Advertisement

Western Paradoxes of Security and Fear

  • Simone TulumelloEmail author
Chapter
Part of the UNIPA Springer Series book series (USS)

Abstract

Something has been happening since the early 1990s: it is not necessary to be a scholar to have noticed that, in cities, in the media or in public and political discourses—in contemporary Western societies, in short—the use of the terms safety and security is becoming more prevalent everyday. Western citizens are more concerned with security than members of most other societies, both present and past. This chapter questions why citizens feel unsafe and constantly under threat despite living in the safest societies ever. Some recent trends in the global and Western arena are debated with the aim of unpacking the connections between security as a social demand and a political goal, and the ways these may have been boosting public fear of crime and violence. Specifically the role of political and media discourses (and misinformation) for growing perceptions of insecurity is unravelled—and two examples of discourses that have been making use of fear to influence urban and social policies are presented (Charles Murray’s ‘underclass’ theory and the discourse on the decline of the American city). Finally, the chapter discusses the cases of Italy and Portugal, describing the processes that have recently brought about a restructuring of the security policymaking in these countries, and suggests a reconsideration of Western trends from a Southern European perspective.

Keywords

Welfare State Sexual Violence Violent Crime Security Policy Political Discourse 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Abbott, C. (2006). The light on the horizon: Imagining the death of American cities. Journal of Urban History, 32(2), 175–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agamben, G. (2015). De l’etat de droit à l’etat de sécurité. Le Monde, 23 December. www.lemonde.fr/idees/article/2015/12/23/de-l-etat-de-droit-a-l-etat-de-securite_4836816_3232.html. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  3. Almeida, M. R. (1998). Vitimação e insegurança no concelho de Lisboa. Lisbon: Ministério da Justiça.Google Scholar
  4. Amendola, G. (1997). La città postmoderna. Magie e paure della metropoli contemporanea. Rome: Laterza.Google Scholar
  5. Anderson, E. (1999). Code of the streets. Decency, violence, and the moral life of the inner city. New York: Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  6. Arvanites, T. M., & Defina, R. H. (2006). Business cycles and street crime. Criminology, 44(1), 139–164.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Atlanta, J. F. (2013). Why does America have such a big prison population? The Economist, 14 August. www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/08/economist-explains-8. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  8. Barbagli, M., & Colombo, A. (2011). Rapporto sulla criminalità e la sicurezza in Italia 2010. Rome: Fondazione ICSA.Google Scholar
  9. Bauman, Z. (2005). Fiducia e paura nella città. Torino: Bruno Mondadori.Google Scholar
  10. Baumer, E. P., & Wolff, K. T. (2014). Evaluating contemporary crime drop(s) in America, New York City, and many other places. Justice Quarterly, 31(1), 5–38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Beauregard, R. (2003 [1993]). Voices of decline. The postwar fate of US cities. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Champion, T. (2001). Urbanization, suburbanization, counterurbanization and reurbanization. In R. Paddison (Ed.), Handbook of urban studies (pp. 143–161). London: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cordner, G. (2010). Reducing fear of crime. Strategies for police. Washington DC: US Department of Justice.Google Scholar
  14. Dammert, L., & Malone, M. F. (2006). Does it take a village? Policing strategies and fear of crime in Latin America. Latin American Politics and Society, 48(4), 27–51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Davis, M. (1998). Ecology of fear: Los Angeles and the imagination of disaster. New York: Metropolitan Books.Google Scholar
