Symposium on Risk and Security
The Risk and Security Programme of Work in the Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience (IHRR), Durham University, will host a half day symposium on Risk and Security.
All welcome. A buffet lunch will be provided.
The objective of the event is to generate interdisciplinary dialogue and debate between Sociology, IHRR/Geography and Law on questions surrounding the contemporary politics of risk and security.
Speakers will address the following three key questions:
- What are the main research problems/issues to address with respect to the contemporary politics of risk and security?
- What theoretical and conceptual approaches do we have/should we have to address these issues?
- What role can/should academic research play in the current politics of risk and security?
With these questions, we hope to generate a discussion about the resonances, overlaps and tensions between different disciplinary and personal approaches to and programme of research in, risk and security.
Speakers, titles, abstracts:
1. Louise Amoore
Reader, Department of Geography, Durham University
TITLE: There are no fences and walls: A risk calculus for our times
ABSTRACT: Following the award of the contract to design the new US embassy in London, architect James Timberlake characterised his design as “open and welcoming, a beacon of democracy”. “There are”, he said “no fences and walls” in the glass cube sited amid sunken ha-has and open areas of circulation. It is precisely the absence of fences and walls on the visible register – the eschewal of disciplinary techniques of enclosure, prohibition and containment – that characterises the specific orientation to risk in contemporary security practice. As the risk calculus oscillates through software code, algorithm, building, credit card, hand-held device, moving body, resonating in the landscapes of unimpeded sight, it does, as Foucault’s security apparatus suggested, “open up to let things happen”. Bringing security and mobility into novel forms of reconciliation, the risk calculus for our times is oriented to the arraying of alternative futures such that they can be acted upon in the present.
2. Frank Furedi
Professor, School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, Kent University
TITLE: Reflections on the problem of uncertainty - present and past
ABSTRACT: Ideas about uncertainty and security have an important historical and cultural dimension. In the contemporary imagination the destructive dimension of uncertainty is emphasised and amplified through dramatising the threats. Consequently, uncertainty is represented through an alarmist language of a health warning. The cultural influence of contemporary ideas about uncertainty on the meaning of security is explored in this introduction.
3. Valsamis Mitsilegas
Professor of European Criminal Law, School of Law, Queen Mary, University of London
TITLE: The individual in the current politics of security and risk: A legal perspective
ABSTRACT: My presentation will examine the transformation of the relationship between the individual and the state brought about by the contemporary politics of security and risk. In this context, I will look into how new forms of governance of security and risk (most notably via the proliferation of avenues of gathering, exchange and analysis of every day and sensitive personal data) and the related emphasis on prevention, have blurred the boundaries between legality and illegality and are gradually transforming all citizens into potential suspects.
At the same time, the continuous collection of fragments of personal information by the private sector and the state and their potential linking over time blurs the boundaries between the public and the private and challenges not only privacy, but also individual identity. I will discuss the extent to which the law can provide answers to these developments and focus in particular on the question of whether current conceptions of law and fundamental rights protection are adequate to address this rapid transformation.
Contact email@example.com for more information about this event.