Academic Lead – Paul Knepper  (Sheffield)

Global insecurity and conflict have transformed crime concerns within cities. The distinction between local threats to safety, to be dealt with by urban structures, and issues of collective security, the province of national governments, has given way to the global city in which local authorities must respond to internationalist anxieties. While the sources of contemporary threats and insecurities are conceptualised in transnational terms, it falls on structures ranging from military and civilian forces operated by national-governments to police and security personnel at regional and local levels to respond, and particularly urban structures, which are in a real sense the ‘first responder’ to global anxieties.

The Global Anxieties and Urban Governance (GAUG) network examines how British cities negotiate global anxieties concerned with conflict, insecurity, injustice and threat. The network brings together a multi-disciplinary collaboration to consider questions such as: How does ‘anticipating the worst’ affect urban life? What is the potential for urban structures to prepare for, and ‘bounce back’ from, major security threats, such as terrorist attacks? What is the relationship between perceived threats and outcomes for local populations, and particularly, marginalised populations? What is the impact of new security technologies, in both public and private arenas, on urban relationships and individual wellbeing? How are cities affected by, and how does urban governance respond to, regional, national and trans-national conflicts?

The network aims to develop PhD students with capacities for interdisciplinary theorising and combining research methodologies. It brings together a multi-disciplinary group of supervisors who will coordinate training and supervision experiences. The supervisory network will create a home for students who are by definition working in areas which do not fall within the familiar disciplinary boundaries. In addition, the GAUG network will provide a forum for student interaction; through facilitating regular opportunities to share the research experience.

Specifically, the Global Anxieties and Urban Governance (GAUG) network brings together accomplished researchers with shared interest in governance, security, international crime, social exclusion, technologies and crime prevention. The network possesses significant depth of theoretical and analytical perspectives, drawing on disciplines of criminology, political studies, history, media/cultural studies, social policy and sociology. In addition, the network possesses expertise in a range of research methodologies, including ethnological approaches, policy analysis, and archival research. It combines three members of staff with experience of developing a White Rose network (Crawford, Winlow and Wykes) with three new members (Knepper, White, Wincup). All supervisors have the experience of participating in a network.

Network Projects

Resilience, Threat and Urban Governance

Principal Supervisor – Adam Crawford (Leeds)

Counter-terrorism, perception and insecurity

Principal Supervisor – Maggie Wykes (sheffield)

Insecurity, Marginality and Control in the Post-industrial City

Principal Supervisor – Simon Winlow