  16. Debrix, F., & Barder, A. D. (2009). Nothing to fear but fear: Governmentality and the biopolitical production of terror. International Political Sociology, 3(4), 398–413.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Dipartimento di Pubblica Sicurezza (2007). Rapporto sulla criminalità in Italia. Anno 2006. www1.interno.gov.it/mininterno/export/sites/default/it/assets/files/14/0900_rapporto_criminalita.pdf. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  18. Donald, J. (1997) This, here, now. Imagining the modern city. In S. Westwood & J. Williams (Eds.), Imagining cities. Scripts, signs, memory (pp. 181–201). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  19. Farrelly, M. (2010). Critical discourse analysis in political studies: An illustrative analysis of the ‘empowerment’ agenda. Politics, 30(2), 98–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ferreira, E. V. (2003). Violência e insegurança urbana: Um fenómeno em crescimento ou em transformação? Cidades. Comunidades e Territórios, 7, 37–57.Google Scholar
  21. Filion, P. (1996). Metropolitan planning objectives and implementation constraints: Planning in a post-Fordist and postmodern age. Environment and Planning A, 28(9), 1637–1660.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Friedmann, J. (2002). City of fear or open city? Journal of the American Planning Association, 68(3), 237–243.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Glassner, B. (1999). The culture of fear. Why Americans are afraid of the wrong things. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  24. Goldsmith, W., & Blakely, E. (2010 [1992]). Separate societies. Poverty and inequality in U.S. cities. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Graham, S. (2004). Introduction: Cities, warfare, and states of emergency. In S. Graham (Ed.), Cities, war, and terrorism. Towards an urban geopolitics (pp. 1–26). Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  26. Gray, E., Jackson, J., & Farrall, S. (2008). Reassessing the fear of crime. European Journal of Criminology, 5(3), 363–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hakimi, M. (2007). The council of Europe addresses CIA rendition and detention program. The American Journal of International Law, 101(2), 442–452.Google Scholar
  28. Harvey, D. (2005). A brief history of neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Heath, L., & Gilbert, K. (1996). Mass media and fear of crime. American Behavioral Scientist, 39(4), 379–386.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Heath, L., Kavanagh, J., & Raethompson, S. (2001). Perceived vulnerability and fear of crime. Journal of Offender Rehabilitation, 33(2), 1–14.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Human Rights Watch (2007). Italia: Il Decreto di espulsione prende di mira i romeni. https://www.hrw.org/it/news/2007/11/06/232330. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  32. Hutta, S. (2009). Geographies of Geborgenheit: Beyond feelings of safety and the fear of crime. Environment and Planning D, 27(2), 251–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. ISTAT (2010). Reati, vittime e percezione della sicurezza. Anni 2008–2009. www3.istat.it/salastampa/comunicati/non_calendario/20101122_00/testointegrale20101122.pdf. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  34. Kern, L. (2010). Selling the ‘scary city’: Gendering freedom, fear and condominium development in the neoliberal city. Social and Cultural Geography, 11(3), 209–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Koskela, H., & Pain, R. (2003). Revisiting fear and place: Women’s fear of attack and the built environment. Geoforum, 31(2), 269–280.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lang, P. (1995). Fear not…: Mark Wigley interviewed. In P. Lang (Ed.), Mortal city (pp. 70–81). New York: Princeton Architectural Press.Google Scholar
  37. MacKenzie, S., Bannister, J., Flint, J., Parr, S., Millie, A., & Fleetwood, J. (2010). The drivers of perceptions of anti-social behaviour. Research report No. 34. London: Home Office.Google Scholar
  38. Marcuse, P. (2004). The ‘war on terrorism’ and life in cities after September 11, 2001. In S. Graham (Ed.), Cities, war, and terrorism. Towards an urban geopolitics (pp. 263–275). Malden: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  39. May, J. (2010). Zombie geographies and the undead city. Social and Cultural Geography, 11(3), 285–298.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. McClain, P. (2001). Urban crime in the USA and Western Europe. A comparison. In R. Paddison (Ed.), Handbook of urban studies (pp. 220–240). London: Sage.Google Scholar
  41. Moroni, S., & Chiodelli, F. (2014). Municipal regulations and the use of public space: Local ordinances in Italy. City, Territory and Architecture, 1(11) [online].Google Scholar
  42. Murray, C. (1999). The underclass revisited. Washington DC: AEI Press.Google Scholar
