1st Edition

The Mobility-Security Nexus and the Making of Order An Interdisciplinary and Historicizing Intervention

Edited By Heidi Hein-Kircher, Werner Distler Copyright 2023
    322 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The book explores the complex, multi-directional connections of the "mobility/security nexus" in the re-ordering of states, empires, and markets in historical perspective.

    Contributing to a vivid academic debate, the book offers in-depth studies on how mobility and security interplay in the emergence of order beyond the modern state. While mobilities studies, migration studies and critical security studies have focused on particular aspects of this relationship, such as the construction of mobility as a political threat or the role of infrastructure and security, we still lack comprehensive conceptual frameworks to grasp the mobility/security nexus and its role in social, political, and economic orders. With authors drawn from sociology, International Relations, and various historical disciplines, this transdisciplinary volume historicizes the mobility-security nexus for the first time. In answering calls for more studies that are both empirical and have historical depth, the book presents substantial case studies on the nexus, ranging from the late Middle Ages right up to the present-day, with examples from the British Empire, the Russian Empire, the Habsburg Empire, Papua New Guinea, Rome in the 1980s or the European Union today. By doing so, the volume conceptualizes the mobility/security nexus from a new, innovative perspective and, further, highlights it as a prominent driving force for society and state development in history.

    This book will be of much interest to researchers and students of critical security studies, mobility studies, sociology, history and political science.

    Part I: Introduction

    1. Historizing the Mobility/Security Nexus: Introductory Remarks

    Heidi Hein-Kircher/Werner Distler

    Part II: Conceptual and Theoretical Reflections

    2. The Security/Mobility Nexus as an Analytical Lens: The Cases of Counterterrorism and Infrastructure

    Matthias Leese/Steff Wittendorf

    3. Ordering Movement and Mobilizing Security: On the Production of ‘Critical Infrastructure’

    Amina Nolte

    4. Thresholds of Threat in (Historical) Security Cultures: Overcoming the Good-Versus-Bad Mobilities Dichotomy

    Tobias Bruns

    Part III: Case Studies

    Section 1: (Re)Ordering States and Societies

    5. Securitization as a Driving Force for Political Mobilization of National Movements

    Heidi Hein-Kircher

    6. State Order, Mobility, and Policing in the Trust Territory of New Guinea. Patrolling the ‘Periphery’

    Werner Distler

    7. Spatial (Im)Mobility as a Threat to Social Mobility: Roma in the Peripheries of Rome and the NIMBY Politics of campi nomadi

    Ana Ivasiuc

    Section 2: (Re)Ordering Empires

    8. Struggles with Mass-Migrations, National- and State-Interests in the Late Habsburg Empire: Security through Mobility or against Mobility?

    Szilveszter Csernus-Lukács

    9. Nineteenth-Century Labor Migration and Fear of Epidemics in the British Colony of Mauritius (c. 1834-1910): A Danger to Public Health?

    Andrea Wiegeshoff

    10. Securing the Flows of Oil in a Transottoman Context: Baku’s Oil, Infrastructures of Transportation, and Mendeleev as an Imperial Expert of Securitization (1850–1918)

    Stefan Rohdewald

    Section 3: (Re)Ordering Markets

    11. Securitization Practices of Traveling Merchants and Mercenaries (14th-17th century)

    Stefanie Rüther

    12. Anti-Nuclear Activism, the State, and the Energy Market in the Federal Republic of Germany: Mobilizing Power

    Sascha Brünig

    13. ‘Critical’ Financial Infrastructures and the Securitization of Calculative Micro-processes

    Andreas Langenohl

    Part IV: Concluding Remarks

    14. Security, Mobility, and the Colonial Connection: Concluding Remarks

    Benedikt Stuchtey


    Werner Distler is a political scientist, with a focus on peace and conflict studies. He works as researcher at the Center for Conflict Studies and the Collaborative Research Center "Dynamics of Security" at Marburg University, Germany.

    Heidi Hein-Kircher is a historian and the head of the Department Academic Forum at Herder-Institute on Historical Research on East Central Europe.