Book Chapter Details
Mandatory Fields
Maguire M.;Pétercsák R.
2018 January
The Routledge Handbook of Anthropology and the City
Airports, from vital systems to nervous systems
Optional Fields
© 2019 selection and editorial matter, Setha Low; individual chapters, the contributors. This chapter describes the international airport from the perspective of security. It also describes the ways in which the airport is perceived, conceived and lived as a multidimensional, complex, non-linear system from a security and policing perspective. Understanding critical infrastructure, or ‘vital systems’, is of great importance to understanding airport security and, indeed, how contemporary urban life is governed. The chapter proposes that clearer sight of the airport can be achieved by opening dialogues with experts who grapple with the complexities and limitations of their worlds. It explores the roles of tacit knowledge and organizational memory in everyday policing and counterterrorism and offers some reflections on the anthropology of security expertise in critical infrastructure. Drawing on the work of Michel Foucault, Stephen Collier and Andrew Lack-off propose that ‘vital systems security’ has emerged as a ‘general diagram of power that can be observed in a range of national, transnational and global contexts’.
Grant Details