Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)

Vigilant Citizenship in Miami

16Nov2017 15:00 - 18:00


This lecture looks into configurations and experiences of citizenship in relation to security provision in Miami. In analyzing contemporary security practices, many have addressed the relationship between private and public actors. The city of Miami is no exception: police officers are hired privately, private security guards are paid publicly, and both sectors seem to profit from an increasing demand for security services throughout the urban environment. While departing from the idea that such relationships and practices blur the boundaries between what has been traditionally called ‘public’ or ‘private’, this lecture aims to address the individual experiences hereof and attempts to look beyond such boundaries to begin with. It asks: how do civilians themselves cater for their own security?

This approach looks at the practices of police officers, security guards, and civilians through the same lens, asking the question of what they do to improve safety. In particular, I understand guns, cameras, and secrets as major elements in the ways security is envisioned and practiced. Through these elements we can better understand how citizenship manifests in daily urban life. For example, how does the right to have a gun mediate the understanding of who is responsible for security, and when? How does the increasing use of mobile cameras influence perceptions of safety? And finally, how do secrets affect relationships of trust and collectivity in Miami? 

This lecture is part of the International Development Studies Lecture Series: Conflict, Security, and Development, offered by the Department of Human Geography, Planning, and International Development of the University of Amsterdam.


Room REC JK1.05,
J/K Building
Valckenierstraat 65-67
1018 XE Amsterdam

Published by  AISSR