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  • © 2021

Engineering Digitised Borders

Designing and Managing the Visa Information System

Palgrave Macmillan
  • Enriches understandings of the digitisation of border security

  • Challenges conventional understandings of IT systems as mere security instruments or tools by providing an empirically grounded diagnosis of their ontology and agency

  • Contributes theoretically and conceptually to an understanding of technoscience not as an independent or externalized variable in international politics and practices, but as something that deeply entangled with a multitude of other elements on many levels

  • Draws on the intersections of STS and IR and thus contributes to an area that has in recent years been vibrant and innovative – both in terms of methodology and in terms of how to draw political and normative conclusions from the study of complex sociotechnical systems

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eBook USD 59.99
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  • ISBN: 978-981-16-3402-4
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  • Readable on all devices
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  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 74.99
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Table of contents (7 chapters)

  1. Front Matter

    Pages i-xii
  2. Introduction

    • Georgios Glouftsios
    Pages 1-20
  3. Design

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 21-21
    2. Heterogeneity, Practice-Networks, Agency

      • Georgios Glouftsios
      Pages 23-39
    3. Designing the VIS

      • Georgios Glouftsios
      Pages 59-89
  4. Operational Management

    1. Front Matter

      Pages 91-91
    2. Governing the System Multiple

      • Georgios Glouftsios
      Pages 93-108
    3. The Birth of eu-LISA

      • Georgios Glouftsios
      Pages 109-119
    4. Operating the VIS

      • Georgios Glouftsios
      Pages 121-149
  5. Back Matter

    Pages 151-161

About this book

Engineering Digitised Borders offers a rich and detailed examination of how the Visa Information System was produced and maintained. By telescoping into the detailed micropractices of digitised borders, it demonstrates a remarkable ability to show us why these actions matter politically, and what is at stake when humans and materials combine to enact border decisions. Glouftsios’s analysis of VIS is careful, patient and utterly necessary as we debate the transformation of bordering in Europe and beyond.”

Debbie Lisle, Professor of International Relations, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen’s University Belfast, Belfast, UK

“What are the digitised borders traversing and stretching Europe today? How and where are they crafted, monitored and maintained? These are important questions which this impressive book answers, making it essential reading not just for scholars of borders and migration but anyone interested in the politics at stake in novel practices of governing territories, populations and mobilities”.

William Walters, Professor of Political Sociology, Carleton University, Canada

This book focuses on the Visa Information System (VIS): a large-scale data infrastructure interconnecting a multiplicity of state authorities that enact border security and migration management in the European Union. The VIS is embedded within a setting of pan-European IT systems that filter international mobility, identify threatening elements, hamper the travels of poor, racialized, and alienated subjects, while at the same time facilitate the circulation of those expected to generate financial and other kinds of capital. The book examines the engineering of the VIS by analyzing how it was designed before its deployment in the field of border security, and how it is maintained to ensure continuous and secure operation. It illustrates how engineering processes that render the VIS functional are not just technoscientific, but inherently political, as they (re)configure and maintain the power to govern international mobility by digital means.

Georgios Glouftsios is Postdoctoral Researcher and Contract Professor at the University of Trento, School of International Studies.

Keywords

  • Border security technologies
  • digitisation/datafication of border security
  • digitisation/datafication of migration management
  • data politics
  • technological politics
  • security and technology
  • IT systems
  • databases
  • system design
  • operational management
  • heterogeneous engineering
  • ontology
  • agency

Reviews

Engineering Digitised Borders offers a rich and detailed examination of how the Visa Information System was produced and maintained. By telescoping into the detailed micropractices of digitised borders, it demonstrates a remarkable ability to show us why these actions matter politically, and what is at stake when humans and materials combine to enact border decisions. Glouftsios’s analysis of VIS is careful, patient and utterly necessary as we debate the transformation of bordering in Europe and beyond.”

Debbie Lisle, Professor of International Relations, School of History, Anthropology, Philosophy and Politics, Queen’s University Belfast

Engineering digital borders presents in-depth field research within an outstanding analysis of digital infrastructures for borders and migration. The book explicates how the design and maintenance of large databases are in themselves controversial and political acts that matter in how political visions of borders come into being in the 21st century. It will set a standard for future research on digital borders and be of interest to students and practitioners.”

Matthias Leese, Senior Researcher, Center for Security Studies, ETH Zurich

“What are the digitised borders traversing and stretching Europe today? How and where are they crafted, monitored and maintained? These are important questions which this impressive book answers, making it essential reading not just for scholars of borders and migration but anyone interested in the politics at stake in novel practices of governing territories, populations and mobilities”.

William Walters, Professor of Political Sociology, Carleton University, Canada

Authors and Affiliations

  • School of International Studies, University of Trento, Trento, Italy

    Georgios Glouftsios

About the author

Georgios Glouftsios is Postdoctoral Researcher and Contract Professor at the University of Trento, School of International Studies. His work sits at the intersection of Critical Security Studies, International Political Sociology, and Science and Technology Studies. His current research focuses on technologies used for border security, law enforcement and migration management in the European Union.

Bibliographic Information

Buying options

eBook USD 59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-981-16-3402-4
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Hardcover Book USD 74.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)