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Subject to predicate risk, governance and the event of terrorism within post-9/11 U.S. border security

Kabatoff, Mathew (2010) Subject to predicate risk, governance and the event of terrorism within post-9/11 U.S. border security. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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As a result of the 9/11 terror attacks, a new and far-reaching form of security governance has emerged within the United States under the heading of 'homeland security'. While this mode of security has brought with it a range of domestic counter-terrorism efforts, such as new methods of preparedness in the event of attacks on American cities, as well as mechanisms to seize and cut off terrorist assets, it has also predominantly been oriented towards the development of a new legal, institutional and technological regime responsible for the management and risk assessment of individual identity and the identities of foreign nationals passing through U.S. borders. Although this mode of security provides new powers as well as more flexible and collaborative methods for U.S. customs, law enforcement and intelligence to address the threat of terrorism, it has also created political controversy. This controversy has rested upon the perception that homeland security methods embody an unchecked extension of executive power negatively impacting the rights and liberties of the individuals that these very security techniques were established to protect. In order to interrogate this controversy and analyse how this new form of security performs within an extended field of sovereign power, this thesis takes into account the laws, policies and technologies – biometric, datamining, database – that shape this new form of security at the border. This new form of security arguably not only embodies a mobilisation and empowerment of U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies which understand terrorism as catastrophic and generational, but it can fundamentally be seen as creating a new infrastructure that allows U.S. security institutions to become more 'informationally' aware of the identities of individuals entering and exiting the country. How U.S. security institutions access such identity information, along with how this data is used, is what constitutes the new social and political reality at the border.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2012 Mathew Kabatoff
Library of Congress subject classification: H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
Sets: Departments > Sociology

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