In this post on the RHULGeopolitics blog, I reflect on Ben Anderson’s recent writings on the role of emergency preparedness in modern state power.

Ben Anderson had a recent post on the website Berfrois in which he uses the rapid police response to the July 2012 Colorado cinema shooting to expand on our understanding of the role of “emergencies” in the construction of modern state power.  As he notes, while geographers (and others) have been focusing on the prevalence of spaces of exception wherein the state confirms citizenship to some and reduces others to bare life, much less attention has been devoted to the ways in which states have also normalized exceptional events.  Ben convincingly argues that in today’s world states maintain their legitimacy and obtain consent to rule in part through their ability to reproduce and control an environment of exceptional events as well as through their ability to construct exceptional spaces and persons.

Ben’s post spurred a few thoughts on my part, each resulting from recent news stories. Given the timing…

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