Sicherheitskultur im Wandel

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Upcoming Events

18. - 21.09.2013 EISA Panel: "High-Tech (In)Security: The Rise of International Security Fairs"


8th Pan-European Conference on International Relations

18-21 September 2013, Warsaw, Poland


Panel: High-Tech (In-)Security: The Rise of International Security Fairs

Chairs: Dr Georgios Kolliarakis (University of Frankfurt)

Discussant: Dr Claudia Aradau (King's College London)


Section: Securitisation and Politicisation: Invocations of Crisis and Emergency


The civil security sector is a high-growth market with a current turnover of ca. EUR 100 Bn. More than 70 trade fairs are scheduled worldwide for 2013, such as the biannual Security Essen in Germany with over 1,000 exhibitors and 40,000 visitors, or the annual CounterTerrorExpo in London, which claims to be the "largest international event to ... understand current modern day risks". Those events bring together national and IO officials, Intelligence and Military, public and private sector Critical Infrastructure operators, Police and Emergency Services. Parallel to the exhibitions, expert workshops bring clarity to the most critical and topical security issues, deliver insight and perspective on the range of threats faced and define operational strategies to help shape future policy.

This panel explores security fairs as novel organizational ecologies where diverse stakeholders, technological artefacts, and meaning production converge in order to construe a dangerous, hyper-securitized world along with its high-tech fix. Beyond being places of security commodification, such fairs are major loci for sense-making and agenda setting of threat diagnoses and therapies. The availability of cutting-edge technological gadgets promotes modernist fantasies of control along with a supply-driven market-economy ethics. What is more, it seems that it is the solutions which define the problem and not vice versa: Narrow, high-tech biased understandings of comprehensive societal problems normalize the application of surveillance and detection as appropriate and acceptable solutions.



Interrogating the Security-Technology Nexus

James Alexander (University of Manchester)


'Raising the cerebral quotient?: Indian HLS trade shows as experimental spaces of security

Rhys Machold (Balsillie School of International Affairs)


The hidden aspects of Security Fairs: Israel's role in global security practices

Leila Stockmarr (Roskilde University)


The Banalization of Emergency: Security Fairs as Powerful Discourse Providers

Georgios Kolliarakis (University of Frankfurt) 


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