Indefensible Space : The Architecture of the National Insecurity State book cover
1st Edition

Indefensible Space
The Architecture of the National Insecurity State

Edited By

Michael Sorkin

ISBN 9780415953689
Published October 31, 2007 by Routledge
418 Pages

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Book Description

Showing how the upswell of paranoia and growing demand for security in the post-9/11 world has paradoxically created widespread insecurity, these varied essays examine how this anxiety-laden mindset erodes spaces both architectural and personal, encroaching on all aspects of everyday life. Starting from the most literal level—barricades and barriers in front of buildings, beefed up border patrols, gated communities, "safe rooms,"—to more abstract levels—enhanced surveillance at public spaces such as airports, increasing worries about contagion, the psychological predilection for fortified space—the contributors cover the full gamut of securitized public life that is defining the zeitgeist of twenty-first century America

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Fear Factor Michael Sorkin  1. Cities and The War on Terror Stephen Graham  2. Empire of the Insensate Steven Flusty  3. Urban Operations and Network Centric Warfare M. Christine Boyer  4. Planet America: Empire’s New Land Grab Mark Gillem  5. Waiting in African Cities AbdouMaliq Simone  6. Border Tours: Strategies of Surveillance, Tactics of Encroachment Teddy Cruz  7. Re-Stating the Obvious Ruth Wilson Gilmore and Craig Gilmore  8. The Threat from Within: Protecting the Indefensible from the Indeterminate Kathi Holt-Diamant  9. Blank Slates and Disaster Zones: The State, September 11, and the Displacement of Chinatown Laura Liu  10. Back to Zero: Mourning in America Michael Sorkin  11. The New Emotions of Home: Fear Insecurity and Paranoia  12. Staged Authenticity Today  13. Architecture Emblematic: Hardened Sites and Softened Symbols  14. Me and my Monkey: What’s Hiding in the Security State Cindi Katz  15. Thanatotactics Eyal Weizman  16. A Short History of the Car Bomb Mike Davis


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Michael Sorkin is an architect, professional writer, and professor at City College. He is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, and is generally regarded as one of the most prominent architectural writers in America.