The course aims to foster the capacity for critical analysis of insecurity, risk, and unease, developing students‟ capacity for independent judgement and communication at a level commensurate with postgraduate study.
The course develops an interdisciplinary approach towards questions of security, war, policing, and risk, adding to the traditional knowledge of International Relations concerning these domains, central highlights coming from political theory, history, cultural anthropology, criminology, political sociology, surveillance studies. This interdisciplinary approach permits a better understanding of contemporary situations and aims to give a more comprehensive framework about the governmentality of unease through policing as a form of preventive strategy. It specifically addresses the relationship between policing (criminal justice, intelligence, and risk assessment) and defence (war making, antiterrorist operations abroad and peace support operation) as a set of entangled practices whose boundaries are shifting with forms of policing abroad and military intelligence surveillance inside. It discusses the boundaries of the networks constituted by different professionals and experts of (in)security at the transnational scale and is based on a deep empirical research concerning the European Union and its transatlantic relations It connects to International Relations theories (mainly anglo-american) a line of thought coming from French and continental theorists and sociologists, often misread as postmodern, like Bruno Latour, Ulrich Beck, Michel Foucault and Pierre Bourdieu, and tries to show how they can be operationalised methodologically for empirical research concerning (in)security It helps students to understand the relationship between agents and institutions relating to (in)security within the European Union and beyond. It addresses especially the impact of these networks of (in)security professionals at the transnational scale on the capacity of the professionals of politics at the national level and within the EU context to govern effectively. It discusses the emergence of transnational professional guilds which destabilises the very notion of national government and national state. It opens towards a discussion about contemporary dynamics of social changes seen often as
globalisation, and to their relations with order, equality and freedom. It enables also students‟ capacity to analyse the dynamics at works concerning (in)security, risk and unease in other different social and professional universes, including beyond coercive agents, the domains of health, environment, banking, through a reconceptualisation of what (in)security practices means and what they do.
Professor Didier Bigo
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