Category: Author’s Blog

Expecting the exceptional in the everyday: Policing global transportation hubs

Global transportation hubs such as airports and maritime ports have become vital spaces for the international networked economy. Global economic opportunities depend on the effective flow of people and things, and make use of the different infrastructures and modes of the transport system. For instance, around 80 percent of global trade in goods, measured by… Read more »

Rethinking and Revising the Theory of Network-centric Warfare

If we take a step back and cast a reflective eye over the evolutionary trajectory of western military thought, we will find that in around the 1990s—as Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) began to proliferate—discussions regarding the latest Revolution in Military Affairs also started to gather pace. It was in this context that some military… Read more »

Modular Sovereignty and Infrastructural Power: The Elusive Materiality of International Statebuilding

Space and materials matter. But how? My article (Open Access) in Security Dialogue explores what spatial and material arrangements reveal about the way international statebuilding exerts (sovereign) power. Statebuilding interventions support the establishment of sovereign states by taking control of, arranging and ordering spaces. This was immediately apparent when I first entered the Mogadishu International… Read more »

Time will tell – Defining violence in terrorism court cases

Counter-terrorism measures are characterized by pre-emptive logics: suspicious behavior must be detected and captured before it materializes into terrorist attacks. Terrorist networks need to be mapped and surveilled to prevent the moving of funds or weapons. Through increased regulations, these pre-emptive dynamics increasingly find their ways to the domestic judicial systems in Europe. One concrete… Read more »

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 »