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Security professionals: bureaucratization, institutionalization, professionalization and differentiation

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This chapter is a changeover between two levels of analysis because so far we have been interested in the role of war in the construction of the State at the macrosociological level with different phenomena that have developed around the practice of warfare and we have also been interested in the way in which this historical sequence was exportable or not to the countries of the South, particularly as regards failed and failing States. From now on, we will focus on security practices. We will move from the macro level to contemporary security practices and we will understand why it is necessary to understand the historical process of state building. Not only do you change the level of analysis, but also the object. We will move on to a micro-level, but also in the context of state building, there is an indispensable condition for the construction and emergence of security bureaucracy. How important was the war in the construction of the State, especially in terms of the pooling of resources in this process, which lasted several centuries, and how did this process enable the State to establish itself as the main guarantor of security in the territories it controls? Beyond this monopoly of violence, there is also a monopoly on security practices. We are going to ask ourselves how this monopoly is being overtaken and how it will be transformed.

We will examine how the notion of "security professional" emerged only and specifically in a context of bureaucratization, which is the culmination of the process of state building.

We have seen earlier how, in particular the war that pre-existed the state was captured by more modern political units, whether they were city-states or empires or kingdoms. What has at the same time transformed these political entities, which are becoming more and more bureaucratic, territorializing and territorializing, which makes it possible to assert its authority, is ultimately leading to the emergence of the State and which has also transformed the practice of war in two very different directions, there is a diffraction of the historical evolution of war with, on the one hand, the march towards total war up to 1945 with increasingly lethal wars, and on the other hand, the march towards total war leading to death. The modern police do not have an enemy, but rather fight against criminals who do not in principle use maximum force as the military does, but minimum force, which is proportional force as a last resort and self-defence at the lowest possible level. There will be a different institutionalization and professionalization, both historically linked to the state's ability to monopolize the use or use of legitimate violence, but which are increasingly differentiated with the military on the one hand and the police on the other. It is important to understand the internal logic of these two professions at the microsociological level and to understand the role played by bureaucratization, which is responsible for security practices and even the advent of the modern security mission as we understand it.

We will see how the dynamics analysed in the first part of the course, bureaucratization and diffraction of state practices between total war on the one hand and police logic on the other, and how these two dynamics can be analysed sociologically.

The ability of the modern state to use coercion is linked to a legitimate security discourse. It seems to be obvious that the military, the police as holders and custodians of the state monopoly on legitimate violence, are security professionals. This may seem obvious, but at the same time, as a central objective pursued and monopolized by the State, security is still a recent phenomenon, which significantly transforms coercive practices by rationalizing and bureaucratizing them. That is to say, historically, the wars of the Middle Ages, the wars during the Renaissance were never fought in the name of security, these wars were waged in the name of the glory of the prince or king, in the name of his greatness, eventually of his will to avenge those who would have offended his office, but not in the name of security. At that time, after the construction of the modern state, security was achieved through practices of state coercion, whether police or military, security is above all a philosophical and religious concept, as shown by Frederic Gros in his work The Principle of Security published in 2012, in which he shows that historically there have been three hotbeds for the emergence of a discourse on security:

  • A first focus is found in Greek Antiquity, where the very term "security" emerges as a Latin translation of the term "ataraxy" which designates the absence of worries, translated in Latin as "sedecura" or "securitas" which refers to the philosopher's state of fullness, which by reflection manages to disconnect himself from the worries of the world or to accept them and which thus reaches a level of "security". It is this historically "security" that is the absence of worry, but it is above all a physical state relative to an individual who has reached intellectual and philosophical maturity.
  • The second home is the Catholic kingdoms in the Middle Ages in which security is presented by the Church and not by the monarch himself, but as a state referring to the redemption of the soul, the security that comes at the end of time and which is therefore a reference to the redemption of the soul at the end of history. As such, security is certainly monopolized by an institution, in the same way that we presume today that the State is primarily responsible for the security of the citizen, but this institution is not primarily political, but it is a religious institution, namely the Catholic Church and security refers to an order of the world.
  • The third focus refers to the emergence of modern political philosophy, namely Machiavelli, Hobbes in the 15th, 16th and 17th centuries. Gradually, security will become the central objective of the State, not only of State security, but also of the security of its territory and population. Finally, it is in this sense that we generally use the concept of security today. We are situated in the continuity of this third centre of security, and it corresponds historically to the modern state's claim to conduct war in the name of the security of the territory and sometimes even of the population, but also to deploy police forces on its own territory in order to ensure the security of the citizen and, in a more secondary way, the security of the government apparatus itself in the face of internal rebellions. Historically, a distinction was made between "state security" and "state security", but nowadays, the concept of "security" is used only. The term "safety" is no longer used in its previous meaning.

