CFP: Securing the future: the role of space in impending crises

CFP: Securing the future: the role of space in impending crises. AAG Las Vegas, March 22-7, 2009

Please send abstracts to Bethan Evans (b.evans@mmu.ac.uk) by Friday 10th
October (deadline for registration with the AAG is 16th October)

There has been a noticeable shift in public policy across a range of sectors
from policy focussed on individual (or corporate) responsibility to a focus
on the ‘environment’ (imagined in various guises) as the cause of, and
potential solution to a range of social ills (e.g. obesity, drinking, crime,
terrorism, climate change, etc). Often focussed on (though not restricted
to) the ‘urban’, such policy uses a range of terms (space, environment,
context, etc.) to refer to the combination of spatial relations (social,
cultural, physical, political, economic etc.) deemed responsible for
impending crises. Similar to Foucault’s (2007) use of the term ‘Milieu’,
such ‘environments’ are seen as spaces of intervention and hence as spaces
of security as environments and populations are seen as mutually
constitutive (population understood as a multiplicity bound to the material
relations within which they live).

Thus, according to Foucault, using the example of the construction or
planning of towns as a form of social control, security can be
differentiated from discipline through its particular relationship with both
space and time: “Security will rely on a number of material givens. It
will, of course, work on site with the flows of water, islands, air and so
forth. Thus it works on a given…[which] will not be reconstructed to arrive
at a point of perfection, as in a disciplinary town. … The town will not
be conceived or planned according to a static perception, but will open onto
a future that is not exactly controllable. … The specific space of security
refers then to a series of possible events; it refers to the temporal and
the uncertain, which have to be inserted into a given space” (2007 p.19-20).

Across the social sciences a range of work has also noted a fundamental
shift in the orientation to the future within recent policy (to pre-emption
and anticipatory governance) and accordingly the adoption of a broad range
of techniques (futures methodologies, multi-level modelling, scenario
planning, etc.) to capture and control future spaces. Such policies and
subsequent interventions (e.g. healthy / green towns) involve a range of
assumptions about the relationships between bodies, spaces, technologies,
natures, etc. which require further investigation. This call is therefore
for papers which explore the spatial and temporal relationships of policies
which claim the ability to secure the future.

Reference: Foucault M (2007) Security, Territory, Population: Lectures at
the College de France 1977-78. Translated by Graham Burchell. Houndmills:
Palgrave Macmilan

Papers may address (but are not limited to) the following issues in relation
to such policy:

The temporalities (habit, predictions, everydaylife) and spatialities of
security;
The relationship between bodies and spaces;
Methodologies for capturing future spaces;
The role of different populations in securing the future (age, gender,
ethnicity, etc);
The construction of urban natures/cultures;
Sites of impending crisis / intervention (city centres, towns, suburbs, etc);
The role of the environment / urban as an ameliorative device;
The construction of impending crises as a result of ‘urban’ spaces /
environments;
The role of technologies;
Temporal and spatial aspects of mobilities;
Situating policy within place and time – attempts to apply models of success
from other places;
The conflation of different ‘crises’;
etc.

Please send abstracts to Bethan Evans (b.evans@mmu.ac.uk) by Friday 10th
October (deadline for registration with the AAG is 16th October)

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