This article investigates how modern neo-liberal states are ‘securing by design’ – harnessing design to new technologies in order to produce security, safety, and protection. We take a critical view toward ‘securing by design’ and the policy agendas it produces of ‘designing out insecurity’ and ‘designing in protection’ because securing by design strategies rely upon inadequate conceptualisations of security, technology, and design and inadequate understandings of their relationships to produce inadequate ‘security solutions’ to ready-made ‘security problems’. This critique leads us to propose a new research agenda we call Redesigning Security. A Redesigning Security Approach begins from a recognition that the achievement of security is more often than not illusive, which means that the desire for security is itself problematic. Rather than encouraging the design of ‘security solutions’ – a securing by design – a Redesigning Security Approach explores how we might insecure securing by design. By acknowledging and then moving beyond the new security studies insight that security often produces insecurity, our approach uses design as a vehicle through which to raise questions about security problems and security solutions by collaborating with political and critical design practitioners to design concrete material objects that themselves embody questions about traditional security and about traditional design practices that use technology to depoliticise how technology is deployed by states and corporations to make us ‘safe’.
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayJournal?jid=RIS The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, Review of International Studies, 37 (3), pp 1021-1043 2011, © 2011 Cambridge University Press.