Professor Louise Amoore, BA (Hons), MA, PhD
Louise Amoore researches and teaches in the areas of global geopolitics and security. She has particular interests in how contemporary forms of data, analytics and risk management are changing the techniques of border control and security. Louise has been awarded a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship (2016-18) for work on the Ethics of Algorithm.
Ethics of Algorithm
Living in a world that is increasingly saturated with algorithmic processes has profound implications for ethics. The scholarly and public accounts of the ethical dimensions of algorithm have overwhelmingly placed the human being as the locus of ethical deliberation. Thus, philosophers and scientists search for ethical frameworks or guidelines for the human designers of software; legal scholars remind us that the protection of humans from “automated decisions made about them” by algorithms is enshrined in data protection law; and social scientists urge that the “black box” of algorithmic decisions be opened to critical scrutiny. Yet, the idea of an ethics that opens the algorithm to human scrutiny has important limits, not only because many algorithms are proprietary and secret, but more significantly because they can operate at a speeds and scales beyond the threshold of human perceptibility.
Louise’s Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship provides an account of the potential for an ethics of algorithm. In a tradition of ethics as the situated giving of an account of one’s actions at the limits of intelligibility – “I cannot give an account of myself without accounting for the conditions under which I emerge” (Judith Butler 2005) – the research excavates how the algorithm might give an account of itself and its emergence. The research develops six conceptual themes – to form the chapters of a book – opening up dimensions of the relation of algorithm to ethics: undecidability; doubt; cognition; perception; association; automation.
Louise's most recent book, The Politics of Possibility: Risk and Security Beyond Probability (2013) is published with Duke University Press. The book maps out the politics of possibility that has come to characterize contemporary life, tracing its genesis into the diverse worlds of risk consulting, computer science, commercial logistics, and data mining and visualization. The book depicts the coalescence of two distinctive orientations to the uncertain future: one, derived from the worlds of economy and commerce, that conceives of harnessing the economic possibilities and opportunities of risk; and the other, characteristic of sovereign security, that seeks to act upon low probability high impacty events via the arraying of multiple paths of possibility. In the coming together of these worlds, decisions are made on the basis of possible associations between people, objects, places and events.
Louise's previous projects include her RCUK Global Uncertainties leadership fellowship (2012-2015). Her project 'Securing Against Future Events' (SaFE): Preemption, Protocols and Publics' examines how inferred futures become the basis for new forms of security risk calculus.
She has also conducted ESRC projects on the techniques and technologies of biometric and data-driven borders: 'Contested Borders' (2007-2009), a project within the ESRC's non-governmental public action programme. The work has produced new insights into how contemporary security practices enter and reconfigure public space.
'Data Wars: New Spaces of Governing in the European War on Terror' (2008-12) was a three year ESRC bilateral project in collaboration with Marieke de Goede at the University of Amsterdam. Researchers at Durham and Amsterdam investigated how data elements from the mobilities of people and money become redeployed for preemptive security.
- Contested Borders: Non governmental public action and the technologies of the war on terror
- Data Wars: New Spaces of Governing in the European War on Terror
- Amoore, Louise Introduction: Thinking with Algorithms: Cognition and Computation in the Work of N. Katherine Hayles. Theory, Culture & Society. 2019;36:3-16.
- Amoore, L. Cloud Geographies: Computing, Data, Sovereignty. Progress in Human Geography. 2018;42:4-24.
- Amoore, L. Doubtful Algorithms: Of Machine Learning Truths and Partial Accounts. Theory, Culture & Society. 2018.
- Amoore, Louise & Raley, Rita Securing with Algorithms: Knowledge, Decision, Sovereignty. Security Dialogue. 2017;48:3-10.
- Amoore, L. & Piotukh, V. Life beyond big data governing with little analytics. Economy and Society. 2015;44:341-366.
- Amoore, L. Security and the claim to privacy. International Political Sociology. 2014;8:108-112.
- Amoore, L. Security and the Incalculable. Security Dialogue. 2014;45:423-439.
- Amoore, L. & Hall. A. The clown at the gates of the camp: Sovereignty, resistance and the figure of the fool. Security Dialogue. 2013;44:93-110.
- Amoore, L. The Line of Beauty: security’s objects and the form of data. Theory, Culture and Society. 2013.
- Amoore, L.A. Data Derivatives: On the Emergence of a Security Risk Calculus for our Times. Theory, Culture & Society. 2011;28:24-43.
