Security, Risk and the Biometric State: Governing Borders and Bodies

1st Edition

Benjamin J. Muller

Routledge
Published February 28, 2011
Reference - 164 Pages
ISBN 9780415670098 - CAT# Y117981
Series: PRIO New Security Studies

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Summary

This book examines a series of questions associated with the increasing application and implications of biometrics in contemporary everyday life.

In the wake of the events of 9/11, the reliance on increasingly sophisticated and invasive technologies across a burgeoning field of applications has accelerated, giving rise to the term 'biometric state'. This book explores how these ‘virtual borders’ are created and the effect they have upon the politics of citizenship and immigration, especially how they contribute to the treatment of citizens as suspects. Finally and most importantly, this text argues that the rationale of 'governing through risk' facilitates pre-emptory logics, a negligent attitude towards 'false positives', and an overall proliferation of borders and ubiquitous risk, which becomes integral to contemporary everyday life, far beyond the confined politics of national borders and frontiers.

By focusing on specific sites, such as virtual borders in airports, trusted traveller programs like the NEXUS program and those delivered by airlines and supported by governmental authorities (TSA and CATSA respectively), this book raises critical questions about the emerging biometric state and its commitment and constitution vis-à-vis technology of ‘governing through risk’.

This book will be of interest to students of biopolitics, critical security, surveillance studies and International Relations in general.

Benjamin J. Muller is assistant professor in International Relations at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada. He completed his PhD in the School of Politics and International Studies at Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, in 2005.

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