Projects

Funded Research

AFFECT – Impact Assessment of Belgian De-Radicalisation Policies Upon Social Cohesion and Liberties

(Evaluatie van de impact van het Belgisch deradicalisering beleid op de sociale cohesie en (sociale) rechten). BRAIN-be framework (BELSPO) 2016-2020. With Fabienne Brion (UCL), Sofie de Kimpe (VUB) and Charlotte Vanneste (NICC).

Building on theoretical insights from the sociology of mobilisation, the objective of the four-year research project AFFECT is to assess the efficiency of Belgian de-radicalisation and counter-terrorism policies and programmes, and their impacts on social cohesion and liberties. AFFECT endeavours to offer a comprehensive evaluation of the efficiency of these policies in order to identify good practices, but also loopholes, gaps and duplication of efforts. Adopting a socio-political approach to the issue of radicalisation, the present assessment aims to complement models that have focused mostly on psychology (frustration/aggression, grievances), ideological factors (violence-prone ideologies), and perceived or real social inequality (the “root causes” models). AFFECT considers radicalisation as a processual and relational understanding of violence and as a process of escalation, that takes into account the relation between individuals, groups and state responses in order to explain the resort to violence (read more).

Website: www.affectliberties.com

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Publications

Politics of Anxiety (Rowman & Littlefield)

A co-edited book with Emmy Eklundh and Andreja Zevnik, to be released in February 2007 by Rowman & Littlefield

From the threats posed by austerity and the fears around global migration to the unsettled notion of resistance, our political world is permeated with anxieties. But what does this mean for our everyday lived political experience? Do governments provoke or encourage a sense of anxiety as a form of control and power? How do citizens react to, comply with, or resist, this sense of anxiety?This book interrogates the different faces of anxiety and provides a systematic engagement with its different manifestations. It uses different disciplinary approaches and methodologies to study political and social phenomena in order to paint a picture of the impact of anxiety, and how it governs and mobilises individuals. The key strength of these contributions comes from their theoretically informed analysis of empirical problems. Moving beyond the concept of the ‘risk society’ and the recurrence of cyclical capitalist crises, this book challenges the notion of the status quo to consider urges and desires for political change. By highlighting that anxiety is different from fear, the book examines new implications for the study of political events.

Counter-Terror by Proxy (Manchester University Press)

One of the key foundation of the Modern liberal democratic State is the requirement that government safeguards the security of its citizens by enacting and enforcing laws which are designed to protect their interests. In the name of security however, this political obligation has been largely undermined by a common yet utlimately dangerous set of claims: necessity knows no law and hence, one must fight fire with fire. Operations beyond legal boundaries have been very often legitimised by sweeping claims about global dangers and the necessity to derogate from the rule of law. Many analysts have recently presented compelling arguments for rediscovering the notion of state terrorism in the analysis of supposedly Western liberal states. In this monograph for Manchester University Press, I accept many of the insights bequeathed by these excellent studies. However, I intend to expand their focus and also amend their conclusions by bringing notions of camouflage, deception and proxy.

Writing Security (Routledge)

A co-edited book project with Stephan Davidshofer (University of Geneva)

In many ways security studies claim to provide a true content (which pertains to verifiability) but also in the form of a narration. This co-edited book is guided by a similar understanding of what security is and aims at closing the gap between the various techniques and methodological bricolages employed when security studies is building narratives on what security is, what security does. This edited volume is built around their authors’ experiences on the ground, their intellectual approaches, the data-analysis tools employed, and the theoretical techniques and apparatus deployed then re-negotiated according to the progress made and difficulties encountered. Following Bourdieu’s argument about science, we refuse to dissociate method from the very practical dimensions of any operation of research. We cannot emphasise enough that this is a book not about methods. Yet how you choose to look for things depends heavily on what you think you are looking for. Hence, many of the arguments explored here have substantial methodological implications.

Explosive Politics (online platform)

Explosivepolitics.com is devoted to providing the most relevant and up to date information for the study of political violence, terrorism, anti-terrorism and radicalisation. On this website you will find timely articles and commentary, research news and other information relevant to scholars with an interest in understanding how violence emerges and develops from episodes of contentious politics. Follow ExplosivePolitics on Facebook

 Mapping Security (online platform)

MappingSecurity.net aims at establishing an innovative interdisciplinary web-based platform for researchers engaged in the critical analysis of the practices and discourses of the actors involved in security issues (official representatives, private entrepreneurs, operators, engineers, experts, consultants, etc.). In particular, it aims at informing the nature, the features and rationale of these actors – and how they interact in a field of security, understood as a space of competition over the means to define the sources of our insecurity and to produce techniques to manage them. Follow Mappingsecurity on Facebook

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