The port securityscape: an ethnography

Eski, Yarin (2015) The port securityscape: an ethnography. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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9/11 changed the face of maritime transport that is responsible for moving 80% of everything we consume. Ports are vital hubs in that maritime transport and any disruption there instantly affects global trade. To protect the global supply chain from crime and terrorism, both must be disrupted locally in the port by port police and security officers that are responsible for port security at operational level. Public and critical criminological attention to these key security actors, however, is virtually non-existent. This thesis therefore explores how their occupational realities and identities are (re)established in two major European ports, by providing an ethnographic account. To do so, the thesis builds on multi-sited ethnographic fieldwork in the ports of Rotterdam and Hamburg between 2011 and 2012, during which everyday policing and security work has been documented, followed by a thematic analysis. The key argument runs thus: the port is a local space for the global trade, which is underappreciated and underestimated by the public, and has its police and security professionals in place both aboard and on shore who protect and defend that vital trade site. The aggressive commercialist governmentality that goes on behind that vital global trade is unwillingly yielded to by these guardians but not without any bottom-up resistance. They condemn the volatile commercialist governmentality that is embodied in management, competitive and careerist colleagues and authoritarian multi-agency partners, as well as in port companies and shipping companies. The State and global market they protect, is simultaneously a threat to them. This contradiction influences their occupational identity, making it inherently conflicted and affecting their performance in the port securityscape to the extent it can create threatening situations that cause the very dangers they are supposed to prevent and eradicate.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Port security, War on Terror, criminology, ethnography, identity, othering, Neoliberalism
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JZ International relations
V Naval Science > V Naval Science (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Supervisor's Name: McNeill, Professor Fergus and Mackenzie, Professor Simon
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Dr Yarin Eski
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6296
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2015 12:16
Last Modified: 23 May 2018 09:57

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