Evolving Securities Initiative at GLA (ESI@GLA)

The Evolving Securities Initiative (ESI) was officially launched at a roundtable event at the University of Glasgow hosted by the Scottish Centre for Crime and Justice Research and Griffith University in Brisbane.

Clifford Shearing opened the event by painting a brief history of humans and the evolving role that humans have played, and are playing, in the emerging worlds; rapid changes in earth systems, digital spaces and developments have and are reshaping us as humans. These developments are reshaping ‘harmscapes’ and challenging established arrangements for ‘governing security’.

Gloria Laycock OBE encouraged endorsing a system of learning through trial and error, as police and other security professionals respond to these challenges, an approach that has well served engineering, and applied disciplines.

Scott Burris, Temple University (Philadelphia) drew attention to the connections between the police and public health agencies, where both parties are setup to respond to individual events.  He argued for an approach that emphasized learning from failure and success, to spark new responses in both sectors.

Sophie Nakueira from the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and Anna Souhami from the University of Edinburgh provided first hand accounts of non-state actors as policing agents.  Sophie provided a glimpse into the role that aid workers at refugee camps play in brokering the re-settlement of refugees in Europe. Anna used her research in Shetland, north of Scotland, to illustrate the power that space and the environment have in policing communities’ activities.

Dan Birks from the University of Leeds continued the theme of non-human actors in policing, by exploring both the opportunities and risks big data has in responding to 21st century harms, as well as the complex issues of accountability that big data raises.

In drawing the event to a close, Julie Berg from Glasgow University, reminded us of the need to rethink established paradigms and perspectives with an example from the world of private security, where the lens of ‘governing through harm’ as opposed to ‘governing through crime’ is widespread. 

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