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(In)Security - What's the State Got to Do with it? [ASN] 
Alexandra Schwell (University of Klagenfurt)
Ana Ivasiuc
Monika Weissensteiner
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6 College Park (6CP), 01/037
Wednesday 27 July, -
Time zone: Europe/London

Short Abstract:

The state is both actor and addressee of (in)security. Yet, its security promise is challenged by non-state actors such as vigilante groups seeking to position themselves as alternative beacons of hope. The panel invites papers that address the role of the state for the production of (in)security.

Long Abstract:

In a globalized world under conditions of postindustrial transformations and increasing complexity, the state is only one among many actors that shape the lives and life chances of people and populations. Nevertheless, the national security community and its sovereignty play a crucial affective role beyond their actual meaning in international relations. At least in theory, the state holds a security promise for its members. At the same time, non-state actors such as vigilante or neighbourhood watch groups thwart the state's production of security in complex and often contradictory ways, seeking to position themselves as alternative beacons of hope and forcing the state to adapt its (in)security narrative. The state is both an actor and addressee of (in)security; it produces both security and insecurity policies, narratives, and imaginaries; it is the recipient and legitimizer of security demands and concerns.

The panel invites ethnographically informed papers that address the relation between the state and (in)security and ask:

- Beyond securitization theory, what becomes a state security issue and how? Which strategies are used to implement and legitimize security policies?

- What is the role of trust in security agencies and forces?

- How can we conceptualize reconfigurations of state sovereignty in the field of (transnational) security practices?

- How is the state's relation to vigilante groups who seek to challenge, substitute, or counteract the state?

- How does the state actively create and perpetuate politics of (in)security and emergency narratives? How does it act as a broker and moderator of (in)security feelings?

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -