SAPIENT Policy Meeting and EIRSS Summer School, 2-13 September 2013

Authors: Isabel Rocha de Siqueira and Emma Mc Cluskey

In September 2013, the Research Centre for International Relations at King’s College London (RCIR-KCL), the SAPIENT project, coordinated by Prof. Didier Bigo (KCL), and the University of Kent, in Brussels, organised two parallel events in Brussels: a Policy Meeting on Smart Borders, sponsored by the SAPIENT project; and a Summer School on Security, Borders and Mobility, held at the University of Kent. This post on the RCIR Forum provides us with the opportunity to make podcasts and information from both events publicly available.

The highlight of the fortnight was the SAPIENT policy meeting Smart Borders? European and Global Logics of Border Surveillance in the Context of Privacy‘, chaired by Professors Didier Bigo and Kees Groenendijk .The meeting examined certain EU initiatives in the wider landscape of border surveillance and EU border policy through the looking glass of privacy and data protection challenges, including the recent so-called ‘smart borders’ legislative package, composed of an Entry-Exit System (EES) and a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP), as well as the EU’s additional proposal of a border-surveillance system, ‘EUROSUR’. The relevance and lessons learned of other international experiences making use of similar surveillance technologies (such as the US), and the role of democratic accountability (with the increasing role of the European Parliament) were at the centre of the debates.

The Summer School resonated strongly with the themes of this policy meeting and engaged with questions of fundamental rights and liberties in relation to security, borders and mobility. The questions addressed included:

What is the relation between security and liberties? Should we seek to find an appropriate balance between security and liberties, or is it a question of political judgment to untie liberty from security? Where is the location of borders? What is the relation between territorial, legal and technological borders? Are borders specific sites for security measures? What is their impact on liberties? And conversely what are the liberties which structure our understanding of the role of borders? Who is mobile/ immobile? What are the criteria applied to distinguish between desired and undesired movement? What is the relation between mobility, freedom of circulation and speed? What is the relation between mobility, information gathering on travellers and differential forms of surveillance?

The summer school drew upon practitioners from the European Parliament, European Commission; professors from two universities in Brussels, VUB and ULB; experts from think-tanks and from the NGO community. It was extremely successful in providing a platform for the long-term support of doctoral students (beyond the two-week period) by building a network amongst doctoral students and established scholars in this field. This included integrating doctoral students into research networks (C.A.S.E. and CCCSM); collaborative research and publication and organization of conference panels.


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  1. Welcome – presentation of topics and debates Tugba Basaran, Didier Bigo, Elise Féron  AND

  1. Security and Its New Global Positioning System: Global Preventive Surveillance? Didier Bigo, Professor at King’s College London Department of War studies and MCU Research Professor at Sciences-Po Paris. He is also the director of the Center for the Study of Conflicts, Liberty and Security (c&cls) and editor of the quarterly journal in French Cultures et Conflits

  1. Where are the Borders? Impact of European Law Elspeth Guild, Jean Monnet Professor ad personam, Radboud University, Nijmegen, Netherlands, Professor of Law Queen Mary, University of London, Partner, Kingsley Napley, solicitors, London, Associate Senior Research Fellow, Centre for European Policy Studies

  1. Border-Network and the Control of the Undesirable Andrea Rea, Professor of Sociology, Université Libre de Bruxelles

  1. Keynote by François Crepeau UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights of Migrants

  1. SAPIENT POLICY MEETING Smart Borders? European and Global Logics of Border Surveillance in the Context of Privacy Julien Jeandesboz, Martin Geiger, Didier Bigo (in order)

  1. SAPIENT POLICY MEETING Smart Border Initiatives Didier Bigo, François Crépeau, Elspeth Guild, Julien Jeandesboz (in order)

  1. Power of Diasporas in Transnational Civil Society Feargal Cochrane, Director, Conflict Analysis Research Centre, & Director of Research, School of Politics and International Relations, University of Kent

  1. Epistemology and Theories of Security: Securitization and Beyond Thierry Balzacq, Tocqueville Professor of International Relations, University of Namur, Belgium and Honorary Professor, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, UK

  1. Speculative Security: Preemption, Politics and Law Marieke de Goede, professor of Political Science and coordinator of the MSc program ‘European Union in a Global Order’ at the University of Amsterdam

  1. Securing Indifference: The Samaritan and The Law Tugba Basaran, lecturer in International Relations. She convenes the MA in International Development and teaches the modules ‘Development: Theory and Practice’, ‘Politics of International Development’ and ‘Security and Liberties’.

  1. Technostrategic Governmentality and the Enforcement of the Big North-South Divide Christophe Wasinski, Université libre de Bruxelles/Université Saint-Louis

  1. Surveillance, Democracy and the Rule of Law Paul de Hert, Professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB-FRC) and Associated Professor at Tilburg University (TILT)

  1. Methodological Acts Jef Huysmans, Professor of Security Studies, Open University, Director Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance, Co-editor of International Political Sociology

  1. PRISM: Surveillance and Privacy Emilio de Capitani, Didier Bigo, Gilles de Kerchove (in order)

  1. The Postcolonial Subject and the International Vivienne Jabri, professor of International Politics at King’s College London and coordinator of the Research Centre for International Relations, KCL.

  1. Displacements in Syria Madeleine Garlick, Head of Policy and Legal Support Unit, Bureau for Europe – UNCHR, and Science-Po.

  1. Workshop on Methodology: Qualitative Analysis of Standpoints, led by Dr. Julien Jeandesboz, Assistant Professor, University of Amsterdam

  1. Workshop on Methodology: Archeo-Genealogy and Archival Research, led by Dr. Emmanuel Pierre-Guitet, Lecturer in Terrorism & Political Violence, University of Manchester, and Dr. Philippe Bonditti, Associate Editor, Cultures et Conflits journal.

  1. Workshop on Methodology: Controversy Analysis – Digital Methods, led by Dr. Francesco Ragazzi, lecturer of International Relations at Universiteit Leiden.

  1. Workshop on Methodology: Data Analysis – Multiple Correspondence Analysis, led by Dr. Stephan Davidshofer, Post-doc fellow at the University of Geneva in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, and also teaches at Sciences Po Paris.

For further information, please check the websites:
Summer School on Security, Borders and Mobility –
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