Between welfare and warfare: an International Political Sociology of anti-radicalisation as a technology of government

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London
Department Name: War Studies


The analysis of security politics from the perspective of everyday practices has been a key move in IR. Scholars at the nexus of International Political Sociology/Critical Security Studies offer detailed accounts of how security actors advance and legitimise illiberal solutions to diverse societal issues (migration, terrorism). They show how military, intelligence, police, and border agencies expand their influence beyond institutional and geographical borders by generating unease about insecurities that are constructed as universal. Yet we know little of the major shift in the post 9/11 era: the mass enrolment of nonsecurity professionals into security practices. Since the bombings in Madrid (2004) and London (2005), EU member states have unified behind a "societal response" to terrorism that places public professionals on the front-line. The consensus is that (1) education, healthcare, social work, police, prison, and probation staff are primed to detect of "signs of radicalisation" and (2) that this requires building trust within and between communities. Existing scholarship continues to frame this activity as either directly conducive to the work of public professionals, or a mechanism of their co-optation into coercive and oppressive practices. Reorienting the analysis around everyday practices in socially differentiated "professional fields," I instead analyse anti-radicalisation as a 'technology of government" involving both care and control, trust and suspicion.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000703/1 30/09/2017 29/09/2027
2455318 Studentship ES/P000703/1 30/09/2019 31/12/2022 Josh Walmsley