Category: Author’s Blog

Military drones beyond targeted killing: The case of Israel

The emergence of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or “drones” as they are more popularly known, is one of the most widely discussed developments in contemporary security and military affairs. So far, the academic literature on drones has been heavily focused on what is usually known as “targeted killings” in the context of the US-led war on… Read more »

Negotiating Detention

In mid-October 2020, hundreds of Houthi rebels and pro-government fighters were freed in Yemen in a prisoner swap agreed at UN-supervised talks. In September, Afghanistan resumed freeing Taliban militants whose release was a key part of the peace deal between the US and the Taliban in February. These recent events underscore how conflict-related imprisonment, far from being a peripheral… Read more »

Governing Border Security Infrastructures: Maintaining Large-Scale Information Systems

Europe is an interconnected space, built upon different kinds of infrastructures that organise the circulation of people and “stuff” – capital, commodities, energy, data, etc. Among these infrastructures are large-scale IT systems that allow state authorities to share biographical information (e.g. names, passport numbers) and biometric data on people crossing borders. For example, French border… Read more »

Conflating societal and national security – Resilience and civil preparedness in Sweden

In May 2018, the Swedish government distributed a pamphlet entitled “If the Crisis or the War Comes” to 4.8 million households in Sweden. Both the pamphlet (pictured above) [1] and its distribution may be are unprecedented in the current era. The stated purpose of the pamphlet from the government’s perspective was “to help increase people’s… Read more »

Conflicting visibilities of migrant-squatters on the northern border of Chile

The inhabitants of the squatter settlements in the border city of Arica, mostly indigenous migrants from the Peruvian-Bolivian highlands, feel the effects of the racialized geography of northern Chile through social discrimination, economic exploitation, and deprivation of their political rights. In these settlements, migrant residents make palpable the pervasive tension between a mode of visibility… Read more »

Navigating vulnerabilities and masculinities – how gendered contexts shape the agency of male sexual violence survivors

A persistent cliché about survivors of wartime sexual violence is that they are helpless and ever-vulnerable victims in need of white and patriarchal protection. This stereotypical view is particularly visible for male victims of conflict-related sexual violence, who are typically thought to be indefinitely stripped of their manhood and, as a result, to have lost all agency… Read more »

Food as a weapon? The geopolitics of food and the Qatar-Gulf rift

On 4 June 2017, residents of Qatar rushed the country’s grocery aisles, stocking up on as much food as they could fit into their carts or their budget. Qatar had just become the subject of a far-reaching embargo by its regional Gulf neighbors, spearheaded by Saudi Arabia and the UAE. In addition to cutting all… Read more »

Rashomon in the Sahel: Conflict Dynamics of Security Regionalism

Between 2013 and 2017, as a Ph.D. student I devoted my efforts to the attempt of analyzing in a comparative way the American, the French, and the European security initiatives towards one of the most unstable and conflict-prone regions in Africa, namely the Sahel. Since the beginnings of the Malian crisis in 2012, the Sahel… Read more »

The War Against Vague Threats: The Redefinitions of Imminent Threat and their Impact on Anticipatory Use of Force in the “War on Terror”

In this research project, I explored how the United States (U.S.) has redefined the concept of ‘imminent threat’ to relax the rules for anticipatory use of armed force against insurgent groups. In particular, two new definitions of imminent threat have changed the conduct of specific combat activities: drone strikes and ground combat operations. In the first part of the… Read more »