Fear: Critical Geopolitics and Everyday Life

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  • Edited by Rachel Pain and Susan J. Smith, both at the University of Durham, UK
  • Series: Re-materialising Cultural Geography
  • 'Fear' in the twenty-first century has greater currency in western societies than ever before. Through scares ranging from cot death, juvenile crime, internet porn, asylum seekers, dirty bombs and avian flu, we are bombarded with messages about emerging risks. This book takes stock of a range of issues of 'fear' and presents new theoretical arguments and research findings that cover topics as diverse as the war on terror, the immigration crisis, stranger danger, global disease epidemics and sectarian violence.

    This book charts the association of fear discourses with particular spaces, times, social identities and sets of geopolitical relations. It examines the ways in which fear may be manufactured and manipulated for political purposes, sometimes becoming a tool of repression, and relates fear to political, economic and social marginalization at different scales. Furthermore, it highlights the importance and sometimes unpredictability of everyday lived experiences of fear - the many ways in which people recognize, make sense of and manage fear; the extent of resistance to fear; the relation of fear and hope in everyday life; and the role of emotions in galvanizing political and social action and change.
  • Contents: Preface; Fear, critical geopolitics and everyday life, Rachel Pain and Susan J. Smith; Section 1 State Fears and Popular Fears: From presidential podiums to pop music: everyday discourses of geopolitical danger in Uzbekistan, Nick Megoran; 'Growing pains'? Fear, exclusion and citizenship in a disadvantaged UK neighbourhood, Catherine Louise Alexander; Fear and the familial in the US war on terror, Deborah Cowen and Emily Gilbert; Me and my monkey: what's hiding in the security state, Cindi Katz. Section 2 Fear of Nature and the Nature of Fear: Pandemic anxiety and global health security, Alan Ingram; Nature, fear and rurality, Jo Little. Section 3 Encountering Fear and Otherness: Scaling segregation: racialising fear, Peter E. Hopkins and Susan J. Smith; Practising fear: encountering O/other bodies, Michael Haldrup, Lasse Koefoed and Kirsten Simonsen; Neither relaxed nor comfortable: the affective regulation of migrant belonging in Australia, Greg Noble and Scott Poynting; Youth and the geopolitics of risk after 11 September 2001, Kathrin Hörschelmann. Section 4 Regulating Fear: On strawberry fields and cherry picking: fear and desire in the bordering and immigration politics of the European Union, Henk van Houtum and Roos Pijpers; Identity cards and coercion in Palestine, Nadia Abu Zhara; Ethno-sectarianism and the construction of fear in Belfast, Northern Ireland, Peter Shirlow. Section 5 Fear, Resistance and Hope: Whose fear is it anyway? Resisting terror fear and fear for children, Rachel Pain; Practising hope: learning from social movement strategies in the Philippines, Sarah Wright; (Re)negotiations: towards a transformative geopolitics of fear and otherness, Kye Askins; Afterword: fear/hope and reconnection; Index.
  • About the Editor: Rachel Pain is Reader in Human Geography, University of Durham, UK and Susan J. Smith is Professor of Geography, University of Durham, UK.
  • Reviews: 'It is not enough to say "face your fear". Your "fear" or our "fear", contemporary debates too often treat "fear" as if it can be resisted, manipulated, denied, transformed. This collection of essays takes complexities about "fear" and enables us to do all of the above. Its eclectic and challenging contributions place the "fear" debate into lived experience, political realities and histories, "known" resistance and acceptance of one's place in a complex world. A must read, and a must discuss, with a little hope rather than fear thrown in.'
    Betsy Stanko, Royal Holloway, University of London and London Metropolitan Police

    'This book delivers in its aim to provide a new way of knowing what fear is and the many ways it functions within society .'
    MC Reviews

    '…In connecting geopolitics to everyday life, the authors revitalise the debate and shed light on the meanings and emotions of human beings in different settings and with different privileges, or lack thereof…The editors also clearly show how the research on fear of crime goes far beyond issues of criminology, safety and security, and how a lower priority given to everyday life has been a shortcoming in the greater discussion on geopolitics. The book is recommended to scholars from different disciplines and interests as fear touches upon so many parts of life.'
    Urban Studies