Territories of Secrecy: Confidentiality and Inquiry in the Plural Worlds of Security

s it possible to question specialists of discretion? In the plural worlds of security where secrecy is an internalized rule of conduct as well as an ordered and regulated administrative dispositif, this question becomes acutely relevant.  Secrecy, in all of its forms, is often evoked as one of the principle difficulties encountered in sociological investigations, especially those that adopt qualitative approaches: research is essentially arrested there where secrecy imposes itself with force, in a non-negotiable manner. Instead of bending to methodological defeatism, which holds secrecy as an incommensurable obstacle that determines the objective limits of research in security worlds, this special issue of Cultures & Conflits shows how, on the contrary, it remains possible to question interactions within these hard-to-reach sites and to make these professionals of confidentiality talk. Through original empirical work, this issue presents research strategies used by the authors while offering a more ordinary reading of secrecy and confidentiality, that takes into account their effects on the studied actors and institutional spaces.

Special issue of Cultures & Conflits – Grégory Daho, Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet and Julien Pomarède (eds.)


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