Rethinking the international and security through the city
Embargo Lift Date: 2016-09-22
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Although territorial physical borders are still relevant, other forms of bordering take place daily that are not in line with the imagination of the international as a space of territorially demarcated sovereign states. Urban space is a part of this identity making and spatializing process of (re)mapping the international. Engaging with practices and understandings of security reveals different experiences of urban, hence different imaginations of the city and the international. In this light, questioning the interaction between city, security and the international, this thesis asks how the bordering of cities plays in the construction of the international and its subjects through practices and understandings of (urban) security and insecurity. Firstly, different bordering practices within cities and their associated imagination of the international is examined. Then, informed by and informing such imaginations, how authorities and professionals reborder the city and how the city is made ‘safe’ against those parts of the city that are deemed as dangerous is discussed. While this gives an understanding of how the everyday is shaped by security, final part questions how urban dwellers in their daily lives shape security understandings. This thesis argues that existing politics of the international that generates insecurities and inequalities work through bordering of cities and this is depoliticized through the existing politics of security both in the ‘developed’ and ‘developing’ world. The aim of the thesis is to reach a less state-centric and a more bottom-up approach in understanding and rethinking the relationship between city, security and the international.