Universität Wien

210121 SE M8: Gender and Politics (2020W)

Gender and In_Security: On the social construction of security and insecurity

9.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 21 - Politikwissenschaft
Continuous assessment of course work

Die Lehrformate für das WS (digital, hybrid, vor Ort) befinden sich in Entwicklung. Die Lehrenden werden die geplante Organisationsform und Lehrmethodik auf ufind und Moodle bekannt geben. Aufgrund von Covid19 muss mit kurzfristigen Änderungen in Richtung digitaler Lehre gerechnet werden.

Nicht-prüfungsimmanente (n-pi) Lehrveranstaltung. Eine Anmeldung über u:space ist erforderlich. Mit der Anmeldung werden Sie automatisch für die entsprechende Moodle-Plattform freigeschaltet. Vorlesungen unterliegen keinen Zugangsbeschränkungen.

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Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 40 participants
Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Tuesday 13.10. 11:30 - 14:45 Hybride Lehre
Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 27.10. 11:30 - 14:45 Hybride Lehre
Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 10.11. 11:30 - 14:45 Hybride Lehre
Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 24.11. 11:30 - 14:45 Hybride Lehre
Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 15.12. 11:30 - 14:45 Hybride Lehre
Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock
Tuesday 19.01. 11:30 - 14:45 Hybride Lehre
Hörsaal 1 (H1), NIG 2.Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

Security has become the catchphrase of our uncertain times. In the context of a multitude of interrelated crises over the last few decades, security has become the top priority of national and supranational politics. Security considerations shape various political areas, be it with regard to the latest migration movements ('border security'), the use of modern technologies ('data security') and, last but not least, the corona pandemic ('health security'). In the political and academic mainstream, security is primarily understood as "protection against threats"; it is considered a prerequisite for 'individual freedom' and thus the basis of liberal democracies.

Contrary to these power- and gender-blind ideas, in this seminar we will deal with the following questions from a critical social theory perspective: How are 'security' and 'insecurity' socially constructed? Which people and groups enjoy which forms of protection and security and which ones are deprived of them (e.g. insufficient medical care for refugees, police violence against people of color, precariously employed 24-hour-care-workers)? To what extent is insecurity gendered, class-based, and racialized? Which groups and their practices are classified as 'unsafe' or 'threatening' (e.g., body practices of queer and/or Muslim people) and how are they regulated (e.g. forcing non-heteronormative lives into the 'private' sphere, legal prohibitions)? What role does the state play in the construction of group-related security and insecurity? Which political practices may offer a way out of the securitization of the society?

These and similar questions will be discussed based on the works of feminist scholars and will be illustrated using empirical examples. The aim is to provide students with theoretical-analytical approaches that illuminate the social construction, reproduction, and unequal distribution of (in) security in a power and gender-critical way. We understand (in)security is as both effect and means of social inequality as well as technology of government. In this context, we will also deal with the feminist practice of 'shared care' as a way out of the securitization of social conditions.

Another aim of the course is to convey norms and practices of academic work. Special attention will be paid to the critical examination and writing of academic texts.

Assessment and permitted materials

The following tasks must be completed for a positive grade:

Presence and active participation
Weekly readings
Writing a research exposé
Homework (discussion of weekly readings)
Group work (researching literature with short report)
Writing a seminar paper

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

To accomplish the seminar successfully, the following tasks must be completed on time and assessed positively:

Seminar paper (40%)
Research exposé (20%)
Homework (20%)
Group work (10%)
Oral input (10%)

Examination topics

Reading list

Bigo, Didier, 2002: Security and Immigration: Toward a Critique of the Governmentality of Unease. In: Alternatives 27, 63-92.

Boyle, Cameron, 2020: Racialized class inequality is a death sentence: An analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. In: Solidarity and Care during the COVID-19 Pandemic. URL: https://www.solidarityandcare.org/stories/essays/racialized-class-inequality-is-a-death-sentence-an-analysis-of-the-covid-19-pandemic-in-the-uk

Butler, Judith. 2009: Frames of War. When is life grievable? London/New York: Verso.

Kreisky, Eva, 2004: Geschlecht als politische und politikwissenschaftliche Kategorie. In: Rosenberger, Sieglinde K./Sauer, Birgit (Hg.): Politikwissenschaft und Geschlecht: Konzepte – Verknüpfungen – Perspektiven. Wien, 23-43.

Laufenberg, Mike, 2014: Sexualität und Biomacht: Vom Sicherheitsdispositiv zur Politik der Sorge. Bielefeld.

Lorey, Isabelle. 2011. Gouvernementale Prekarisierung. In: Transversal, URL: https://transversal.at/transversal/0811/lorey/de

Lorey, Isabelle. 2012. Die Regierung der Prekären. Wien & Berlin.

Meyer, Katrin, 2009: Kritik der Sicherheit. Vom gouvernementalen Sicherheitsdenken zur Politik der ‚geteilten Sorge‘. In: Transverse 16, 25-39.

Meyer, Katrin, 2015: Gouvernementale Sicherheit, vergeschlechtlichte Risiken und das feministische Potential geteilter Sorge. In: Bargetz, Brigitte/Ludwig, Gundula/Sauer, Birgit (Hg.): Gouvernementalität und Geschlecht: Politische Theorie im Anschluss an Michel Foucault. Frankfurt am Main/New York, 139-160.

Power, Kate, 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the care burden of women and families. In: Sustainability, Science, Practice and Policy 16(1), 67-73.

Precarias a la deriva, 2011: Was ist dein Streik? Militante Streifzüge durch die Kreisläufe der Prekariatät. Wien.

Purtschert, Patricia/Katrin Meyer/Yves Winter (Hg.), 2008: Gouvernementalität und Sicherheit. Zeitdiagnostische Beiträge im Anschluss an Foucault. Bielefeld.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Fr 12.05.2023 00:19