Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: General Anthropology Division
Primary Theme: The Political
State securitizing practices are changeable. They adapt, or encourage adaptations, in relation to emergent configurations of tools, knowledges, and projects.
Papers in this panel affirm the insight that security is a key mechanism of large-scale coordinated systems of power and violence. A risk-- be it environmental, economic, or bodily-- can bring technologies, agents, materials, and practices into alignment in the name of security. However, the kinds of coordinated ensembles that Foucault has called dispotifs are far from homogenous. Further, their relation to state power is not the only significance that security projects have.
With this panel we interrogate what else is at stake beyond entrenchment of state security apparatuses in encounters with the changing materials, logics, and goals of security rationalities. We interrogate how the framing principles and rationalities at play in different adaptive projects (such as resilience, care, risk, safety, security, and prosperity) manifest materially. As we explore multiple adaptive forms that securitization can entail, we celebrate the capacity of ethnographic research to attend to diverse practices that may go by a single name. Through ethnographic work in Mexico, South Africa, Pakistan, Australia and Jamaica, papers on this panel address adapting tools to new spaces and places; adapting institutions to emerging tools, technologies, and projects; communities who are adapting or failing to do so; and the work of expertise in processes of adaptation.
We aim to do the serious anthropological work of trying to inhabit and understand security worlds. In doing so, we seek to move our scholarship away from a space of simple diagnosis and critique. Here, we explore how we might produce and support openings for alternative futures with our work.