Call for Papers: National Security, Risk Management and the Transformation of Bureaucratic Ethics
Conference in Copenhagen, 23 - 24 May 2013
That national security in the twentyfirst century is a practice increasingly organized around a notion of threats as complex, uncertain, and unpredicable is by now a well established academic observation. Names and labels of the new threat agenda may vary, but most agree that national security strategy looks increasingly like a form of ‘risk management’, with profound implications not only for how policies are conceived, but also – and perhaps more importantly – for how they are practiced, exercized and organized. Conventional security practices were managed according to principles of prediction, strategy and hierarchy. The new security practice is one organized around principles of uncertainty, improvisation, and decentralization. How to critically understand and assess that development?
Interestingly, the transformation of national security practices has already given rise to the emergence of ‘risk studies’ as an interdiciplinary merge between governance studies, organizational studies and the discipline of International Relations. This conference seeks to contribute to that novel body of literature, by addressing what the practice of national security as a form of risk management does to conventional modes of thinking about bureaucratic ethics. What happens to core bureaucratic principles – regularity, predictability, neutrality, impartiality, responsibility, accountability, transparency, publicity – when the administration of national security policies are reorganized (and decentralized) to meet the demands of rupture, complexity and improvization?
In posing that question, we hope not only to address scholars within the field of risk studies, governance studies or more broadly International Relations studies, but to bring the study of contemporary security practices into closer contact with the field of political theory too. The contemporary transformation of national security and the bureacratic practices that support it, goes to the heart of issues essentially theoretical, philosophical and normative: What is the nature of law in an era that has given up on rulebound regulation, what is the nature of accountability in a society that has dispersed responsibility, what is the nature of authority in a state that has ‘responsibilized’ its citizenry?
It is the aim of this conference to bring such fundamental questions of bureacratic ethics to the fore, and to systematically assess, what the contemporary changes taking place in the practices of national security politics, imply for the ethical principles which have sustained the institutions of national security bureaucracies for most of the twentieth century. For purposes of such systemacy, we invite papers that will each address one particular concept of bureaucratic ethics.
A potential but in no way exhaustive list of such concepts might be:
The conference is hosted by the Centre for Advanced Security Theory (CAST) and will take place on 23 - 24 May 2013.
Expenses for travel and accomentadtion will be covered by CAST.
Abstracts submitted to email@example.com, no later than September 1, 2012, will be considered for presentation.
Please be aware that the number of slots available is limited.
Questions should be adressed to the organizers:
- Karen Lund Petersen (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Anders Berg-Sørensen (email@example.com)
- Vibeke Schou Tjalve (firstname.lastname@example.org)