undertaken in order to reconcile the need for security and the necessity of mobility. Running through the book is the view that security and mobility are entangled in a constant dynamic – a dynamic that converges in what is conceptualised here as a politics of movement.

Lessons for critical security studies?
Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet

The epilogue makes an effort to close the bracket that this introduction has opened. Arguing from the disciplinary perspective of critical security studies, it takes a step back and evaluates which lessons can be learned from an agenda of security/mobility. The epilogue underlines the need for critical security studies to incorporate the notion of mobility more strongly, particularly with regard to its theoretical underpinnings and empirical and material manifestations. Moreover, it calls to take into account the multiplicity of actors that shape and influence any politics of movement, and to pay attention to (globalised) narratives of mobility and risk.

in Security/ Mobility
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Overview of conflict and assistance from 2001 to 2014
Eric James and Tim Jacoby

The purpose of this chapter is to describe the recent situation in Afghanistan with a focus on international actors. It will be shown that apart from the humanitarian-military relationship, close and overlapping interests continue with the linkage between security and development, policy coherence and a belligerence that does not recognize the separation between humanitarian and military spheres. These interlinked issues contributed to the humanitarian-military relationship to be a highly contentious issue in Afghanistan. This chapter discusses the recent context from late 2001 to the end of 2014 by focusing on the proximal causes and manifestations of tension within the humanitarian-military relationship.

in The military-humanitarian complex in Afghanistan
Eric James and Tim Jacoby

This chapter builds on the structure first presented in Chapter 3 where the findings are presented relating to the basic and underlying causes of tension within the humanitarian-military relationship and the underlying policy issue (whether humanitarians should have an integrated or segregated policy toward the military). These are decision-making and external relationships related to structure and agency, co-option and politicization of aid groups as an extension of ethical norms and the link between security and development. Five particular aspects stand out here. First, the inter-organizational friction present in relations between humanitarians and the military does not necessarily contribute to negative relations. Second, official policies of aid groups rarely determine the path of humanitarian-military relationships; instead, they are dependent on the agency of specific individuals. Third, the relationship humanitarians have with the military has less of an impact on humanitarian security than is commonly held. Fourth, humanitarian principles were important to most organizations working in Afghanistan but they were heavily influenced by the politically charged environment. Finally, humanitarians understood that they are part of the stability and state-building process in Afghanistan and, for that reason, those issues relating to co-option and politicization are less significant than is commonly assumed.

in The military-humanitarian complex in Afghanistan
Abstract only
Eric James and Tim Jacoby

In this final chapter, the relevant findings of the research are reviewed and applied to a broader context of humanitarianism worldwide. An analysis of research questions will be undertaken based on the assumptions first presented in Chapter 1. Within each area, the research findings will be placed in a wider context and their implications will be discussed. By unpacking these, the underlying policy issue will be addressed and discussed further with application to wider cases. The aim here is to get past simplistic analysis and explanations such as the idea that aid organizations and the military have intrinsically incompatible goals and organizational cultures. Instead a more nuanced and well-informed understanding of the implications is provided. In the process, a framework for understanding the contexts within which humanitarian-military relations occur is presented.

in The military-humanitarian complex in Afghanistan