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The Future in Security: ethnographies of security at the edge of tomorrow [Anthropology of Security Network, ASN]
Mark Maguire (Maynooth University)
Alexandra Schwell (University of Klagenfurt)
Monika Weissensteiner (University of Kent)
David Westbrook (SUNY Buffalo Law School)
Network affiliated Panels Mixed
Tuesday 21 July, 11:00-12:45, 14:00-15:45

Short abstract:

This Anthropology of Security Network (ASN) panel calls for anthropologists exploring the future in security to propose papers (with one-word titles) that are crafted to explain the term as used in their ethnographic field site.

Long abstract:

Anthropologists, we are told, have long stood with their backs to the future, recording Other times in the ethnographic present. Today, however, the future looms large. For some, dark anthropological concerns fill the horizon. For others, the cold order of probability might yet yield to the emergent politics of possibility. In this sense, the future is not yet written. But as more and more anthropologists turn to the future, there is a growing awareness that it is already inhabited, crowded even, with various future makers and their curious activities: scenario builders, trend watchers, champions of progress and prophets of doom. In all of this, security stands out. Security is about the possible and the permissible; security stands on the edge of tomorrow. The anthropological literature on the future is extending classical work on time and surfacing a variety of concepts, from contemporary notions of "anticipation" to older and more specific socio-technologies like "risk". Indeed, one recent volume proposes a series of Aristotelian keywords. What of the anthropology of security? Much has been written about future-oriented security systems that are risk-based and anticipatory. But these terms are seldom spoken of in the field. What rough terms are found in the wild? This panel calls for papers (with one-word titles) crafted to explain the term as used in their fieldsite, e.g. precaution, prevention, capacity or urgency. Papers will be gathered for a contribution at the intersection of security and future studies.