In this original and provocative new book, Stuart Price identifies the existence of a practice that lies at the core of the western security regime - the worst-case scenario. This consists of the projection of a significant material threat, made by an authoritative or executive power, used to bolster the security agenda of the neo-liberal state. This in turn has altered the conduct of military and police operations, which are increasingly directed against any substantial expression of dissent.
Using a wide range of official sources and case studies, from 9/11 to the Stockwell shooting, Price analyses the paramilitary, political, economic and cultural manoeuvres of the security regime as it attempts to reproduce a 'command structure' within civil society.
In doing so, he demonstrates that, unlike the openly totalitarian states of the past, bureaucratic rule is favoured over charismatic leadership, and the ostentatious display of coercive authority is characterised as a temporary measure. It is, he argues, a process that must be recognised and resisted.
Stuart Price is reader in media discourse and principal lecturer in media, film and journalism at De Montfort University, UK. He is the author of 'Brute Reality' (2010), 'Discourse Power Address' (2007), and a number of other books on media and communication theory. He produced one of the few academic analyses of the Stockwell shooting, for Boehmer and Morton's 'Terror and the Postcolonial' (2010).
Introduction: Preparing for the Worst? 1. Myths of Security 2. Governance, Technology and the State 3. The Security Regime: State, Governance and Contingency 4. The Scenario: Imagining Events 5. The Security Event: Exercise, Emergency and 'Real World' Crises 6. The Mediated Event 7. 'Real World' Security: Neglect, Incompetence, and the Overproduction of Force 8. Pre-emption and Perception Management Conclusion: Threat and Social Discipline