Death is simultaneously silent, and very loud, in political life. Politicians and media scream about potential threats lurking behind every corner, but academic discourse often neglects mortality. Life is everywhere in theorisation of security, but death is nowhere. Making a bold intervention into the Critical Security Studies literature, this book explores the ontological relationship between mortality and security after the Death of God – arguing that security emerged in response to the removal of promises to immortal salvation. Combining the mortality theories of Heidegger and Bauman with literature from the sociology of death, Heath-Kelly shows how security is a response to the death anxiety implicit within the human condition. The book explores the theoretical literature on mortality before undertaking a comparative exploration of the memorialisation of four prominent post-terrorist sites: the World Trade Center in New York, the Bali bombsite, the London bombings and the Norwegian sites attacked by Anders Breivik. By interviewing the architects and designers of these reconstruction projects, Heath-Kelly shows that practices of memorialization are a retrospective security endeavour – they conceal and re-narrate the traumatic incursion of death. Disaster recovery is replete with security practices that return mortality to its sublimated position and remove the disruption posed by mortality to political authority. The book will be of significant interest to academics and postgraduates working in the fields of Critical Security Studies, Memory Studies and International Politics.
timelines and bodies, to produce an image of adaptive immortality contra
death. Thus, emergency response performs the receding emergency to
simulate the existence of certainty, cohesion and authority. It defeats
death through in-the-moment performance of the emergency’s end;
emergency management is a security practice that reconstitutes the
authority of the sovereign.
Disasterrecovery, the subject of this
Matthew Hunt, Sharon O’Brien, Patrick Cadwell, and Dónal P. O’Mathúna
Translation , pp.
501 – 11 .
Ong , J. C. ,
Longboan , L.
Cornelio , J.
C. ( 2016 ), ‘ The Appearance of
Accountability: Communication Technologies and Power Asymmetries in
Humanitarian Aid and DisasterRecovery
relationship between security and death.
Chapters 3 to 6 then moved from disaster management (present-tense
security) to explore the variegated practices of disasterrecovery . In these empirical chapters, memorialisation
dynamics performed upon – or near – disaster space were
interrogated for signs of retrospective security practice.
then ‘secures through the failure to
secure’ (Heath-Kelly 2015a ):
re-narrating a horrific event as evidence of resilience and national
endurance. Trauma is folded into architecture to diminish its power
(Lundborg 2012 ). This cynical co-option of
postmodern design themes can be understood as the bolstering of
sovereignty during a period of disasterrecovery. Such memorialisation
disasterrecovery process. It
argues that the London bombings – having left no damage upon the
visible landscape (except the No. 30 bus in Tavistock Square, which was
removed not long after) – have resulted in an ambiguous climate of
haunting and forgetfulness in the capital. There is no spatial context
for the disruption of the symbolic order, given that most of the
destruction occurred underground, yet
‘full’ subjects, in terms of the hierarchy of subjectivity
employed within resilience documentation. They are defined in terms of
what they lack (Bulley 2013 ). These
‘vulnerable’ persons and communities are the subject of
resilient planning for disasterrecovery – not the hazard event;
they must be trained to cope with their precarity and to demonstrate
resilient behaviours. Deploying the ideological
management happens in the present tense. However, despite this
ambiguity, emergency management is embedded within security policies of
In this chapter, emergency management is exposed as a
technique of mortality effacement. To set the scene for this
exploration, it must be made clear that I am not discussing the more
prominent conceptualisation of emergency response as the imagination of
Itinerant death at the Ground Zero Mosque and Bali bombsite
purpose of disasterrecovery operations and was thus
officially incorporated into the ‘sacred’ space associated
with the 9/11 attacks. It became part of Ground Zero though official
designation. Furthermore, beyond official processes, non-state actors
have also applied discourses of sacredness to the landfill that mutate
the original spatial location of Ground Zero. The activism of groups
such as WTC
for disaster prevention and post-disasterrecovery which incorporate
the lessons from disasters as they occur may be sufficient. This chapter
however is grounded on a different set of assumptions, that catastrophes
have become more frequent and more damaging, that the systemic links
between different parts of the global urban economy are more visibly
exposed to risks, that the sheer scale of urbanization changes the calculation of risks and costs, and that the long-term impact of the crisis of
2008 cannot be so casually set to one side when considering the