Technology is a central aspect of contemporary security politics and practices. It speeds up, it facilitates, it automates, and it might soon be able to operate in a fully autonomous fashion. 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 the social effects at these intersections of security and technology, as they unfold along the dimensions of politics, markets, institutional implementation, and practices. I thereby pay specific attention to the normative repercussions of new security technologies across society, both in intended and unintended forms.

Current research projects

Predictive policing (with Simon Egbert)

In this project, partly funded by the Fritz-Thyssen Foundation, we empirically study practices of predictive policing in Germany and Switzerland.

Technology and IR theory (with Marijn Hoijtink)

This project explores how new security technologies, and specifically questions of autonomy and agency, can be accommodated within larger International Relations theory debates. An edited volume on “Technology and Agency in International Relations” will be published with Routledge in 2019 (a preliminary listing can be found here).

Digital technologies and the politics of bordering (with Simon Noori and Stephan Scheel)

In this project, we engage the ways in which borders and border management processes are being (re-)made through digital technologies. We will host a workshop on the thematic in Zurich in May 2019.

Security markets and security cultures

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