At a time when the king was waging war primarily in the name of royal honour, in the name of the personal and collective glory of the military class, war was not primarily seen as a rational activity. In war, the king could be triumphant and glorious in victory, but also great in defeat. There was not really the notion of calculations and means at the end knowing that both defeat and victory could allow the king to claim a certain grandeur and glory in both victory and defeat. With security, we operate much more in a security - insecurity environment, in which the State's objective is to maximize security by minimizing the insecurity that is the framework that lends itself very much to efficiency calculations, which lends itself more to a rationalization discourse in which it is considered that a number of means must be made available to the security services so that they can achieve this state of security for the population, the territory and the country as a whole. This discourse corresponds to the emergence of security bureaucracies, which tends to give an aura of rationalisation in the sense of what Weber calls rationality as to the purposes, which is therefore instrumental rationality in terms of means and ends.

We must not pretend that the notion of security has any homogeneity in the practices of states that use security objectives. In reality, what we now call "security practices" are above all State practices, whether police, intelligence or military, which are very diverse, ranging from warfare, to security controls, to forensic science, a whole kaleidoscope and a whole host of different practices that actually have something in common, namely that the security objective is a particular concern for the population, knowing that, in reality, the following are some of the most important elements of the security agenda. Today, the diversification of security practices may even seem to go back in history, i. e. in the direction of a demonopolisation in the sense that we see the emergence of private actors and in particular entrepreneurial actors, security companies, insurance companies and private security experts. In reality, it is not a return to an exempted state in which non-state actors also have prerogatives in the use of legitimate force, because in reality what we see is a continuity between practices between private security and the logic of bureaucratization that now characterizes public security. On the other hand, private security practices, particularly private security companies, often do not call into question the State's monopoly on legitimate force for the simple reason that security today is no longer primarily the use of force, but rather the ability to produce a discourse on what is the threat, which is a discourse of experts claiming to be the truth about what threats are today, how to control them and how to prevent them.

Today, the partial privatization of security practices, particularly through private security companies or military security companies, is not necessarily a privatization of the use of force, but rather a transformation of security practices, which no longer refers to the operational and coercive dimension of the police and military, as in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This is something that can also be seen at the level of the military and police, even though the police and the military are still often defined today, above all through their central function as the custodian of the state monopoly on legitimate violence. In reality, most military personnel will never shoot a bullet on the battlefield. The majority of military personnel are administrators, bureaucrats, experts, logisticians rather than soldiers on the battlefield. The same can be said of police officers.

What lies behind the rhetoric of the rationalisation of state violence in the name of security is not only a transformation in vocabulary, but also a transformation in practices which does not result in the disappearance of the coercive function of state power that the military institution represents today, but which is reflected in its diversification and bureaucratisation, and which results in the fact that even if the specificity of the military vis-à-vis the baker's office is not the same. However, the fact remains that their daily activities directly or indirectly refer to the notion of security, and it is therefore important to understand those security practices that encompass these coercive practices, but that increasingly also include non-coercive and bureaucratic assets.

Security practices are bureaucratic practices which, for the most part, are justified through the argument of security production and the fight against insecurity. Safety practices are repetitive and anchored in daily and routine actions. In Toward a Theory of Social Practices: A Development in Culturalist Theorizing, published 2002, Reckwitz defines practices as "a routinised type of behaviour which consists of several elements:[...] bodily activities,[...] mental activities,' things' and their use, a background knowledge[...] and know-how[...]". A bureaucracy operates through "routine" processes, known as "standard operating procedures", which by the missions are repetitive and routine and which, therefore, when it comes to security practices contradict a representation of the practice of security as something exceptional with the deployment of security practices in a crisis situation, when there is a terrorist attack or in a war situation where there is a terrorist attack. Security is often portrayed as something that happens in our daily lives and lives when there is a great crisis, war or terrorist attack, as if it were absent in normal times. If we look at security practices, we see that in reality, from crisis to crisis, from war to war, between these so-called "exceptional" periods, there is above all work on the routinization of practices, which shows that we must be interested in the daily dimension of security practices and not only focus on wars, whether civil or inter-state, or crises, but also on the bureaucratic activities of everyone.

