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 Innovative genetic tests for children with developmental disorders and epilepsy
11.07.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Oxygen loss in the coastal Baltic Sea is “unprecedentedly severe”
05.07.2018 | European Geosciences Union

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: Future electronic components to be printed like newspapers

A new manufacturing technique uses a process similar to newspaper printing to form smoother and more flexible metals for making ultrafast electronic devices.

The low-cost process, developed by Purdue University researchers, combines tools already used in industry for manufacturing metals on a large scale, but uses...

Im Focus: First evidence on the source of extragalactic particles

For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.

To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...

Im Focus: Magnetic vortices: Two independent magnetic skyrmion phases discovered in a single material

For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.

Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...

Im Focus: Breaking the bond: To take part or not?

Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.

A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...

Im Focus: New 2D Spectroscopy Methods

Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.

"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Leading experts in Diabetes, Metabolism and Biomedical Engineering discuss Precision Medicine

13.07.2018 | Event News

Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP: Fine Tuning for Surfaces

12.07.2018 | Event News

11th European Wood-based Panel Symposium 2018: Meeting point for the wood-based materials industry

03.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

A smart safe rechargeable zinc ion battery based on sol-gel transition electrolytes

20.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Reversing cause and effect is no trouble for quantum computers

20.07.2018 | Information Technology

Princeton-UPenn research team finds physics treasure hidden in a wallpaper pattern

20.07.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>