Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

The Political Life of Things: Podcasts

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

Nagra SNST Recorder
Creative Commons License photo credit: Matt Blaze

As I mentioned in a previous post, on 3rd December the BISA poststructural politics working group and the BISA/PSA Art and politics working group organised a one-day conference entitled ‘The Political Life of Things’ at the Imperial War Museum. The event was a success despite snow disrupting travel plans. Many thanks to all of the speakers for a provocative set of presentations. A final program for the event can be found below.

This event sought to explore questions of materiality, politics and artistic practice within the context of the Imperial War museum. The Keynote was given by Jane Bennett (Johns Hopkins).

Sound recordings of the presentations at the event are now on-line. You can access them here:; Many thanks to backdoorbroadcasting for recording and posting this archive.

The Future of Academic Journals in a Digital Age*

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Over the past few months I have been part of an ad hoc working group with colleagues from Newcastle and Durham Universities that has been exploring the future of academic publishing. Two problematics framed our analysis: how are changes initiated by the digital economy affecting academic journals and how might the editorial team of a top flight journal in the social sciences respond to these challenges? As previously posted–here and here–our initial conclusions have been that current models of academic journal publishing that rely on limiting access to research through pay-walls are no longer sustainable.

Radicalisation and the urban environnment

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

Mirror_mediator_flyerToday sees the opening of an exhibition based on the ESRC-funded research project The urban environment: Mirror and mediator of radicalisation? The exhibition has an excellent website outlining the various strands in the research project:

The project is based at the University of Manchester and Ralf Brand is the principle investigator (with Jon Coaffee as co-investigator and Sara Fregonese as Research Assistant). Overall the aim of the project is to explore the interrelation between the urban environment and  socio-political polarisation. Polarisation is assumed to have links with political violence (including radicalisation). You can read more about the project here.

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)

Urban insecurities

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

Security Dialogue have published a very interesting special issue on urban insecurity. You can see the table of contents here.

The special issue includes my essay ‘Network-centric Violence, Critical Infrastructure and the Urbanisation of Security‘. In this piece I discuss the manner in which organised violence such as the American ‘shock and awe‘ assault on Iraq and terrorist targeting of transport infrastructure in New York, Madrid and London are exemplary of the dynamics of what I call the ‘urbanisation of security’. The urbanisation of security comprises a reciprocal dynamic in which security technologies are urbanised (i.e., oriented towards the logics of urban space) and yet at the same time urbanity is securitised (i.e., its spaces are reshaped according to logics of security technologies).

The copyright agreement I had to sign to have this article published prevents me from making the final version of the article available for free on this site (believe me, I wish I could). You can download a final draft of the essay here (pdf). If you have problems obtaining the published version email me and I will send you a pdf if appropriate.