Archive for October, 2009

Mobile Infrastrucures of Metropolitanisation

Friday, October 23rd, 2009

The Guardian today has an interesting report on the global penetration of mobile telephony and broadband internet (‘Africa calling: mobile phone usage sees record rise after huge investment‘). Perhaps the most striking statistic is that ‘[o]n average there are now 60 mobile subscriptions for every 100 people in the world’. However, it is also worth noting the phenomenal growth of mobile phone usage in Africa (550% in the last 5 years). It is worth highlighting the services that are made available through mobile phones in the developing world:

Popular mobile services include money transfers, allowing people without bank accounts to send money by text message. Many farmers use mobiles to trade and check market prices.

Elsewhere I have written about the way in which communications infrastructures are constitutive of contemporary urbanised ways of life. These figures – and the manner in which mobile phones have become integral to accessing vital services – reaffirm this point.

What is interesting, however, is the manner in which the mobile phone is a flexible, rather than static, infrastructure. (more…)

The City and Community, Durham University 18th November 2009

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

In mid-November I will be giving a paper at The City and Community workshop at Durham University. This workshop will focus on the twin questions of the nature of urban community and the role of the city as distinctive site of politics.

Further details including a program for the workshop can be found here. Speakers will include Michael J Shapiro, Ash Amin, Joe Painter, Angharad Closs Stephens, Martin Coward, Steve Graham, Vicki Squire, Jennifer Bagelman and Delacey Tedesco.

The event is being jointly organised the Politics-Space-State research cluster, Durham University & the BISA Poststructural Politics Working Group. Angharad Closs Stephens is the main organiser, with additional assistance from myself, Louise Amoore, Michele Lancione and Eduardo Neve-Jimenez.

Places at the workshop are free but limited. Please contact Angharad Closs Stephens if you would like to know more and/or are interested in attending.

My paper will be entitled ‘Agonism, community, urbanity’. (more…)

Chasing Dragons Review & Response

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

A while ago I was asked to review Kyle Grayson’s excellent Chasing Dragons: Security, Identity, and Illicit Drugs for the on-line journal Global Discourse. The journal has recently published the review as part of a forum alongside another review by Andrés Perezalonso (Newcastle University) and a response from Kyle himself.

You can read the forum here (html) or download my review here (pdf) and Kyle Grayson’s response here (pdf).

For those interested in reading further, google books has a limited preview of Chasing Dragons. You can read Kyle’s blog here.

Update: Urban Securitisation and Climate Change

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

Crisis Forum have posted some of the resources from the workshop on climate change and violence held last week (9th October 2009). These resources include (or will include in the near future) videos of most of the presentations as well as power-point slides.

You can find the notes for my presentation at the workshop here. Please note that these are rough notes prepared for speaking at this event. They are not an academic paper. As such they do not include the usual references and acknowledgements that would be expected in an academic paper. If you want further details about the sources referred to in the notes, please contact me.

Cities Under Fire

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

The Society for Curious Thought have posted a brief piece of mine entitled Cities Under Fire. You can read it here.

The piece outlines the main topic I will deal with in my next book (also entitled Cities Under Fire and due for publication by Routledge in 2011/12). Briefly these are the organised violences that are arrayed against the contemporary city: urbicide, terrorism, military operations by advanced industrial states. The piece is short and so does not expand on the characteristics of these violences or their impact on urbanity. For more detail and an early formulation of the problematic central to Cites Under Fire see my recent piece in Security Dialogue: ‘Network-Centric Violence, Critical Infrastructure and the Urbanization of Security‘ (Security Dialogue, 40:4-5, pp.399-418)