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Dissertation Gerben Bakker on Desiring Security

Desiring Security. A critique of the political mentality of security and control in the spirit of Hannah Arendt

The aim of this study is to analyze the meanings manifest in the (late) modern desire for security. Starting from the recollection of various historical representations of desiring security, the study formulates a critique on the aim for instrumental control and searches for an alternative philosophical startingpoint for re-imagining the human relation to danger. The analysis is conceptual and hermeneutical, not empirical. It approaches the subject matter drawing from Hannah Arendt’s ontology, methodology and political philosophy. The partial recollection and re-interpretation of classical motives in the Western history of philosophy serves as a starting point for the analysis of how existing human motives for security have conflated with a
modern expectation of instrumental control. For each motive a critical perspective is developed on how these desires for security control are underlying late modern risk management operations and techniques.