chapter  2
39 Pages

Globalized (in)security: The field and the ban-opticon

WithDIDIER BIGO

The discourses that the United States and its closest allies2 have put forth asserting the necessity to globalize security have taken on an unprecedented intensity and reach. They justify themselves by propagating the idea of a global ‘(in)security’, attributed to the development of threats of mass destruction, thought to derive from terrorist or other criminal organizations and the governments that support them. This globalization is supposed to make national borders effectively obsolete, and to oblige other actors in the international arena to collaborate. At the same time, it makes obsolete the conventional distinction between the universe of war, defence, international order and strategy, and another universe of crime, internal security, public order and police investigations. Exacerbating this tendency yet further is the fact that, since 11 September 2001, there has been ongoing frenzied speculation throughout the Western political world and among its security ‘experts’ on how the relations between defence and internal security should be aligned in the new context of global (in)security.