A new paper I wrote with Ben Anderson has just been published in Security Dialogue, titled Anticipated Emergencies, where we try to grapple with the matter and life of a security apparatus. The abstract is below, but the issue also features interesting sounding papers from Nik Hynek, Kevin Grove, Stephanie Simon and Maja Zehfuss.
“In this article, we examine contemporary ‘resilience’ through UK preparedness – an apparatus of security enacted under the legal and organizational principles of UK Civil Contingencies and civil protection legislation and practices. By examining the design, practices and technologies that constitute the exercises performed within Civil Contingencies, the article first suggests that the manner in which exercises have been mobilized as examples of preparedness and apocalyptical imaginations of the ‘unthinkable’ should be understood within the highly specific societal and political contexts that shape them. More substantially, the article then provides a nuanced understanding of the life of the security assemblage through an in-depth analysis of the exercise and its design, materials, play and contingent relations. Seeking to deepen and widen concerns for what matters in security studies, animated by concern for objects, bodily affects, contingencies and excess, the article contends for a more serious concern with how security and its practices can surprise, shock, enthral and disrupt in a manner that need not only be associated with failure.”