Research

Technology is a central aspect of contemporary security politics and practices. It speeds up, it facilitates, it automates, and it is – at least in theory – capable of autonomous decision-making. In short: technology does things that humans simply cannot do, and thereby has the potential to change the ways in which we “do” security.

Security, on the other hand, is not only a necessary condition for human existence and any form of societal organization, but also presents itself as a business opportunity. Today, myriads of services and tools are developed, sold and marketed under the label of security: from locks and cameras for private homes to police equipment and military weapons systems.

My research is interested in security and technology are co-produced, that is how they mutually constitute each other, and how novel forms of social and political ordering are made possible through them. My work pays specific attention to the normative repercussions of new security technologies across society, both in intended and unintended forms.

Current research projects

Europe as database

This project investigates the construction and expansion of databases for law enforcement and border control cooperation in Europe and their implications for security governance.

Researching security (with Nina Klimburg-Witjes and Paul Trauttmansdorff)

This project explores the challenges that social scientists encounter when conducting field research with security professionals. It aims at providing a systematic account of the concerns that academics are confronted with when entering the worlds of security communities of practice and the coping strategies that they devise.

Security markets and security cultures

This long-term project looks at entangled questions of commodification and cultures of security through ethnographic research at trade fairs and exhibitions.

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