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Optics of regulation and control

Ieva Jusionyte and Daniel M. Goldstein


In the introduction to this theme section we attempt to disentangle the webs of in/visibility and in/security by tracing out their diverse iterations. We construct a series of conversations between two of the four key terms relevant to this discussion—security and insecurity, visibility and invisibility—as a means of analyzing the different ways in which their various articulations engage meaningfully in the production and reproduction of contemporary security cultures. Ethnographic examples accompany each iteration, drawn from the work of contributors to this theme section, as well as from other contemporary research. These examples not only illustrate the multiple and shifting intersections of in/visibility and in/security in today’s security-minded world but also remind us of the unique contributions that anthropology can make to the critical study of security.