Insuring terrorism, assuring subjects, ensuring normality: the politics of risk after 9/11

Aradau, Claudia and van Munster, Rens (2008). Insuring terrorism, assuring subjects, ensuring normality: the politics of risk after 9/11. Alternatives: Global, Local, Political, 33(2) pp. 191–210.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/030437540803300205

Abstract

Security has been located either in the political spectacle of public discourses or within the specialized field of security professionals, experts in the management of unease. This article takes issue with these analyses and argues that security practices are also formulated in more heterogeneous locations. Since the early days of the 'war on terror,� the insurance industry has had an instrumental role and 'underwriting terrorism' has become part of the global governmentality of terrorism. We explore the political implications of the classificatory practices that insurance presupposes and argue that the technologies of insurance foster subjects who are consistent with the logic of capitalism. Insurance entrenches a vision of the social where antagonisms have been displaced or are suspended by an overwhelming concern with the continuity of social and economic processes. These effects of insurance will be discussed as the 'temporality,� 'subjectivity,� and 'alterity' effects.

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