Matthias Leese

Matthias Leese
ETH Zurich | ETH Zürich · Department of Humanities, Political and Social Sciences

Assist. Prof. Tech & Governance @ETH Zurich; PI @CURATE Project (ERC-SERI Starting Grant): https://curate-project.com/

About

56
Publications
9,475
Reads
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663
Citations
Citations since 2016
48 Research Items
644 Citations
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Introduction
Currently studying (1) predictive policing; (2) data and digital technologies at the border; (3) theoretical, conceptual, and ethical questions at the intersections of science, technology, and security.

Publications

Publications (56)
Book
Full-text available
Full text available at this link: https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429328732 More information on the book: https://www.routledge.com/Criminal-Futures-Predictive-Policing-and-Everyday-Police-Work/Egbert-Leese/p/book/9780367349264 This book explores how predictive policing transforms police work. Police departments around the world have started to use...
Article
Full-text available
This is the introduction to the special issue (SI) on 'Data Matters: The Politics and Practices of Digital Border and Migration Management'. The SI calls for a renewed investigation on how data come to matter in the government of human mobility. To this end, it invites scholars in critical border, migration and security studies to engage with and m...
Article
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This paper analyzes how in predictive policing, data ‘make’ criminal futures that can be subjected to crime prevention. In doing so, it shows that the production of specific accounts of the future is predicated on the data practices of police departments. Specifically, the analysis identifies two sets of data practices that play a key role in how p...
Article
Full-text available
This article focuses on the control of international mobility through the gathering, processing, and sharing of air travellers' data. While a lot has been written about pre-emptive rationalities of security translated into the functionalities of IT systems used for border controls, we take a step further and investigate how these rationalities are...
Article
This paper empirically retraces and conceptualizes secrecy in the study of security. Building on 27 qualitative, semi-structured interviews with social scientists about their field research experiences, we use Gieryn’s concept of “boundary work” to rethink secrecy not as a self-evident separator between clearly demarcated spheres but as something t...
Article
Building on Scott’s notion of identity as a key concept in early modern statehood, this paper historically contextualises and analyses the current political re-problematisation of identity in the EU. Engaging the recently adopted interoperability initiative that is set to biometrically verify and cross-validate identity records between all European...
Chapter
Many aspects of law enforcement increasingly rely on algorithmic processing of digital data. Whereas most recent critical scholarship focuses on the algorithm as the decisive factor in the production of knowledge and decisions, we foreground the data that feed into algorithms. Based on insights gained from empirical studies on predictive policing s...
Article
Full-text available
Science and technology play a central role in the contemporary governance of security, both as tools for the production of security and as objects of security concern. Scholars are increasingly seeking to not only critically reflect on the interplays between science, technology and security, but also engage with the practices of security communitie...
Article
en Predictive policing is among the most prevalent new technological tools for law enforcement. Understanding how the police produce knowledge about crime and society in technologically mediated ways is important vis‐a‐vis practices of social ordering. In this paper, I suggest to draw on literature from Science and Technology Studies (STS) in order...
Article
Das letzte Jahrzehnt hat einige technologische Quantensprünge mit sich gebracht, die sowohl die internationale Politik als auch deren wissenschaftliche Rezeption geprägt haben. Dieser Beitrag gibt einen Überblick über die aktuellen Debatten in Bezug auf die analytische Einordnung von Technologie in den Internationalen Beziehungen (IB) und identifiz...
Article
Full-text available
Data-driven analytics can increase the effectiveness and efficiency of police work. Police departments should however proceed with care, as tools such as predictive policing raise a number of concerns regarding human rights and civil liberties.
Chapter
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Chapter
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Article
Patterns are the epistemological core of predictive policing. With the move towards digital prediction tools, the authority of the pattern is rearticulated and reinforced in police work. Based on empirical research about predictive policing software and practices, this article puts the authority of patterns into perspective. Introducing four ideal-...
Article
This article looks into the politicisation of security. Politicisation, in contrast to securitisation, presupposes that security issues are controversially debated in a public arena without foregone conclusions as to how they are going to be handled. In order to locate and observe politicisation processes empirically, we suggest to look at privacy,...
Article
