Accepted Paper:

Community: exploring the nexus of space and security beyond territory  
Nadja Maurer (Research Centre for Strategic Police Research (FOSPOL))

Paper short abstract:

Beyond deepened segregation in the course of the Northern Irish peace process, the social space ‚community’ has been re-valorized. Local perspectives on security are governed by converging discourses of ‚peace’ and wider debates in Britain on the role of local ‚leaders’ for the provision of safety.

Paper long abstract:

The paper aims at dismantling the concept of security along two axes to make it useful in analyzing spatial organization: First, security is an ideational concept and it is manifested in concrete social expressions and actual social structures. Second, security is a very general concept which can be pinned down to collectively shared values and acitivities. Whereas spatial organization can be related to activities and world views on the one hand, and to institutions and social groups and networks on the other, it cannot be easily related to security as such. Space (that includes various forms of social ordering) is rather complex. Moreover, space as a constituting dimension of security does not coincide phenomenologically to local issues such as fear of crime, perceptions of threat, sectarianism and others. I aim to scrutinize spatial organization through the lens of security as an ordering schema. Uncoupling implicit notions of territory and security in two marginalized northern Irish communities first, I then focus on the ubiquitous notion of community as a means of the production of un/safe space.

Panel P095
Spaces of security [Anthropology of Security] [PACSA]