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Le Nouvel Observateur - France | Thursday, May 24, 2007

Zygmunt Bauman analyses the obsession with security

In an interview conducted by Gilles Anquetil and François Armanet, the Anglo-Polish sociologist Zygmut Bauman considers that the current obsession with security is linked to the nature of modern fears. "Since two sources [of fear], incertitude and insecurity, currently escape the control of all the forces capable of deliberate, measured, combined and efficient action and especially that of the Nation State. The desire to conquer these fears entails the overestimation of the field of ... personal security (by seeking to be rid of foreigners, intruders and the uninvited, the delinquent lumpenproletariat of housing estates, the dishonest representatives of the farm-produce and pharmaceutical industries, invasive beggars, prowlers, voyeurs and other 'harassers' and of rude neighbours, smokers, sexual delinquents, etc.), for it is the only field where political power and purveyors of protection can act and show that they are acting."

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