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The memory of security infrastructures

Friday, March 10, 2023, 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm


New materialism have inspired scholars of International Relations to understand that political ideas and ideologies are inseparable from material objects and arrangements which participate in the making of - and making sense of - global politics. Yet how do socio-material arrangements built in the past to address specific political goals shape the way we think of and prepare for security threats now and in the future? Drawing on critical security studies, infrastructural studies, and post-colonial studies, this talk will focus on how visions of securing society are entangled with socio-material arrangements and how past security infrastructures continue to influence contemporary politics and practices of security. Specifically, the talk will focus on research infrastructures built as a part of national security projects and will discuss how these infrastructures become a field of contestation between different visions of ordering and organizing society and space. These issues are explored in a case study about the transformation of Czech biological defence, which reflects the unease with which legacies of past security projects are integrated in and interact with new visions of a secure society.


Dagmar Vorlíček is a university assistant (post-doc) at the Department of Sociology, University of Vienna and a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Sussex. Her research focuses on the politics of global insecurities. Dagmar is an interdisciplinary social scientist drawing on International Relations and Science and Technology Studies. Empirically, she specializes in global health and biological security. She conducted and published research on bioweapons, biotechnologies, biobanks, dual-use research, and global health. Dagmar serves as the Head of Board of the Institute of International Relations Prague and as a member of the Executive Board of the Central and East European International Studies Association (CEEISA). Previously, she worked as a Lecturer in Global Insecurities at the University of Sussex and was a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies (IHS), Vienna.