The Ban-opticon and the Rioter: Extending Didier Bigo's theory of the Ban-opticon, and in the wake of increasing Western civil unrest, can the rioter be understood as a rising category of unease in the liberal world?

Mel Nowicki

Research output: Other contribution


Particularly in the decade since the September 11 attacks, the liberal world has become immersed in a ‘permanent state of emergency’ (Agamben 2005: 2); in which the West appears to exist in a state of constant fear of attack from a not explicitly named external ‘other’; figures, usually non-Western and non-white, ‘that escape existing conventions, norms and risk-assessments’ (Aalberts and Werner 2011: 2184). Using Bigo’s Ban-opticon as a theoretical framework, this paper seeks to understand and assess how this entrenched anxiety in the liberal world of what is ‘other’ has been extended to include the internal figure of the rioter as a rising category of unease, both through an analysis of who is marked out and exceptionalised as a rioter, or potential rioter; and through assessing how the figure of the rioter is portrayed and controlled by those that manage and control the liberal state of unease.
Original languageEnglish
TypeMA Thesis
Number of pages38
Publication statusUnpublished - 2012

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