Making Europe through Infrastructures of (In)Security

Interdisciplinary Workshop at the University of Vienna

Keynote Speakers:

  • Prof. Claudia Aradau (King´s College London)
  • Prof. Annalisa Pelizza (University of Bologna)
  • Prof. Johan Schot (University of Utrecht)

Organizers:

  • Nina Klimburg-Witjes (Dep. of Science and Technology Studies)
  • Paul Trauttmansdorff (Dep. of Science and Technology Studies)
  • Pouya Sepehr (Dep. of Science and Technology Studies)
  • Katharina T. Paul, Christian Haddad (Dep. of Political Science)
  • Philipp Knopp (Dep. of Sociology)

With this interdisciplinary workshop, we aim to extend a longstanding concern with the processes and practices of infrastructuring in STS, sociology, political science, and other fields, to emergent forms of surveillance and securitization in Europe. Furthermore, the workshop is inspired by the need to investigate how different arrangements of infrastructures and practices of in/security participate in the making of “Europe” (Aradau, 2010; Pelizza, 2019).

Infrastructures have always been crucial objects of political promises, desirable futures, and collective imagination, and they have been instrumental for (re)configuring political practices and social values, for in/excluding certain groups of users or enacting populations (Grommé & Ruppert, 2019). Currently, we witness a return to infrastructures in the context of European policies and discourses of in/security. Examples include the so-called “Security Union” proposing technological interconnectivity and interoperability as solutions to contemporary threats, concerns with cyber in/security, infrastructural practices to govern borders and migrations, or projects around “smart cities”. In the most recent moment of infrastructural politics, the COVID-19 crisis has exposed contestations in manifold ways in which different countries in Europe and beyond are responding to in/security in relation to health diplomacy.

The workshop will bring these various threads together and collect papers that address the ways in which infrastructures of in/security are designed, envisioned and assembled, and how these infrastructuring practices co-construct “Europe” (Pelizza, 2019; Schipper & Schot, 2011).

This workshop is jointly funded by the faculty of social sciences of the University of Vienna within the framework of its interdisciplinary program “Knowledge, Materiality, and Public Spaces” and the Horizon 2020 project InsSciDE (grant agreement no 770523), 2018-2021 Travelling and accommodation expenses can be provided to a limited number of participants. Please contact the conveners of the workshop in case you need funding.

As organizers we are aware that in current COVID-19 circumstances, the planning of events and travel arrangements is uncertain and difficult. However, maintaining a positive spirit, we intend to hold the workshop in November in Vienna, while continuously evaluating the situation and keeping alternative scenarios in mind, such as postponement or a virtual workshop.

Further information and literature (PDF)