Governing Emergencies Issue of Theory Culture & Society

We’re pleased to announce that the new special issue of Theory Culture & Society on Governing Emergencies is now available. It draws together critical work on emergency, exploring the politics and techniques of governing emergencies and the experiences of living through and with emergency, focusing on a range of different types of emergency. The special issue has been edited by Peter Adey (Royal Holloway), Ben Anderson (Durham University) and Stephen Graham (Newcastle University).

The issue includes:

Introduction: Governing Emergencies: Beyond Exceptionality by Peter Adey, Ben Anderson, and Stephen Graham

Vital Systems Security: Reflexive Biopolitics and the Government of Emergency by Stephen Collier and Andrew Lakoff

The Theology of Emergency: Welfare Reform, US Foreign Aid and the Faith-Based Initiative by Melinda Cooper

Cybersecurity, Bureaucratic Vitalism and European Emergency by Stephanie Simon and Marieke de Goede

Future Emergencies: Temporal Politics in Law and Economy by Sven Opitz and Ute Tellmann

Governing Inflation: Price and Atmospheres of Emergency by Derek McCormack

‘Crowded Places Are Everywhere We Go’: Crowds, Emergency, Politics by Claudia Aradau

You can access the special issue on the Theory Culture & Society website.

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Expanding Emergency: The 1964 Emergency Powers Act

The 1964 Emergency Powers Act was made law on 10th June 1964. It is only two paragraphs long, and received nothing of the intense political and public attention that surrounded the introduction of the Emergency Powers Act 1920 which it amends (see previous blog post). But it does instantiate a significant change in what can count as an emergency for the purpose of declaring a state of emergency. As part of the project on the UK emergency state, we’ve been looking at the Act. Continue reading

Emergency Response

Derek Gregory reflects on Pete Adey and Ben Anderson’s work on governing emergencies.

geographical imaginations

I’ve been catching up on a stream of publications by Pete Adeyand Ben Anderson on emergencies, including ‘Affect and security: exercising emergency in UK “civil contingencies”‘, Society & Space 29(6) (2011) 1092-1109; ‘Anticipating emergencies: Technologies of preparedness and the matter of security’, Security dialogue 43 (2) (2012) 99-117; and ‘Governing events and life: “Emergency” in UK Civil Contingencies’, Political Geography 31 (1) (2012) 24-33.

This has been prompted by a continuing conversation with Theo Price about a series of political/artistic interventions under the rubric of COBRA RES, in which he’s invited me to take part. COBRA, as many readers will know, is

the British Government’s emergency response committee set up to respond to a national or regional crisis. Standing for Cabinet Office Briefing Room A [below], the COBRA Committee comes together in moments of perceived crisis under the chairmanship of either the Prime Minister or the…

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