Power and In/Securities research area

research area The Power and In/Securities research group is concerned with the ways in which different communities create, perceive and relate to (sub)urban and institutional space. Working within a range of contexts, our individual and collaborative projects investigate the degree to which uncertainty, risk and fear pervade everyday life, giving rise to forms of resistance as well as modes of compliance and defensiveness.

The group draw on a mixture of theoretical frameworks, such as critical feminist and critical race studies, psycho-social studies, critical military studies and cultural geography. Our interests encompass questions of power, security, insecurity, uncertainty and risk which we examine from different perspectives: intersectional, historical, theoretical and empirical.

Power and In/Securities members contribute to Violence, Transgression and Society; Police and Penal Studies; Researching Crime Prevention and Community Safety; and War and Society.


We welcome applications for Visiting Fellowships and Internships. Please contact the research area lead Prof Vron Ware for further information.

Current research

  • Social Regulation, interventions with vulnerable and transgressive ‘Others’ and the policies and practices associated with those phenomena.
  • The relational constituting of the local-state through affective, embodied and enacted day-to-day practices in different welfare institutions
  • Questions of in/security through the lens of personal protection and self-defence culture through a focus on habit and the shaping of the body; orientalism; militarism; and the relationship between personal anxieties and wider public discourses.
  • State and organisational deviance, victimisation, comparative crime policy, and cybercrime and cyberliberties. 
  • Critical Whiteness Studies through a focus on the ways that the history of empire has shaped, and continues to pervade, discourses of racism, gender and national identity in the UK.
  • The link between racism and militarism from a gendered perspective with a particular focus on the social and cultural impact of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • The impact of military deaths in different national contexts, with a particular focus on gender and nation in the 21st century.
  • The social production and negotiation of spaces and places, with a particular emphasis on urban space and culture.
  • Social insecurities invoked by urban change and the way in which powerful discourses and processes surrounding urban development are mediated by residents.
  • The way in which former squatters in South London have transformed a neighbourhood and are trying to carve out an alternative way of life, whilst negotiating ongoing processes of gentrification and the effects of social inequality and austerity.

PhD Supervision

We welcome informal enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in our specialist areas. We are interested in supervising in all areas covered in our research, but particularly:


  • The history of crime and policing and their relation to cultures of masculinity
  • Critical approaches to military institutions and power, militarist culture and the legacy of war
  • Welfare institutions and practitioners;
  • Policy and practice responses to vulnerability and transgression;
  • Policy process, welfare governance and the state;
  • The regulatory state, social control, power and relationality.


We welcome informal enquiries from potential doctoral students interested in our specialist areas. To find out more about doctoral study in the Department of Criminology and Sociology contact our Postgraduate Co-ordinator Prof Vron Ware.

Key contacts

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