  43. Murray, C. (2005). The advantages of social apartheid. Sunday Times, 3 April. www.aei.org/publication/the-advantages-of-social-apartheid/. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  44. Osservatorio Europeo sulla Sicurezza (2011). La sicurezza in Italia e in Europa. Significati, immagine e realtà. 2010. www.fondazioneunipolis.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Rapporto-completo-La-Sicurezza-in-Italia-e-in-Europa_Gennaio-2011.pdf. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  45. Osservatorio Europeo sulla Sicurezza (2014). ‘La grande incertezza’. Rapporto sulla sicurezza e l’insicurezza sociale in Italia e in Europa. www.fondazioneunipolis.org/notizie/disponibile-on-line-il-nuovo-rapporto-sulla-sicurezza-3/. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  46. Oza, R. (2007). Contrapuntal geographies of threat and security: The United States, India, and Israel. Environment and Planning D, 25(1), 9–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Piketty, T. (2014 [2013]). Capital in the twenty-first century. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Pinto, A. (2014). Espace et société dans le cinéma des Zombies. Annales de Géographie, 695/696, 706–724.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Roberts, J., & Stalans, L. (1998). Crime, criminal justice, and public opinion. In M. Tonry (Ed.), The handbook of crime and punishment (pp. 31–57). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  50. Santos, F., & Machado, E. (2009). A moral da justiça e a moral dos media: Julgamentos mediáticos e dramas públicos. Oficina do CES, 333 [online].Google Scholar
  51. Schuermans, N., & De Maesschalck, F. (2010). Fear of crime as political weapon: Explaining the rise of extreme right politics in the Flemish countryside. Social and Cultural Geography, 11(3), 247–262.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Shirlow, P., & Pain, R. (2003). The geographies and politics of fear. Capital and Class, 27(2), 15–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Sibley, D. (1995). Geographies of exclusion: Society and difference in the West. London: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Simon, J. (2007). Governing through crime. How the war on crime transformed American democracy and created a culture of fear. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  55. Smith, N. (1992). New city, new frontier: The Lower East Side as Wild, Wild West. In M. Sorkin (Ed.), Variations on a theme park: The new American city and the end of the public space (pp. 61–93). New York: Hill and Wang.Google Scholar
  56. Smith, N. (1996). The new urban frontier. Gentrification and the revanchist city. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  57. Soja, E. (2000). Postmetropolis. Critical studies of cities and regions. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  58. The Economist (2015). The fire and the fuel. What a dead white man can teach America about inner-city decay. The Economist, 9 May [unsigned article]. www.economist.com/news/united-states/21650533-what-dead-white-man-can-teach-america-about-inner-city-decay-fire-and-fuel. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  59. Tonry, M. (1998). Introduction: Crime and punishment in America. In M. Tonry (Ed.), The handbook of crime and punishment (pp. 3–27). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  60. Transatlantic Trends (2014). Transatlantic trends: Mobility, migration and integration. http://trends.gmfus.org/files/2014/09/Trends_Immigration_2014_web.pdf. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  61. Tulumello, S. (2014). Local policies for urban security and spatial planning in the metropolitan area of Lisboa: The cases of Lisboa, Cascais and Barreiro municipalities. Estudos e Relatórios ICS, 5-2014. http://repositorio.ul.pt/handle/10451/15721. Accessed 1 June 2016.
  62. van Dijk, J. J. M. (2010). The European crime falls: Security driven? Criminology in Europe, 9(1), 5–13.Google Scholar
  63. van Dijk, J. J. M., van Kesteren, J. N., & Smit, P. (2007). Criminal victimisation in international perspective. Key findings from the 2004-2005 ICVS and EU ICS. The Hague: Boom Legal.Google Scholar
  64. Wilson, D., & Grammenos, D. (2005). Gentrification, discourse, and the body: Chicago’s Humboldt Park. Environment and Planning D, 23(2), 295–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Ciências SociaisUniversidade de LisboaLisbonPortugal

Personalised recommendations