There is a growing tendency in recent years for conceptions of 'security' and 'risk' to dominate political discourse and to transform our understandings and application of the law, including the local, the transnational and the international spheres. Scholars note that security has become a more important export from the United States than ‘democracy.’
Security, conceived in this way, is thus a prerequisite for ‘democratization’ and economic ‘development’. Dominant conceptions of security and risk have come to fundamentally determine constructions of democracy, economics, and human well being, including the laws that facilitate these developments. Some have viewed this as an extension of neo-colonialism or the construction of a new kind of imperial network, while others have examined these phenomena as new forms of post-modern governmentalities that seek to reconstruct human life in terms of security defined as freedom from danger and risk, and governed through force and far-ranging techniques of risk management.
This conference seeks to explore these developments in the 'securitization' of the law, asking such questions as, ‘how should security and freedom from risk be defined and provided?’ ‘How can social movements contest and challenge dominant constructions of security and risk?’ ‘What can we infer from the outcome or security for whom?’ ‘What can we deduce about the operational logic that underlies this?’ 'Securitization' also extends to risk, and the emerging prominence of risk management in law and in fields as diverse as finance, the environment, crime prevention, protest policing, and the 'war on terror.'
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