When risks meet: The dance of experience, professional expertise and science in border security technology development

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Abstract

As policing and threats become increasingly transnational and plural, practices of managing risk increasingly use technologies that promise certainty. Drawing on a study of the creation of a new border detection device, and ideas from Science and Technology Studies, we argue that devices deployed as objective tools for risk assessment and management in the policing of borders, and the laboratories that develop them, are not simply linear applications of scientific knowledge to control risk but rather are crucial sites in which multiple and contending conceptions and practices of risk converge. Following the interactions of scientists, border guards, policing agents and the EU shows how an official discourse of risk, a scientific conception and experiential working knowledge of risk all ‘danced’ together in the development of a portable detection device. In the process experiential/contextual and professional knowledge of risk were often privileged over rationalistic and statistically based risk assessment.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
JournalCriminology and Criminal Justice
Early online date07 Nov 2018
DOIs
Publication statusEarly online date - 07 Nov 2018

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