Project

Back to overview

Preventing Terror, Containing Risk: The securitization of development in the global fight against violent extremism

Applicant Santer Kiri Olivia
Number 178533
Funding scheme Doc.CH
Research institution Institut für Sozialanthropologie Philosophisch-historische Fakultät Universität Bern
Institution of higher education University of Berne - BE
Main discipline Ethnology
Start/End 01.03.2018 - 28.02.2022
Approved amount 281'974.00
Show all

Keywords (6)

development; global governance; security; counter-terrorism; violent extremism; translation theory

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
La gouvernance sécuritaire internationale, plus particulièrement dans le domaine de la lutte contre le terrorisme, est en train d’évoluer. Les mesures anti-terroristes comprenant interventions militaires, durcissement de la répression judiciaire contre les activités terroristes, et renforcement des frontières, sont de plus en plus considérées non seulement inefficace, mais même contre productives dans certains contextes. C’est face à ce constat que la communauté internationale s’est mises à œuvrer ces dernières cinq années à mettre en place des mesures préventives douces comme la promotion de la bonne gouvernance, l’autonomisation des jeunes et la favorisation de leurs opportunités d’emploi, et l’engagement communautaire.
Lay summary

Mon projet de recherche s’intéresse à ce virement aux mesures sécuritaires préventives en me focalisant plus particulièrement sur les programmes de réformes sécuritaires internationaux, et à la promotion de forces de police de proximité. Ma recherche comprend plusieurs sites entre Genève, Paris et Tunis. J’adopte une approche de la sociologie de la traduction, c’est à dire que j’étudie comment des protocoles d’intervention, développés dans des cadres institutionnels spécifiques, se déplacent ensuite et sont traduits dans un contexte de mise en application. J’entreprends une recherche en me basant sur des méthodes ethnographiques et des théories socio-légales critiques.

A Genève et Paris, j’étudie les communautés épistémiques d’experts de la sécurité internationale qui définissent les mesures d’interventions pour les contextes ‘à risque’ de voir proliférer une menace terroriste. Je me concentre ensuite sur le contexte de mise en application de la Tunisie pour étudier comment cette nouvelle tendance sécuritaire – dite ‘soft’ – se déploie dans un contexte local ; en l'occurrence, la collaboration entre le PNUD et le gouvernorat de Tunis pour le développement d’une police de proximité. La Tunisie est, par ailleurs, le contexte national avec le Nigéria où le PNUD a le plus de programme de prévention de violence extrémiste et de dé-radicalisation. Fin 2014, c’était également le pays qui voyait le plus de combattants partir pour lutter aux côtés de groupes armés islamistes comme Daech (Byrne 2014).

Les mesures de sécurité ‘soft’ qui sont connues sous le nom de C/PVE (Countering/Preventing Violent Extremism) annoncent de mettre la population ou les préoccupations citoyennes au centre du protocole d’intervention. Mon projet confronte cette préoccupation rhétorique au contexte de mise en application. Se faisant, il se focalisera aussi à Tunis sur les projets qui ont pour but d’engager les citoyens ou les populations marginalisées dans ce débat.

QUESTIONS DE RECHERCHE

  • Comment le développement devient-il un instrument de prévention sécuritaire ? Comment les intérêts sécuritaires sont-ils intégrés à des projets de développements ?
  • Comment les communautés d’experts internationaux définissent-ils les lieux ‘à risque’ ? Quels processus décisionnels sont entrepris afin de définir les lieux d'implantation de projets dans le domaine de la promotion de la police de proximité ?
  • Comment ces mesures libérales de réformes contraste-t-elles avec les mesures d’urgence prises par les forces de l’ordre depuis 2015 pour réprimer le terrorisme en Tunisie ? Et comment ce contraste influence-t-il le contexte de mise en application de projet de Polprox dans le gouvernorat de Tunis ?
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 31.01.2018

