Evolutions in Transnational Authority: Practices of Risk and Data in European Disaster and Security Governance

Title: Evolutions in Transnational Authority: Practices of Risk and Data in European Disaster and Security Governance
Authors: Leite, Christopher C.
Date: 2016
Abstract: The scholarly field of International Relations (IR) has been slow to appreciate the evolutions in forms of governance authority currently seen in the European political system. Michael Barnett has insisted that ‘IR scholars also have had to confront the possibility that territoriality, authority, and the state might be bundled in different ways in present-day Europe’ (2001, 52). This thesis outlines how modern governing authority is generated and maintained in a Europe that is strongly impacted by the many institutions, departments, and agencies of the European Union (EU). Using the specific cases of the EU’s disaster response organisation, the DG for Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), and the hub for EU internal security policy management, the DG for Home and Migration Affairs (HOME), this thesis understands the different policy areas under EU policymaker and bureaucrat jurisdictions as semi-autonomous fields of practice – fields that are largely confined to the groups of bureaucratic, diplomatic, corporate, NGO, contracted, and IO that exist in Brussels, decidedly removed from in-field or operational personnel. Transnational governance authority in Europe, at least in these two fields, is generated and maintained by actors recognised as highly expert in producing and using data to monitor for the risks of future disasters and entrenching that ability into central functional roles in their respective fields. Both ECHO and HOME actors came to be recognised as central authorities in their fields thanks to their ability to prepare for unknown future natural and manmade disasters by creating and collecting and managing data on them and then using this data to articulate possible future scenarios as risks. They use the resources at their disposal to generate and manage data about disaster and security monitoring and coordination, drawing on these resources to impress upon the other actors in their fields that cooperating with ECHO and HOME is the best way to minimise the risks posted by future disasters. In doing so, both sets of actors established the parameters by which other actors understood their own best practices: through the use of data to monitor for future scenarios and establish criteria upon which to justify policy decisions. The specific way ECHO and HOME actors were able to position themselves as primary or central figures, namely, by using centralised data management, demonstrates the role that risk practices play in generating and maintaining authority in complex institutional governance situations as currently seen in Europe.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/35121
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -