Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Security in urban transport a matter of perceptions

06.12.2011
Is current urban transport security policy motivated by crime and accident statistics, or are other factors in play?

This is a question raised by the political scientist Ola Svenonius in his dissertation on security and surveillance in urban transport. He sees radical changes in attitudes in Berlin, Stockholm, and Warsaw.

On December 16, Ola Svenonius will publicly defend his doctoral dissertation in political science, Sensitising Urban Transport Security. Surveillance and Policing in Berlin, Stockholm, and Warsaw.

The dissertation shows how security in urban transport has undergone radical changes over the last ten years. If security was formerly understood in terms of crime and accident statistics, today it’s rather a matter of people’s perceptions. The dissertation studies the origin and impact of this change.

Ola Svenonius argues that developments in public transport are part of a more comprehensive change in our view of security issues, where security in the form of perceptions and feelings occupies a central role.

Of course, accidents still constitute an extensive field for safety work, but this is going on in the background. Instead, feelings and perceptions are the focus of this "next generation security policy." This is seen in all three cities I studied – Berlin, Stockholm, and Warsaw, he says.

In the three cities security policy developed in different ways. The countries’ political history affects what the broader international trend toward greater use of surveillance cameras, for example, looks like in each case. What they have in common is that when feelings of security become the central category in security efforts, this entails greater use of technical surveillance of urban transport and surrounding environments. This occurs when the security is subordinated to a commercial logic.

The dissertation reveals several things of interest both to the public and to political institutions. It shows how security becomes a discourse that lends authorities and companies nearly unlimited legitimacy regarding what measures can be taken and what phenomena might constitute a threat. At the same time, the framework for security work has become almost entirely autonomous in relation to crime statistics. The dissertation can thus be seen as part of a critical interrogation of current security politics.

There’s also an equality aspect to the altered security and surveillance practice, according to Ola Svenonius. Police work in urban transport is primarily not performed by the state police, but rather by private security firms or long-term unemployed individuals who are recruited as security attendants and supposed to “radiate” security by dint of their uniformed presence. Deviant social behaviors are classed as insecure and become a key focus in security work. Regardless of whether this is official policy or not – and there are great differences here – homeless people, drug addicts, and young people constitute the most important target groups for security work in the service of the average consumer.

The most recent cases of abuse of homeless and young people by Stockholm SL Public Transport guards are thus not examples of deviant behavior but rather a more fundamental, systematic phenomenon, according to Ola Svenonius.

Ola Svenonius is a doctoral candidate at Södertörn University and the Department of Political Science at Stockholm University.

Contact Ola Svenonius: Tel: +46 (0)8 608 45 17, Mobile: +46 (0)731 01 77 78 E-mail: ola.svenonius@sh.se

Dissertation: Sensitising Urban Transport Security: Surveillance and Policing in Berlin, Stockholm, and Warsaw.

Public defense: Friday, December 16, 2011, 1 – 3 p.m. in Hall G at Stockholm University, Arrhenius Laboratories, Svante Arrhenius väg 20 C.

External examiner: Associate Professor Peo Hansen, Linköping University.

Annika Borg | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

nachricht Europe’s Demographic Future. Where the Regions Are Heading after a Decade of Crises
10.08.2017 | Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: The fastest light-driven current source

Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.

Graphene is up to the job

Im Focus: LaserTAB: More efficient and precise contacts thanks to human-robot collaboration

At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.

Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Nerves control the body’s bacterial community

26.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Four elements make 2-D optical platform

26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Goodbye, login. Hello, heart scan

26.09.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>