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Book Review. No Go WorldHow Fear is Redrawing our Maps and Infecting our Politics
Santer Kiri (2020), Book Review. No Go WorldHow Fear is Redrawing our Maps and Infecting our Politics, in TSANTSA – Journal of the Swiss Anthropological Association, 25, 214-216.
A Garden to be Reinvented/Against the Aesthetics of the Garden
Santer Kiri, DendenaFrancesco (2020), A Garden to be Reinvented/Against the Aesthetics of the Garden, Nero, Roma, 66.
Governing the Central Mediterranean through Indirect Rule: Tracing the Effects of the Recognition of Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Tripoli
Santer Kiri (2019), Governing the Central Mediterranean through Indirect Rule: Tracing the Effects of the Recognition of Joint Rescue Coordination Centre Tripoli, in European Journal of Migration and Law, 21(2), 141-165.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
The Graduate Institute Geneva Switzerland (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
Istituto Svizzero Roma Italy (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure
IRMC - Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb Contemporain Tunisia (Africa)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
ASA conference on Responsibility Talk given at a conference Causing versus enabling: the juridification of struggles against border externalization in the Central Mediterranean 29.03.2022 University of St Andrews, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Santer Kiri Olivia;
Maritime Conflicts and Promises in History and Present Talk given at a conference Legal scaffoldings of interdiction in the Central Mediterranean: a socio-legal approach to the emergence of the Libyan Search and Rescue Region 19.11.2021 TU Darmstadt, Germany Santer Kiri Olivia;
Alternative Approaches to International Organizations in International Law: Potentials, Complexities, and Pitfalls Talk given at a conference Assembling Cooperative Interdiction at the EU’s external border: Law and Policy in Practice 14.10.2021 Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland Santer Kiri Olivia;
Against structural postponement. On the legitimacy and possibilities of new institutions of sharing Talk given at a conference Reconceptualising access to territory as a redistributive issue in and around the Central Mediterranean 06.09.2021 Schloss Münchenwiller, Murten, Switzerland Santer Kiri Olivia;
Working with Benjamin on Law Talk given at a conference Limits and possibilities offered by Walter Benjamin’s Critique of Violence for understanding the EU’s contemporary regime of maritime interdiction in the Central Mediterranean Sea 16.07.2021 ZfL Berlin, Germany Santer Kiri Olivia;
Western Intervention in the Wake of the Arab Uprisings: Political Containment, Neoliberalism, and Imperial Legacies Talk given at a conference Governance assemblages in cooperative deterrence: the case of the Libyan Coast Guard 24.02.2021 University of Oxford, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Santer Kiri Olivia;
Institutskolloquium, Institut für Sozialanthropologie Individual talk Indirect Rule and the Politics of Fragmented Responsibility in the Central Mediterranean 08.12.2020 University of Bern, Switzerland Santer Kiri Olivia;
Swiss Anthropological Association Annual meeting Talk given at a conference Rescue under pressure: criminalisation and the shifting meanings of humanitarianism in the Central Mediterranean 08.11.2019 Graduate Institute Geneva, Switzerland Santer Kiri Olivia;
EASA Lawnet Workshop “Concepts, paradigms and slogans: From human rights to human dignity and sustainability” Talk given at a conference MOBILISING ‘OWNERSHIP’ IN CONTENTIOUS REFORMS: THE ISSUE OF RESPONSIBILITY IN TUNISIA’S SECURITY SECTOR REFORM 23.05.2019 University of Helsinki, Finland Santer Kiri Olivia;
Security, Borders and International Development: Intersections, Convergence and Challenges Talk given at a conference THE POLITICS OF SECURITY SECTOR REFORM: ’OWNERSHIP’ BETWEEN THE EU AND TUNISIA 25.04.2019 University of Warwick, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Santer Kiri Olivia;


Self-organised

Title Date Place
The EU & Italy in Libya, Discussing the politics of complicity in border externalisation 08.09.2020 Istituto Svizzero di Roma, Italy

Knowledge transfer events



Self-organised

Title Date Place
The EU & Italy in Libya, Discussing the politics of complicity in border externalisation 08.09.2020 Istituto Svizzero di Roma, Italy

Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Migrants refoulés en Libye, le naufrage européen Orientxxi.info International 2021
Media relations: print media, online media A Rome, le regard porté sur la Méditerranée. Le Temps Western Switzerland 2020
Print (books, brochures, leaflets) VILLES REFUGES: EXCLUSIONS D’ÉTAT VERSUS INCLUSIONS URBAINES Western Switzerland 2019
Media relations: print media, online media The Case of the Sarost 5: Black Holes of Responsibility in the Central Mediterranean Open Democracy International 2018

Abstract

Global counter-terrorism (CT) is changing. As it becomes clearer that tactics such as militarisation and counterinsurgency are at best ineffective and at worst counter-productive (UN General Assembly 2015), international governance circles have begun to search for preventive (rather than defensive) ways of combatting so-called terror that focus on community engagement. The trend of ‘Countering Violent Extremism and Preventing Violent Extremism’ (C/PVE) is often referred to as a ‘soft’ “whole-of-society-approach” (Global Counterterrorism Forum 2013) that is no longer about “hard security”. Instead, C/PVE seeks to address the causes of violent extremism, targeting issues ranging from lack of trust in government to perceptions of injustice and the lack of opportunities faced by marginalised groups (UNCCT 2016). C/PVE’s ‘population-centred’ approach to security places communities at the centre of the design and implementation of preventative security projects and reforms. This project seeks to understand the entanglements between this community-centred approach to security, its global expert communities and the national context in which C/PVE projects are carried out. By mapping this emerging form of governance, I explore C/PVE from its production as an international policy to its local application. Drawing on a translation approach (Behrends, Park, and Rottenburg 2014), I study how the emergent preventative security model travels and changes from one setting to another by employing mixed ethnographic methods across selected sites in Geneva and Tunis. I focus on two aspects of this translation process. First, I examine how this emerging form of governance relies on experts’ prognoses to conceptualise risk and target groups ‘at risk’. I pay particular attention to the intersecting policy concern of governing the risk of radicalisation of marginalised populations and the ‘risk’ of migration. Second, I examine how the shift from CT to C/PVE shapes the social reality of its subjects and vice-versa: What does it mean to be labelled ‘at risk’ of becoming ‘a violent extremist’? How may this affect access to one’s rights? Significantly, this research will shed light on the targeted population’s own security concerns and explores whether they change as a result of said shift. In the interplay between global and local concerns, I ask whether conceptions of security emanating from radically different contexts are simply profoundly incommensurable (Abu-Lughod 2013:174-194), or in fact, constitutive of one another.
-