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The Government of Emergency: Vital Systems, Expertise, and the Politics of Security (Princeton Studies in Culture and Technology #25)

The Government of Emergency: Vital Systems, Expertise, and the Politics of Security (Princeton Studies in Culture and Technology #25)

Previous price: $32.00 Current price: $29.95
Publication Date: November 30th, 2021
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
ISBN:
9780691199283
Pages:
480
Usually Ships in 1 to 5 Days

Description

The origins and development of the modern American emergency state

From pandemic disease, to the disasters associated with global warming, to cyberattacks, today we face an increasing array of catastrophic threats. It is striking that, despite the diversity of these threats, experts and officials approach them in common terms: as future events that threaten to disrupt the vital, vulnerable systems upon which modern life depends.

The Government of Emergency tells the story of how this now taken-for-granted way of understanding and managing emergencies arose. Amid the Great Depression, World War II, and the Cold War, an array of experts and officials working in obscure government offices developed a new understanding of the nation as a complex of vital, vulnerable systems. They invented technical and administrative devices to mitigate the nation's vulnerability, and organized a distinctive form of emergency government that would make it possible to prepare for and manage potentially catastrophic events.

Through these conceptual and technical inventions, Stephen Collier and Andrew Lakoff argue, vulnerability was defined as a particular kind of problem, one that continues to structure the approach of experts, officials, and policymakers to future emergencies.

About the Author

Stephen J. Collier is professor of city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of Post-Soviet Social: Neoliberalism, Social Modernity, Biopolitics (Princeton). Andrew Lakoff is professor of sociology at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Unprepared: Global Health in a Time of Emergency.