Security and (in)justice: beyond the securisation of the urban

This session sees justice and security as inevitably entangled in negotiations of power, status and identity within the urban. Practices of securisation, the anticipation of possible future threats, have become taken-for-granted instruments to build the ‘ideal just’ spaces. In this, an association of securisation with justice, in that the former leads to the latter, has become normalised, and a legacy that lurk to colonise the security imaginaries. Critical urban studies have however exposed how securisation of the urban entails curtailing publicity and justice more often than not. Then, if securisation is often against justice, how can we reinvent security beyond securisation, as the act of ‘securing’ democracy and justice, as a political (deliberative and agonistic) and future-oriented practice?

In this spirit, this session aims to go beyond critiques of urban geopolitics and practices of securisation to deconstruct the security-justice nexus; and unfold the political mechanisms and legacies of normalisation that put security and justice in an ambiguous ontology of marriage. We will therefore seek to reconstruct new understandings of the act of securing – ‘secure’, from the Latin sine cura, is the condition of whom is not in need of care. This endeavour entails concomitant deconstructions/reconstructions, such as problematising and overcoming the concept of ‘safety’ as neutral protection from calculable risk, or the idea of security as protection of the ‘community’ from ‘external’ (marginalised, racialised) threats.

  • We invite theoretical and/or empirically grounded papers that explore security and/as/against (in)justice around topics including, but not limited to:
  • Anticipation: the futures of security, security as future thinking.
  • Legacies of normalisation in security discourses
  • Critical studies of security and the sociology of public problems.
  • Urban resistance and social movements: ‘securing’ democratic spaces?
  • (In)security amid planetary urbanisation.
  • Securisation, displacement, and spatial and cultural cleansing.
  • Heritageisation and securisation.
  • Ontological security and identity politics in urban public spaces.
  • Multi-scalar security: body, community, society.
  • Multi-level security: polities and governmental action beyond sectoral security.


Simone Tulumello , Universidade de Lisboa

Feras Hammami,  University of Gothenburg