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Security is meant to make the world safer. Yet despite living in the most secure of times, we see endangerment everywhere. Whether it is the threat of another devastating terrorist attacks, a natural disaster or unexpected catastrophe, anxieties and fears define the global political age. While liberal governments and security agencies have responded by advocating a new catastrophic topography of interconnected planetary endangerment, our desire to securitize everything has rendered all things potentially terrifying. This is the fateful paradox of contemporary liberal rule. The more we seek to secure, the more our imaginaries of threat proliferate. Nothing can therefore be left to chance. For everything has the potential to be truly catastrophic. Such is the emerging state of terror normality we find ourselves in today. This illuminating book by Brad Evans provides a critical evaluation of the wide ranging terrors which are deemed threatening to advanced liberal societies. Moving beyond the assumption that liberalism is integral to the realisation of perpetual peace, human progress, and political emancipation on a planetary scale, it exposes how liberal security regimes are shaped by a complex life-centric rationality which directly undermines any claims to universal justice and co-habitation. Through an incisive and philosophically enriched critique of the contemporary liberal practices of making life more secure, Evans forces us to confront the question of what it means to live politically as we navigate through the dangerous uncertainty of the 21st Century.
Brad Evans is senior lecturer in international relations at the University of Bristol.