socialconstruction of labour markets, while giving greater emphasis to the
ways that, within ‘variegated’ neoliberal capitalism (Peck and Theodore, 2007),
the dynamics of competitiveness both depend on, but also challenge, relatively
coherent ‘societal’ fixes as to the nature of socio-productive systems.
International competition and societal effects
At one level, specific factors causing increased international competition for
production can readily be identified: the more systematic incorporation of large
parts of the Global South into global circuits of capital
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.
relations. Devising useful political strategies therefore requires
breaking with classical dualistic categories that posed revolutionary actions
against reformist ones, a model of a political world long departed.
The result is not as clear-cut as one would always want it to be, theoretically,
strategically or ethically. For example, despite a challenging look at the socialconstruction of addiction, Colin Craig’s chapter (chapter 7) still appears to be
supporting ‘liberal’ local courses of action such as harm reduction through
needle exchange schemes. He also suggests
Farmborough, Nurse at the
Russian Front: A Diary 1914–18 (London: Book Club Associates, 1974). On
the ‘romance pattern’, see: Paul Fussell, The Great War and Modern Memory
(Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000 ): 130–1.
6 Janet S. K. Watson, ‘Wars in the Wards: The SocialConstruction of Medical
Work in First World War Britain’, Journal of British Studies, 41(2002): 484–510.
See also: Janet S. K. Watson, Fighting Different Wars: Experience, Memory and
the First World War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004): passim.
actors, akin to billiard
balls 9 whose outer shells
(diplomats, foreign ministers, prime ministers and heads of state) are
in contact. Further, a clear distinction is made between domestic politics and
international politics, with the former being seen as having little impact on the
latter save as regards aspects of power (power inputs). 10
Such views may seem today passé and socialconstructions
by recalcitrant realist scholars, but they are a fairly accurate
: Beyond Parochialism in International Relations History’, in Yosef
Lapid and Friedrich Kratochwil (eds), The Return of Culture and Identity in IR
Theory (Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner, 1996), pp. 65–84; also Ted Hopf, SocialConstruction of International Politics: Identities and Foreign Policies, Moscow, 1955
and 1999 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2002 ).
8 As David Campbell observes, ‘the state more often than not precedes the nation:
. . . nationalism is a construct of the state in pursuit of its legitimacy’. David
Campbell, Writing Security: United States
common issue, interest or
concern, and articulating their common concerns and priorities in meetings
to influence district level planning and implementation;
• to demystify the socialconstruction of gender to initiate the processes of
change by enabling women leaders to make informed choices and exercise
• to build agency of women leaders.
• Perspective building on governance, gender and leadership and their interrelationships, gender, gender discrimination, sexual harassment; violence
against women, sanitation.
their opposition to
methodological individualism, I find it equally important that many socialconstructions actually are characterised by stability and therefore are
relatively enduring or static. In principle that could be a second reason
for constructivists to favour elements of structure in their studies.
Furthermore, why should we explain why and how constructions vary across
countries? It puzzles me that social
Maps as objects 225
From critical to object-oriented cartography
The critical cartography which arose in the 1990s (Crampton and Krygier,
2006) approach maps as texts (Harley, 1989), sign systems (Wood, 1993) and
socialconstructions (Crampton, 2001). In response to the dominance of the
communication model, which thought of maps purely as neutral tools to convey
geographical information, critical cartography sought to demonstrate how these
representations were in fact bound up with politics of power and knowledge.
Thus, building on Foucault and Derrida (Harley, 1989
’ or representations of the Arctic as a
political space set the parameters for possible political action. A robust
representation of any policy object most often delimits the kinds of
The power politics of representation 39
actors, rhetoric and practices that are recognised as ‘relevant’, ‘practical’
Analytical attention to framing is a feature of the broader literature
on the socialconstruction of space. This literature resulted from a sense
for the shortcomings of purely temporal explanations in accounting for
how the fabric of everyday life