Sticky Security: The Collages of Tracking Device Advertising

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In security studies and beyond, technological developments are associated with technocratic, rationalistic, transparent forms of security governed from a distance. In much of the advertising of tracking devices the associations made are very different not to say opposed to this. The advertising composes security anchored in sensemaking and resonance rather than calculus and reason, working from within and below rather than from a above at distance and depending on the negotiation of opaque co-presences rather than the establishment of precision and transparency. The consequence is that advertising not only extends but also deepens the grip of military/security matters: making them sticky. Moreover, the heterogeneity of the elements is such that what is composed is a shifting collage rather than a stable composition. This argument makes a threefold contribution to security studies: a theoretical reconceptualisation of what it means to compose security, an empirical intervention in the debates surrounding the politics of tracking devices and a methodological intervention in favour of collaborationist research strategies.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of International Security
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)322-344
Number of pages23
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Technology
  • Commercial security
  • Branding
  • Sensemaking
  • Resonance
  • Research strategy

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