Setha Low and Mark Maguire (eds.), Spaces of Security: Ethnographies of Securityscapes, Surveillance, and Control – NYU Press, 2019
An ethnographic investigation into the dynamics between space and security in countries around the world
It is difficult to imagine two contexts as different as a soccer stadium and a panic room. Yet, they both demonstrate dynamics of the interplay between security and space. This book focuses on the infrastructures of security, considering locations as varied as public entertainment venues to border walls to blast-proof bedrooms.
Around the world, experts, organizations, and governments are managing societies in the name of security, while scholars and commentators are writing about surveillance, state violence, and new technologies. Yet in spite of the growing emphasis on security, few truly consider the spatial dimensions of security, and particularly how the relationship between space and security varies across cultures.
This volume explores spaces of security not only by attending to how security is produced by and in spaces, but also by emphasizing the ways in which it is constructed in the contemporary landscape. The book explores diverse contexts ranging from biometrics in India to counterterrorism in East Africa to border security in Argentina. The ethnographic studies demonstrate the power of a spatial lens to highlight aspects of security that otherwise remain hidden, while also adding clarity to an elusive and dangerous way of managing the world.