Category: Author’s Blog

Who are the Civilians in South Sudan?

Why are local communities so often targeted in South Sudan’s civil wars? How do their attackers justify violence against people defined as civilians in international law? In our article in the current issue of Security Dialogue, we answer these questions by placing recent brutalities within a longer history of conflict logics and practices in South… Read more »

Charting the impact of ‘gender-sensitive’ DDR and SSR programs in post-conflict reconstruction

Over the past twenty years feminist activists, civil society groups, and international organisations have argued that there is a need to actively consider gender in all aspects of security policy. Demanding shifts in the way that Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and Security Sector Reform (SSR) programmes are delivered has been one of the most… Read more »

Droneland: Towards a Domestic Drone Theory

  In December 2018, a civilian drone operator allegedly disrupted hundreds of flights at Gatwick Airport in the UK by flying an industrial class drone across the flight path of aircrafts, causing a major political and security incident. To be sure, the Gatwick drone was neither the first nor the last such incident – similar… Read more »

Dressing for a machine-readable world: An interview with Adam Harvey

‘Think Privacy’ Public Service Announcements by the Privacy Gift Shop ©Adam Harvey 2016 Adam Harvey is an award-winning artist and researcher based in Berlin. His work has been widely covered in such publications as the New York Times, CNN and the Huffington Post, and has also been cited by critical theorists such as Grégoire Chamayou and… Read more »

Securitizing the Muslim Brotherhood, legitimizing state violence and renewing authoritarianism in post-Arab Spring Egypt

On 14 August 2013, we watched televised news in horror as Egyptian security forces brutally attacked largely peaceful sit-ins of Muslim Brotherhood supporters protesting against the removal of Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi. In just 12 hours, the state’s use of live ammunition, snipers, armoured vehicles and bulldozers led to the deaths of… Read more »

Stepping into the haunted house? Two challenges when slowing down critique

A world without the need for critique is unthinkable. And yet, Critical Security Studies (CSS) have learned that critique is a difficult and far from self-evident exercise. The Security Dialogue 50th anniversary issue builds on this legacy and addresses, once again, the specter of critique. It is an attempt to give words to the messy… Read more »

Speed, Event Suppression and the Chronopolitics of Resilience

Terrorist attacks, infectious diseases, financial crises, and floods—what makes contemporary dangers so threatening is their tendency to suddenly materialize, rapidly escalate and quickly spread. So how might we respond to such threats? ”What makes contemporary dangers so threatening is their tendency to suddenly materialize, rapidly escalate and quickly spread.” In my recent article in Security… Read more »

Dangerous feelings: Checkpoints and the Perception of Hostile Intent

Checkpoints were a surprisingly deadly place for civilians in both Afghanistan and Iraq. While our attention was often drawn to the more spectacular or scandalous acts of violence, the steady accumulation of dead and injured bodies at coalition checkpoints passed by largely unnoticed. At one point, the situation in Iraq was so bad that an… Read more »

Rethinking security through sound

Security has become an increasingly prominent part of everyday life, impacting us as we travel, interact in community spaces, or consider options for communication.  While physical barriers, passports, and technologies such as X-ray machines and metal detectors are commonly accepted as integral parts of the evolving security sector, ambient sound is rarely imagined as salient… Read more »