Summary : « Security and terror », Giorgio Agamben, 2002

28 juillet, 2015 | Commentaires fermés sur Summary : « Security and terror », Giorgio Agamben, 2002

The philosophe Giorgio Agamben made a very brillant analysis of a saillant 9/11 consequence between order and security in an article transltated in severals languages you can find following the url :



Giorgo Agamben (1942)

So I provide a quick summary of the main points from « Security and Terror » Giorgio AGAMBEN, Theory and event, vol. 5, issue 4, 2002, you will find at the url of the MUSE Project :



Michel Foucault showed how security, as a political practice, oppose to disciplinary power. For instance, the purpopse of famine in the physiocrat thinking is to secure the production process in order to avoid such situation. This securization entails an increase power for those who possess critical assets on the value chain, for example it may be the food transportation and distribution actors. As a consequence, a securisation process reinforce the dominant actor within a social situation.

On the contrary, the disciplinary power, which purpose is to install an order, prevents a threat or a failed situation through the use of frontiers to delineate the perimeter of each actor and a hierarchy among them. The securization process works well to guide disorder in social processes within a globalize world structured by interdependences and their vulnerabilities.

In addition, security legitimacy requires an existential threat to justify the exceptional measures it takes. The difference between State securization and terrorism blured and each one is justifying the other. Exceptional measures of security favoured a depoliticization of society and the over investment in a functionnal security framework. It is irreconcilable with democracy, as soon as it becomes permanent it is the end of democracy !


Guantanamo is the result of the securization process designed by the « War on Terror »

It leads to a world war against terrorists which is the institutionalisation of a global terror both from terrorist groups and liberal States. All the possible threats may become justification for an extension of securitization : Islam, Environment, Health, Nuclear weapons, etc. The banning of democratic legitimacy from political decision making and the restriction of security decision making to an elite group is a concentration of power outside the citizens overview rights.

The purpose of democracy is to bind the elite group to prevent the factors which lead to fears instaead of increasing their power… and wealth through the autonomy of decision making provided by the securization process.