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.
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.