Times of Security
Ethnographies of Fear, Protest and the Future
Edited by Martin Holbraad, Morten Axel Pedersen
Routledge – 2013 – 240 pages
In the current world disorder, security is on everyone’s lips. But what is security from a cross-cultural perspective? How is it imagined and experienced by people on the ground? Crucially, what visions of the future are at stake in people’s potentially divergent concerns with security: what, and when, is the time of security? Exploring diverse notions and experiences of time involved in security practices across the globe, this volume brings together a selection of international scholars who conduct ethnographic research in a broad ambit of securitized contexts – from the experience of Palestinian detainees in Israel or forms of popular violence in Bolivia, to efforts to normalize social relations in post-conflict Yugoslavia and ways of imagining threat in left-radical protest movements in Northern Europe. Interrogating recent debates about the role of "securitization" in contemporary politics, the book paves the way for novel forms of security analysis at the crossroads between anthropology and political science, focusing on the comparative study of the temporalities of securitization in a multi-polar world. Offering a pioneering synthesis, the book will be of interest not only to anthropologists, but also to students and scholars in political science and the growing field of Security Studies in International Relations.
"This edited book is central to the main currents of anthropological work on politics, and to the understanding of discourses of security. It addresses these bodies of literature, uniquely and creatively in the opinion of this reader, through a consideration of anthropological work on time and temporality — another lively and current key theme of much recent anthropology. Times of Security offers compelling ethnographies of security from a range of different geographical contexts, from South America to Europe and the Middle East, and at different scales, ranging from considerations of local contexts to nation states and even the planet in its entirety."
- Magnus Marsden, SOAS
Foreword and Acknowledgments. Introduction: Times of Security Morten Axel Pedersen and Martin Holbraad Defining Security in Late Liberalism: A Comment on Pedersen and Holbraad Elizabeth A. Povinelli 1. Security Is a Collective Body: Intersecting Times of Security in the Copenhagen Climate Summit Stine Krøijer 2. "Captured With Their Hands in the Dough": Insecurity, Safety-Seeking and Securitization in El Alto, Bolivia Helene Risør 3. Readings of Time: Of Coca, Presentiment and Illicit Passage in Peru Richard Kernaghan 4. Seizing Catastrophes: The Temporality of Nakba Among Palestinians in Denmark Anja Kublitz 5. Enduring Presents: Living a Prison Sentence as the Wife of a Detainee in Israel Lotte Buch Segal 6. Parasecurity and Paratime in Serbia: Neurocortical Defence and National Consciousness Maja Petrović-Šteger 7. Bad Weather: The Time of Planetary Crisis Joseph Masco 8. Time Consciousness in North Korea’s State Security Discourse Heonik Kwon Afterword: Notes on Securitization and Temporality Steffen Jensen and Finn Stepputat
Martin Holbraad is a Lecturer in Anthropology at University College London.
Morten Axel Pedersen is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Copenhagen.