Archipelagos of Fear: CT technology and the securitisation of everyday life

Peter Lehr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, I re-examine the transformation of our cities under the impression of recent terrorist attacks from a critical perspective. I argue that a ‘discourse of fear’ enables a process that turns ever more of our public spaces into ‘safe spaces’ which are essentially ‘quasi-public’ only – quasi-public in the sense that they can be accessed only by those citizens fortunate enough to have the right credentials, thus excluding or ‘othering’ all those we deem to be ‘undesirables’, however defined. I point out that this exclusion already is a common practice – and not necessarily connected to the threat of terrorism. Rather, in my view a ‘hostile architecture’ has emerged that targets everyone who does not fit in. To defend my point of view, I discuss concepts such as ‘defensible space’, ‘architecture of fear’ and ‘archipelagos of fear’ in the shape of loosely connected inner-cities citadels and gated communities in the suburbs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Publication series

NameAdvanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications
ISSN (Print)1613-5113
ISSN (Electronic)2363-9466


  • Archipelagos of fear
  • Architecture of fear
  • Barricades
  • Bubble laws
  • Citadels
  • Defensible space
  • Gated communities
  • Hostile architecture
  • Protected zones


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