All partners logo heb

Adey & Anderson (2012). Anticipating emergencies: Technologies of preparedness and the matter of security

Bibliographic details:

Adey, P., & Anderson, B. (2012). Anticipating emergencies: Technologies of preparedness and the matter of security. Security Dialogue, 43(2), 99-117.


In this article, we examine contemporary ‘resilience’ through UK preparedness – an apparatus of security enacted under the legal and organizational principles of UK Civil Contingencies and civil protection legislation and practices. By examining the design, practices and technologies that constitute the exercises performed within Civil Contingencies, the article first suggests that the manner in which exercises have been mobilized as examples of preparedness and apocalyptical imaginations of the ‘unthinkable’ should be understood within the highly specific societal and political contexts that shape them. More substantially, the article then provides a nuanced understanding of the life of the security assemblage through an in-depth analysis of the exercise and its design, materials, play and contingent relations. Seeking to deepen and widen concerns for what matters in security studies, animated by concern for objects, bodily affects, contingencies and excess, the article contends for a more serious concern with how security and its practices can surprise, shock, enteral and disrupt in a manner that need not only be associated with failure.