Claudia Aradau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Action to combat terrorism has increasingly mobilized attention to things: liquids in airports, critical infrastructure protection, products in shopping bags, circulation of money, building design, architectural plans, databases, flight tickets, and so on. All these objects do not simply inform counter-terrorism responses but also produce the globality of terrorism. Among the objects that have recently emerged as privileged targets of terrorism and sites of vulnerability are locales of critical infrastructure. “Terrorists seek to destroy, incapacitate, or exploit critical infrastructure and key resources across the United States to threaten national security, cause mass casualties, weaken our economy, and damage public morale and confidence”, noted a Homeland Security Presidential Directive in 2003 (DHS 2003). Since then, terrorist attacks in London, Madrid, and Mumbai have prioritized critical infrastructure on the international security agenda. Agencies and experts strive to select, locate, and define critical infrastructure among the socio-economic infrastructures of a country, region, or sub-region. “Which infrastructures are critical and to be protected from terrorist attacks and which are not?", ask counter-terrorism experts. At the same time that critical infrastructures have emerged as an object of insecurity given their vulnerability to terrorist attacks, we have witnessed numerous infrastructures collapsing across the world: Hurricane Katrina in the US brought to international attention the decaying state of urban infrastructure, the lack of funds and the role of material resources in the differential chances of survival of populations facing disasters (Elliott and Pais 2006, Graham 2006). Moreover, many areas of the world lack the infrastructures taken for granted in counter-terrorism policy as support for urban and social life.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Methods in Critical Security Studies
Subtitle of host publicationAn Introduction
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781136260858
ISBN (Print)9780415535397
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


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