Posts Tagged ‘urbanisation of security’

Bangkok: the future of urban war

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Watching  Bangkok burn 1 over the last few days has been both disturbing and upsetting. The use of  heavy armour against a predominantly civilian protest movement (segments of which have latterly turned to small arms and improvised weapons in its stand off with the government) has been a timely reminder of the forms of violence that could mark our urban future.  In some ways it has exemplified dynamics already identified in the literature on urban warfare. The cycle of occupation, displacement and reoccupation that the army and redshirts have been engaged in looks a lot like the ‘pop-up armies and spatial chess‘ that Robert Warren detailed in 2002. (more…)

  1. Thanks to Kyle Grayson for this link

Social networks and the war on terror

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

For those interested in the role of networks in contemporary warfare, Chris Wilson’s recent Searching for Saddam: A five-part series on how the U.S. military used social networking to capture the Iraqi dictator in Slate is worth reading. Wilson provides an accessible account of social network analysis and the manner in which interconnections can be mapped. His account of the construction of link diagrams to identify those that were harbouring Saddam after he had been deposed from power in 2003, resonates with much that has been written about the relationship of networks and contemporary warfare.
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The Chilean earthquake: urban materiality and feral cities

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

Two articles in the Guardian on the Chilean earthquake caught my eye on Monday:

  • In Chile’s earthquake was horrible – but it could have been so much worse Rory Carrol points to the material differences between the Chilean earthquake and January’s much more destructive Haiti quake. The tectonic movements that Carol points to as the determinant of a quake’s strength are a reminder of the irruptive materiality of the environment. What caught my eye in this report, however, was the reference to the manner in which the urban fabric was key to the fate of the population in both cases. (more…)

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)