Insuring Security: Biopolitics, security and risk

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-11-05
  • Publisher: Routledge

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This book offers a genealogical interrogation of the relationship between security and risk through its materialisation in insurance.Empirically, the importance of insurance cannot be understated. Insurance expenditure in 2005 was nearly three times the world's total defence budget. However, nearly 90% of the world's insurance premiums are currently sold in OECD countries characterising insurance as a distinctive liberal security technology. Regardless of its importance, the analysis of insurance has so far remained at a highly descriptive level and its theorisation has escaped the interest of political, security, and international relations theorists. This book aims to redress this gap.Moreover, whereas insurance provides a particular form of security central to the development of capitalist economies and liberal governance, little is known about how it relates to ethics, and power. In particular, apart from seminal analyses on the operation and function of insurance, not much is known about how it directly relates to i) changing conceptions of life, ii) evolving ways of being in the world, and iii) the orders of governance through which these are promoted and protected. This book contributes a theorisation of insurance in relation to these three 'defining aspects of insurance'. In so doing it advances a novel contribution to the understanding of how a risk-based approach to security informs the problem of security and modernity, and in particular, it makes a novel contribution to the study of the biopolitics of security.

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