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Securing the Everyday City: The Emerging Geographies of Counter-Terrorism

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This thesis investigates the presence of counter-terrorist security within the everyday life of cities. It emerges from, and contributes to, ongoing debates concerning the place of security in contemporary urbanism, and discussions regarding the increased saturation of urban spaces with a diverse range of security interventions. Drawing on this work, this thesis argues that in order to better understand the urban geographies of security, instead of exclusively conceiving security as only imposed on urban spaces, we must ask how processes of securing cities are ʻlivedʼ. In doing so this study responds to the lack of attention to the complex relations between processes of security and lived everyday urban life. This thesis explores the neglected everyday life of security through a case study of an emerging form of counter-terrorist security apparatus within cities in the UK, examining the broadening of the National Security Strategy of the United Kingdom and the continuing development of CONTEST, the United Kingdomʼs counter-terrorist strategy. Taking London as a named example, the study concentrates on the security interventions of two research sites, the Southbank and Bankside area of the South Bank, and the Victoria Line of the London Underground, to examine how security addresses the everyday life of the city and how such practices are experienced as part of lived everyday urban life. In sum, this thesis focuses, first, on the processes through which the everyday city is secured and, second, it draws attention to and describes how those processes of securing are encountered and enacted, as they become part of the everyday life of cities.

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