Unpacking geopolitics: Urban conflict in Beirut 1975-76 (new book review)

Fregonese War and the cityIn 1975–1976, Lebanon and the city of Beirut were consumed by devastating armed conflict. But whereas this empirical fact is uncontested, its historical causes and political meanings remain controversial. Sara Fregonese’s book War and the Cityfocuses on the rationalisation of the conflict and asks: Do Western descriptions of the war live up to the realities observed in Beirut? War and the City puts the spotlight on important political practices, which are the ways actors co-construct meaning in and through their own urban environments, and how those interpretations may develop differently from far-away truth claims. This said, the book also includes (exceedingly) structuralist narratives, and it raises important questions about whose perspectives (in Beirut) are listened to and heard. Furthermore, its treatments of works from related disciplines – security studies and International Relations especially – is underdeveloped if not outright crude.

Hagmann, Jonas (2022). War and the city: Urban geopolitics in Lebanon (Sara Fregonese), London, Tauris, 2020. Urban Studies, OnlineFirst PDF

Globalizing urban security research through Morocco (new article w/ JoGSS)

JOGSSHow do urban security assemblages evolve? Scholars inspired by Deleuze’s influential Control Thesis see profound shifts in the ways urban security operates. Different to Foucault’s disciplinary logics, they argue, urban security assemblages now rely intimately on expanding casts of policing agents, digital surveillance and statistical knowledge(s). They reach beyond enclosures and national borders, and they challenge democratic politics ever more forcefully. Whether this general trajectory of security management holds true across the global cityscape is yet far from evident. Not only do most studies of contemporary control draw conclusions from European and North American cities exclusively. Many also reproduce and project abroad distinctively Eurocentric assumptions about state-society relations, governance and insecurity. This upcoming new article in Journal of Global Security Studies first foregrounds and problematizes these penchants. It then looks at the Moroccan city of Marrakech to detail how urban security assemblages may evolve in different ways, at other speeds, and following different steering logics than what is generally set out by research on control. The article concludes with a discussion of how insights offered by places such as Marrakech contribute to more robust, analytically refined and globally inclusive research on the contemporary politics of urban security.

Securing Marrakech 

JemaaElFnaaPolice

Ferblantiers

Hagmann, Jonas (2021). Globalizing control research: The politics of urban security in and beyond the Alaouite Kingdom of Morocco. Journal of Global Security Studies. OnlineFirst. URL

Securing the city – Wie funktioniert urbane Sicherheit in anderen Städten?

Urbane Sicherheitsgouvernanz wird stark von lokalen Gegebenheiten gesteuert. Wie demokratisch und rechenschaftspflichtig ist das Politikumfeld? Welche Gefährdungen werden als primäre Herausforderungen anerkannt? Welchen Typ Technologie kann und mag eingesetzt werden? Und was ist die Rollenverteilung zwischen Staat, Privatwirtschaft und Zivilgesellschaft? An der Jahreskonferenz der Städtischen Sicherheitsdirektorinnen und -direktoren (KSSD) der Schweiz in Bern leuchte ich die Diversität der Ansätze aus, mit dem Ziel die Reflexion über Ist- und Ideal-Zustände voranzutreiben.


Hagmann, Jonas (2020). Securing the City. Jahreskongress der Städtischen Sicherheitsdirektorinnen und -direktoren. Bern: Kursaal. PPT automatisierte Endlosschleife

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.

CC_methods

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

SNSF Ambizione Fellowship on the politics of urban protection

Cities are or have become the key locales of everyday life. Since a few years now, the majority of the world’s inhabitants is living in cities, and with this the protection of ‘the urban’ has become an ever more important challenge: The securing of the city, i.e. the development of comprehensive security dispositives specifically targeted to urban habitats, has become a pressing policymaker issue, and it now also emerges as a new research topic in international security studies. This 2016-2019 Swiss National Science Foundation Ambizione research project, institutionally attached to ETH Zürich’s new Institute of Science, Technology and Policy, contributes to this new security studies focus on cities. Based on a comparative empirical analysis of urban protection policies and practices in Switzerland, Morocco, Rwanda and Nepal, it examines how urban security dispositives are turned towards an integrated management of local, national and international dangers of all sorts. It analyses how this process includes use of new tools and actors, and integration and internationalization of existing ones, and how it is influenced by political systems, technological access, cultural influences and traditions of urban planning.