Cultures and People of the Post 9-11 Port Securityscape

Published: November 2012

In criminological debates, explanations of post 9/11 fear and control warn for the rise of security obsessions in which civil rights and social welfare principles are endangered. In this study on port security, the author entered the social world behind port security, where antiterrorist maritime laws that are influenced by global xenophobic politics and populist media, push police officers, customs officers and security personnel to interact in a multi-agency in the space of the port to establish a secure environment. The key research question focuses on this multi-agency of port security. By giving face to the rather unknown port security community and its cultures, this paper provides a criminological understanding of those responsible for securing and policing “at the docks”. As will be argued, illustrated by of collected ethnographic data, the port security realm reveals how virtues of fearlessness, trust and wish to decontrol come paradoxically forward from cultures of fear and control.

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