Extraordinary Rendition: Addressing the challenges of Accountability

Guittet, Emmanuel-Pierre, Bigo, Didier, The quest for absolution and immunity: Justifying past and future torture in the name of democracy, Extraordinary Rendition: Addressing the challenges of Accountability, Guild Elspeth, Bigo, Didier & Mark Gibney (Dir.), Routledge, London, 2018, ISBN: 978-0-81538-7800, pages 202-229

The Feinstein Report is a sweeping indictment of not only the brutal practices deployed but also of the poor value of intelligence gleaned from these different exercises in torture. The 525-page executive summary of the Feinstein report reveals the brutal, systematic and sanctioned nature of this programme of extraordinary rendition and detention and provides graphic examples of the inefficiency of torture. On paper, one could say that the numerous lawyers and activists who have been advocating a strict prohibition of torture have won, but certainly not in a decisive and definitive manner. The release of the Feinstein report might be seen by some as a triumph, but any victory may prove to be Pyrrhic. A once prominent but now almost forgotten report against torture has been taken over by normalisation of torture where the justifications once deployed alongside the CIA-led extraordinary rendition and detention programme are still very much present and prevalent (Read more)

The Lessons of a Long-Term Political Economy of Punishment

Vanneste, Charlotte, From One Recession to Another: The Lessons of a Long-Term Political Economy of Punishment. The Example of Belgium (1830-2014), The Political Economy of Punishment Today. Visions, Debates and Challenges, edited by Dario Melossi, Máximo Sozzo, José A Brandariz García, London, Routledge, 2018.

Over the last fifteen years, the analytical field of punishment and society has witnessed an increase of research developing the connection between economic processes and the evolution of penality from different standpoints, focusing particularly on the increase of rates of incarceration in relation to the transformations of neoliberal capitalism.

The New Age of Suspicion

Guittet, Emmanuel-Pierre & Fabienne Brion, The New Age of Suspicion, Politics of Anxiety, Andrea Zevnik, Emmy Eklundh & Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet (eds.), Rowman & Littlefield, 2017.

When suspicion governs security agencies’ scripts and practices, permeates political discourse and ordinary daily practices it produces an anxious alertness that perpetuate rather than mitigates past, present and potential fear. The complex ways in which we have collectively become embedded in risk assessment technologies and generalised forms of suspicion towards unfamiliar persons, undesirable people and menacing outsiders have reinforced social fragmentation and the dangers of polarisation and exclusion (read more)…

Unpacking the New Mobilities Paradigm

Guittet, Emmanuel-Pierre, Unpacking the New Mobilities Paradigm: Lessons for Critical Security Studies?, in Matthias Leese and Stef Wittendorp (eds.), Security/Mobility. Politics of Movement, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2017.
Re-interrogating the normative imperative of mobility, re-engaging with the differences between being mobile, being secure, and being free is certainly a way for critical security scholars to try to find the last shards of hope for humanity in a world that has become a trap for so many (read more)

Savoir-faire des études critiques de sécurité

Guittet, Emmanuel-Pierre (dir.), Questions de Méthodes : savoir-faire des études critiques de sécurité, Harmattan, Paris, 2016, ISBN : 978-2-343-10075-3, 200 pages

It is otiose to say that writing and teaching about security requires coming to terms with and incredibly diverse and large amount of literature. It is also no exaggeration to say that security studies has undergone a remarkable boom over the last twenty years. Security is the lingua franca of our times, a pervasive yet contested central element of national, international and transnational politics.  Since their appearance in the early 1990s, critical security studies have been gaining ground inexorably. Steadily chipping away at the traditional concepts of International Relations, they have helped bring into question some of that discipline’s received ideas and contributed to widening the study of security into areas beyond its purely military aspects. By shining a light upon the diverse nature of the actors who claim to both talk about and bring about security, critical security studies have destabilised the state-centric framework of International Relations and underlined the true fluidity not only of the term ‘security’ but also, consequently, of its political uses and social effects, thus breaking down the barriers that had hitherto held this object of study within the sole confines of International Relations.

The aim of this volume is not to provide a general account of the methods available to researchers but rather to approach these methods not only from the perspective of existing theoretical structures but also, and more importantly, from that of the research, materials and areas of investigation which put theory and method alike to the test. The method cannot precede its object, insofar as the object of study, the method and the sources deployed are all intrinsically linked. By resolutely eschewing any form of methodological idolatry, this volume aims to open up a space for dialogue on how methods are put into practice, how methodological practices confront reality and on ‘methodological bricolage’ as a source, an obstacle and a space for the development of a refined, confident and committed mode of criticism in security studies (read more)