- Amoore, L. & Hall, A. Border Theatre: On the arts of security and resistance. Cultural Geographies. 2010;17:299-319.
- Amoore, L. Algorithmic war: everyday geographies of the war on terror. Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography. 2009;41:49-69.
- Amoore, L. Lines of sight: on the visualization of unknown futures. Citizenship Studies. 2009;13:17-30.
- Amoore, L. & Hall, A. Taking people apart: digitised dissection and the body at the border. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space. 2009;27:444-464.
- Amoore, L. Foucault against the grain. International Political Sociology. 2008;2:274-276.
- Amoore, L. Risk before justice: when the law contests its own suspension. Leiden Journal of International Law. 2008;21:847-861.
- Amoore, L. & de Goede, M. Transactions after 9/11: the banale face of the preemptive strike. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 2008;33:173-185.
- Amoore, L. Vigilant Visualities: The Watchful Politics of the War on Terror. Security Dialogue. 2007;38:215-232.
- Amoore, L. Biometric borders: Governing mobilities in the war on terror. Political Geography. 2006;25:336-351.
- Amoore, L. & De Goede, M. Governance, risk and dataveillance in the war on terror. Crime, Law and Social Change. 2005;43:149-173.
- Amoore, L. & Langley, P. Ambiguities of Global Civil Society. Review of International Studies. 2004;30:89-110.
- Amoore, L. Risk, reward and discipline at work. Economy and Society. 2004;33:174-196.
- Amoore, L. Beyond the Trade-off: Ambiguous (Un)employment and the Discourse of Flexibility. Global Society. 2003;17:81-87.
- Amoore, L. & Langley, P. Experiencing Globalization: Active Teaching and Learning and Teaching in International Political Economy. International Studies Perspectives. 2001;2:15-32.
- Amoore, L. International Political Economy and the 'Contested Firm'. New Political Economy. 2000;5:183-204.
- Amoore, L., Dodgson, R., Germain, R.D., Gills, B.K., Langley, P. & Watson, I. Paths to a historicized international political economy. Review of International Political Economy. 2000;7:53-71.
- Amoore, L. The Politics of Possibility: Risk and Security Beyond Probability. Durham: Duke University Press; 2013.
- Amoore, L. Globalisation contested: An international political economy of work. Manchester.: Manchester University Press; 2002.
- Amoore, Louise & Piotukh, Volha Algorithmic Life: Calculative Devices in the Age of Big Data. Routledge; 2015.
- Amoore, L. & de Goede, M. Risk and the War on Terror. London: Routledge; 2008.
- Amoore, L. The Global Resistance Reader. London.: Routledge; 2005.
Chapter in book
- Amoore, L. Governing By Identity. In: Lyon, D. & Bennett, C. Playing the identity card: surveillance, security and ifentifcation in global perspective. New York.: Routledge; Published:42-56.
- Amoore, L. Vigilant Visualities. In: MacDonald, F., Hughes, R. & Dodds, K. Observant States: Geopolitics and Visual Culture. London.: IB Taurus; Published:247-266.
- Amoore, L. There is no Great Refusal: the ambivalent politics of dissent. In: De Goede, M. International Political Economy and Poststructural Politics. Basingstoke.: Macmillan; 2007.
- Amoore, L. Making the Modern Multinational. In: May, C. Global Corporate Power. Boulder, Colorado.: Lynne Rienner; 2006:32-54.
- Amoore, L. There is no great refusal: the ambivalent politics of resistance. In: DeGoede, M. International Policial Economy and Poststructural Politics. Basingstoke.: Palgrave; 2006.
- Amoore, L. & Langley, P. Global civil society and global governmentality. In: Germain, R. & Kerry, M. The Idea of Global Civil Society. Routledge; 2005:137-155.
- Amoore, L. Invisible Subjects: Work and Workers in the Global Political Economy. In: Davies, M. & Ryner, M. The Political Economy of Unprotected Work. Basingstoke: Palgrave; 2005.
- Amoore, L. Making the Modern Multinational. In: May, C. Global Corporate Power. Boulder: Lynne Rienner; 2005.
- Amoore, L. & Langley, P. Process, Project and Practice: The Politics of Globalization. In: Abbott, J. & Worth, O. Critical Perspectives on International Political Economy. Basingstoke: Palgrave; 2002.
- Amoore, L. Work Production and Social Relations: Repositioning the firm in the international political economy. In: Harrod, J. & O'Brien, R. Global Unions? Theory and Strategies of Organized Labour in the Global Political Economy. London.: Routledge; 2002:29-48.