Christos Boukalas
Lancaster University
The recently retired Homeland Security Advisory System constituted a main means by which the intensity of the terrorist threat was communicated to the United States' public. An examination of its inner workings and its social impact shows the System as part of a modality of government: an encapsulation of intelligence-led governmentality. Informed by the political philosophy of Cornelius Castoriadis, I contextualise this modality as a settling of fundamental tensions inherent in modern sociopolitical culture, those between the principle of social and personal autonomy, and that of rational mastery of people and nature. These principles are strongly connected to democratic and oligarchic political organisation, respectively, and they give rise to different justifications of state authority. In turn, they pertain to the fundamental question of whether scientific expertise on politics is possible.
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DOI 10.1080/17539153.2012.703809
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