States of (In)security: Coming to Terms with an Erratic Terrain
This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book explores the ethnographic ramifications of the concern with security in diverse contexts. In analytic terms, it is structured around two related binaries. The first is an insecurity/security binary that may be derived from Rossana Reguillo's definition of “rhetorics of security,” as “that set of eloquent arguments that seeks to persuade and provoke emotive responses through tropes (reasonings and judgments) anchored in a principle of generalized insecurity.” The second binary is an analysis of the present conjuncture as a moment of articulation between two distinct sociohistorical projects—neoliberalism and neoconservatism. A reflection upon these two elements suggests that the insecurity/security binary may be articulated as a spatial dimension that marks the way social practices are ordered on a local or territorial basis, and the neoliberal/neoconservative binary as a temporal one that marks a specific moment in the history of (Western) societies, allowing us to speak of our approach as a space-time formulation. The underlying concern is to address the question of whether we are facing what might be called a global production of subjectivities of security—and if so, why now, at this particular moment in time.
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