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In this article, we examine the possibility of exercising critique through the mandatory ethical coverage that EU security research projects must be subjected to. Applied ethics, so we argue, speaks to several core issues in the critical security studies agenda, such as turning abstract considerations of critique into forms of tangible cooperation,...
Article
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This document’s purpose is to provide input into the advisory processes that determine European support for both research into Responsible AI; and how innovation using AI that takes into account issues of responsibility can be supported. “Responsible AI” is an umbrella term for investigations into legal, ethical and moral standpoints of autonomous...
Article
This paper discusses the role of standards and standardization in the regulation of security and mobility through the EU’s Mandate M/487 and biometric Automated Border Control (ABC) systems. It argues that the choice for facial recognition as the standard biometric modality was largely pre-configured through the inertia of sedimented infrastructure...
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This paper seeks to address research governance by highlighting the notion of public accountability as a complementary tool for the establishment of an ethical resonance space for emerging technologies. Public accountability can render development and design process of emerging technologies transparent through practices of holding those in charge o...
Article
This article explores questions of justice and moral permissibility of state action in counterterrorism through Robert Nozick’s Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Using the case of the Berlin attack in December of 2016 and the ensuing political debate over whether potential terrorists could be put into preventive custody as an illustrative example, it eng...
Book
Full-text available
Security/Mobility brings together research that examines the political regulation of movement with research that engages the material enablers of and constraints on such movement. It bridges theoretical perspectives from critical security studies and political geography in order to provide a more comprehensive perspective on security and mobility....
Article
This article critically engages the ongoing efforts of establishing a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP), as part of the Smart Borders Package, at the EU level. As the RTP seeks to flexibilise border management through the notions of risk and trustworthiness, the article suggests that a Foucauldian account of biopolitics can serve as a capable an...
Article
Airport security is increasingly governed in liberal ways, allowing for flexibilized and marketized ways of outsourcing and contracting service provisions to the private sector. This article draws on expert interviews from the aviation sector, finding that liberal security governance at German airports enables public bodies not only to cut costs th...
Article
With the emergence of aviation as a target for terrorism and serious crime in the 1970s, the affective dimension of airport security changed drastically and is now carefully engineered as a zone of earnest and solemn protocol. Against a backdrop of bombings and hijackings, airport security today enacts a “no bullshit” approach to the “war on terror...
Article
Full-text available
The water, energy and food-security nexus approach put forward by the Bonn2011 Conference highlights the need for an integrative approach towards issues of water, energy and food, and puts them under a general framework of security. While acknowledging the need for urgent solutions in terms of sustainability, the nexus approach, at the same time, m...
Article
This paper analyzes how body scanners were implemented at German airports in 2014 after failing a preliminary trial run in 2010–2011. The paper retraces how this initial failure became possible. It highlights the different ways of framing failure at both the political level and by experts and stakeholders from aviation security and the security ind...
Chapter
Privacy and security have long been framed as incommensurable concepts that had to be traded off against each other. While such a notion is rather under-complex, it has been quite persistent. In recent years, however, the relation has undergone a transformation and is now apparently conceived of as a technological issue that is set to be resolved t...
Article
This article argues that with increasingly large databases and computational power, profiling as a key part of security governance is experiencing major changes. Targeting mobile populations in order to enact security via controlling and sifting the good from the bad, profiling techniques accumulate and process personal data. However, as advanced a...
Chapter
Mit einer Definition des Begriffes Sicherheit sind einige Schwierigkeiten verbunden, die sowohl Jessica Heesen als auch Benjamin Rampp aufzeigen. Denn die Bedeutung von Sicherheit kann sich je nach praktischem oder theoretischem Blickwinkel stark wandeln. In diesem Kapitel soll der Versuch gemacht werden, sich dem Begriff ex negativo anzunähern. De...
Article
Risk has become a ubiquitous tool for security governance. This paper analyzes the ongoing shift in airport/aviation security from rule-based to risk-based screening. Seeking to explore the effects of data based passenger risk assessment on privacy through the collection and processing of personal data, it is argued that risk is likely to enroll pa...

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