The Cultural Construction of Safety and Security
The Cultural Construction of Safety and Security
Imaginaries, Discourses and Philosophies that Shaped Modern Europe
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Introduction – Gemma Blok and Jan Oosterholt
Section 1: Philosophical conceptualisations of safety
Chapter 1: Eddo Evink - Security, Certainty, Trust. Historical and Contemporary Aspects of the Concept of Safety
Chapter 2: Ana Alicia Carmona Aliaga - Tolerance, a Safety Policy in Pierre Bayle’s Thought
Chapter 3: Tom Giesbers - The Shackles of Freedom. The Modern Philosophical Notion of Public Safety
Section 2: Security cultures in history
Chapter 4: Beatrice de Graaf - The Invention of Collective Security after 1815
Chapter 5: Vincent Baptist - Criminal, Cosmopolitan, Commodified. How Rotterdam’s Interwar Amusement Street the Schiedamsedijk Became a Safe Mirror Image of Itself
Chapter 6: Gemma Blok, Peter-Paul Bänzinger and Lisanne Walma - Tourists, Dealers or Addicts. Security Practices in Response to Open Drug Scenes in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Zurich, 1960-2000
Section 3: Narratives and imaginaries of safety
Chapter 7: Nils Büttner - The ‘Golden Age’ Revisited. Images and Notions of Safety in Insecure Times
Chapter 8: Frederik Van Dam - Safety as Nostalgia. Infrastructural Breakdown in Stefan Zweig’s Beware of Pity (1938)
Chapter 9: Roos van Strien - Brace for Impact. Spatial Responses to Terror in the Cities Belfast and Oslo
Section 4: Narratives and imaginaries of unsafety
Chapter 10: Sigrid Ruby - Safe at Home? The Domestic Space in Early Modern Visual Culture
Chapter 11: Jan Oosterholt - The Transfer of Nineteenth-Century Representations of Unsafety. A Dutch Adaptation of Eugène Sue’s Les Mystères de Paris
Chapter 12: Femke Kok - Feeling Lost in a Modernising World. A Critique on Martha Nussbaum’s Emotion Theory through an Analysis of Feelings of Unsafety in Magda Szabó’s Iza’s Ballad

Gemma Blok, Jan Oosterholt (eds)

The Cultural Construction of Safety and Security

Imaginaries, Discourses and Philosophies that Shaped Modern Europe

This volume analyses cultural perceptions of safety and security that have shaped modern European societies. The articles present a wide range of topics, from feelings of unsafety generated by early modern fake news to safety issues related to twentieth-century drug use in public space. The volume demonstrates how ‘safety’ is not just a social or biological condition to pursue but also a historical and cultural construct. In philosophical terms, safety can be interpreted in different ways, referring to security, certainty or trust. What does feeling safe and thinking about a safe society mean to various groups of people over time? The articles in this volume are bound by their joint effort to take a constructionist approach to emotional expressions, artistic representations, literary narratives and political discourses of (un)safety and their impact on modern European society.

Gemma Blok

Gemma Blok is a professor in the History of Mental Health and Culture at the Open University of the Netherlands. Her areas of expertise are the histories of psychiatry, addiction treatment, and drug use. She was a principal investigator in the HERA-funded project Governing the Narcotic City. Imaginaries, Practices and Discourses of Public Drug Cultures in European Cities from 1970 until Today.

Jan Oosterholt

Jan Oosterholt is assistant professor at the Dutch Open University. He is specialised in nineteenth-century literature and has published books and articles on literary poetics, imagology and adaptations. His current research focuses on literary transfers and theatrical texts.