Technologies of violence: A conversation with Keith Krause (new book chapter)

What are technologies of violence, and how did they evolve? How do technologies relate to power relations in the field, and how do they instruct empirical and analytical work in the International Relations discipline? This conversation with Keith Krause, Professor at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (IHEID) in Geneva and Director the Centre on Conflict, Development and Peacebuilding (CCDP) there, explores how technologies of violence evolved over time, and with what effects on security practice and analysis.

Keith Krause

Keith Krause.jpg

Dunn Cavelty, Myriam; Hagmann, Jonas (2018). Technologies of violence: A conversation with Keith Krause. In Kaltofen, Carolin; Carr, Madeline; Acuto, Michele (eds.). Technologies of International Relations: Continuity and Change, pp97-106. London/New York: Palgrave MacMillan. PDF

SPSR article on the programmatic and institutional reconfiguration of Swiss national security (out now)

SPSRIt is widely known that national security fields changed considerably in the last decades. Different from the late Cold War years, when they focused on military threats, were closely orchestrated by Defence Ministries and contained few international contacts, national security ‘systems’ today handle wide sets of dangers, draw on complex casts of actors across levels of government, and often maintain working relations with multiple foreign partners. This comprehensive reconfiguration of national security fields is a central theme to security scholars and policymakers alike – but also difficult to pin down for methodological reasons. Written documentation on security agencies does not give precise indication of actual everyday inter-agency work practices, and assessments of nationwide security work across functions and levels of government are challenging by sheer questions of size. Adopting a practice-oriented approach to security research, this article draws on an unparalleled nationwide data collection effort to differentiate and map-out the Swiss security field’s programmatic and institutional evolution.

Figure 1: Ministerial threat management practice Ministerialthreatmanagement

Figure 11: Transnational inter-agency cooperation in Swiss national security Interagencytransnational


Hagmann, Jonas; Davidshofer, Stephan; Tawfik, Amal; Wenger, Andreas; Wildi, Lisa (2018). The programmatic and institutional (re-)configuration of the Swiss national security field. Swiss Political Science Review 24(3): 215-245. PDF / Score tables / OpenAccess URL

ETH Zürich social media news stream on our Winter School “Governing and living with urban (in-)security in Cape Town townships”

ETH Zürich covers our ongoing Winter School on urban (in-)security in the Cape Town township of Khayelitsha in a social media news stream. Visit the ISTP homepage, facebook or twitter account for updates, reports and audio-visual material.

Khayelitsha – Harare and Monwabisi Park



Program visits – Ikhayalami/EmpowerShack and Social Justice Coalition

African Centre for Cities – 10th Anniversary Conference


ETHZ Spin Street Lectures 


Winter School program 


IPS article on the politics and practices of securing urban spaces

There is much agreement that urban security dispositives acquired new qualities in recent years. But do the dominant diagnoses hold up to detailed empirical verification? This forthcoming piece in International Political Sociology re-engages the pertinent security studies literature. In the age of globalisation and urbanisation, technological innovation and liberal policy ideals, how are urban security apparatuses reorganised, and in what relations do they stand to local societal and political orders? Describing the evolving security handling of three urban spaces – a site of mobility (HB Zürich), a public square (Bundesplatz Bern) and a place of mass commerce (St. Jakob Park Basel) –, the article makes the case for more nuanced engagements with urban security ensembles, their technological evolution, relations with democratic ideals, globalisation and de-territorialisation both in and beyond Western polities.

Securing public space in Switzerland – Bundesplatz Bern     Bundesplatz.jpg

Hagmann, Jonas (forthcoming). Security in the society of control: The politics and practices of securing urban spaces. International Political Sociology. PDF

Le Temps: Ce que signifie concrètement la politique de sécurité Suisse 

La politique Suisse de sécurité ne se résume pas à ceux qui en écrivent ses rapports. Une analyse du travail au quotidien de ses acteurs, au contact avec les défis sécuritaires de notre temps, permet de brosser le tableau d’un univers de plus en plus interconnecté et en pleine expansion. Un projet de recherche financé par le Fonds national pour la recherche scientifique (FNS) montre qu’en effet, les questions migratoires et de terrorisme constituent aujourd’hui le centre de gravité de la sécurité Suisse, et que ceci fait basculer le champ professionnel et institutionnel vers la gestion de menaces transnationales.

Davidshofer, Stephan; Tawfik, Amal; Wenger, Andreas; Hagmann, Jonas; Wildi, Lisa (2016). Ce que signifie concrètement la politique de sécurité Suisse. Le Temps, 20 December: 10. PDF

NZZ Artikel über die Bedrohungsarbeit, nationale und internationale Vernetzung der Sicherheitsbehörden

Ein Forschungsprojekt liefert erstmals umfassende Einblicke in die Schweizer Sicherheitspolitik, wie sie tagtäglich von Praktikern umgesetzt wird. Wer arbeitet heute mit wem wie intensiv zusammen – und zu welchen Gefahren? Die empirische Momentaufnahme zeigt auf, wie sich das sicherheitspolitische Gesamtsystem vom klassischen Fall der militärischen Landesverteidigung entfernte und heute stark auf Gefahren der globalen Mobilität – Migration und Terrorismus insbesondere – fokussiert. Diese Neuausrichtung wird von neuen landesweiten und grenzübergreifenden Kooperationspraktiken begleitet. Dabei zeigt sich im Bereich der inneren Sicherheit eine besonders ausgeprägte Internationalisierung der Sicherheitsarbeit sowohl von Bund als auch Kantonen. Gleichzeitig wandeln sich die Berufsprofile und Karrierewege der im Politikfeld tätigen Praktiker. Internationale Erfahrungen, akademische Ausbildung, militärische Grade und weitere Kompetenzen werden von verschiedenen Teilbereichen des Arbeitsbereichs neu bewertet.

Hagmann, Jonas; Wenger, Andreas; Wildi, Lisa; Davidshofer, Stephan; Tawfik, Amal (2016). Sicherheit als Verbundaufgabe: Veränderte Bedrohungsszenarien stellen den Bund und die Kantone vor grosse Herausforderungen. Neue Zürcher Zeitung 248, 24 October: 12. PDF

C&C piece on the measurement of national security fields (out now)

The emergence of a transnational field of security in Europe constitutes a stimulating new observation to security studies research. However, the operationalization of such research is challenging. Notably, time-consuming data collection and data analysis is required to fully comprehend the complex characteristics and resources of a security field’s manifold actors. Drawing on a research project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF), this article offers a substantive analysis of the contemporary dynamics of the Swiss national security field, and it presents some practical ‘tools’ for researchers interested in producing empirical studies of transnational fields of security in Europe. To do so, the article mobilises multiple correspondence analysis, principal component analysis, network analysis and other statistical or statistics-based methods to assess the europeanisation of the Swiss security field.


Davidshofer, Stephan; Tawfik, Amal; Hagmann, Jonas (2016). Analyse du champ de la sécurité en Suisse : vers une hypertrophie de la sécurité intérieure et autres réflexions méthodologiques. Cultures & Conflits 102 (2016/2): 59-93. PDF