Emergence of security professionals (state)[edit | edit source]

In order to address the notion of "security professionals", we must first focus on the concepts of bureaucratization and rationalization of the State. The war allows and obliges the monarchs to centralize and bureaucratize their administrative apparatus in order to be able to raise taxes, to make the census of their own population which is a necessary condition to be able to raise troops, but also taxes. These are essential warfare practices, both of which involve administrative practices and therefore a relatively efficient bureaucracy that is not primarily concerned with military tactics, with the use of force on the battlefield, but with a much broader set of administrative practices, but which are nonetheless essential to the king's view of warfare. From this point of view, it is important to focus on the notions of bureaucratization and the underlying notion of rationalization that we have approached in a way that does not question what is bureaucracy, which distinguishes a bureaucracy and its claim to legitimacy from other claims to legitimacy. However, understanding what a bureaucracy is is important to understand how coercive practices are transformed.

Bureaucratization of coercion[edit | edit source]

Bureaucracy in the strict sense is government by offices, i.e. by an apparatus made up of civil servants subject to anonymous procedures and administrative routines. This definition may give the impression that bureaucracy, in the end, does not mark a significant or drastic change in state practice. In reality, the emergence of the bureaucratic principle is a fundamental process insofar as it uses writing, it incorporates the principle of writing which is the principle of written documents in the exercise of power, which will have a much greater and significant impact on the exercise of state power. When we say that bureaucracy is "government by the offices", we think of offices as a physical place, but what is behind the notion of "office" in the term "bureaucracy" is above all the written work, the fact of recording, of leaving written traces about the behaviour of the population that we administer, but also about the bureaucracies that we administer themselves. Writing has a very important impact on the exercise of state power, since writing is above all an accumulation of information. Thus, the emergence of the informational capital that Pierre Bourdieu spoke to us about in "Esprit d' État genèse et structure du champ bureaucratique" published in 1993, which allows the current government to claim to have a considerable amount of information on the population it administers, is the fact of writing the information, recording the population, and setting up archives that also make it possible to create a collective memory that is part of the collective memory.

The "power of the offices" is inseparable from the written record, archiving of files, communications. It constitutes a significant informational power on the part of the State which results in the imposition of legitimate classifications accepted by the population, since this implies the creation of categories. There is a set of classification systems that seem "obvious" to us, as is the case with "socio-professional categories", but which are in reality the product of bureaucratic work. The emergence of bureaucracies is actually a process of accumulating information in the hands of a government and its apparatus that strengthens and consolidates state power. This shows that the bureaucratization of the state is not only a process that is instrumental in the logic of transforming wars, but it is also something that fundamentally transforms the relations between administration and administration and thus transforms the internal relations of the state into modernization.

Bureaucracy in its strictest sense is not something recent in itself, it can be traced back to the invention of writing that marks the transition from prehistory to history. Bureaucracy is inseparable from the written record and therefore from the invention of writing. Since the invention of writing, estimated at around 4000 BC, there has been a monopolization of writing activity by the powers of city-states and ancient empires, which already accumulate informational power by recording their population and documenting property rights in the territories they occupy. This is particularly the case with the scribes who had a function of administration of the Pharaoh's domain which allowed him to know his population, to use it both for the realisation of great works and for war activities, thus showing the importance of the link between power and writing, between power and the accumulation of informational capital allowed by the capacity to write which was initially reserved for a small elite which through this capacity to write and therefore to write.

The massive and intensive bureaucratization of political power is considered to be above all the property of the modern state. Weber was known as the theorist of rational legal legitimacy which is the specific legitimacy claimed by the modern state and which passes through its bureaucratization. According to Max Weber, bureaucracy is an omnipresent feature in the constitution of modern societies. This is not only the monopoly of legitimate violence, but also bureaucratization. In The Trial published in 1925, Kafka imagines a dystopia in which an excessively bureaucratized court traumatizes Joseph K. The whole dimension of absurdity and inefficiency that we tend to equate with bureaucracy unfolds. Weber insists much more when he talks about bureaucracy on the emergence of instrumental rationality in the exercise of state power, on strengthening the state's capacity to transform and shape society in its image. These are two somehow contradictory representations of the bureaucracy that are constitutive of modernity with the bureaucracy as something procedural, inefficient or even incomprehensible for ordinary people, but at the same time as an indispensable condition of effective political and administrative power allowing the government not only of territories, but also of populations. These are actually two images of the same process that actually mark the bureaucratization of the state and which Kafka and Weber see differently, but which is facing another process.

It is worth noting the link between bureaucratization and war. The first institutions to develop bureaucracies or systematic bureaucratization logic are the armed forces. The armies were bureaucratized very early on, and we can even go as far as to say that war is at the roots of the modern bureaucratization that began. Weber considers bureaucratization to be a lasting transformation of the modern state, and yet bureaucratization is seen throughout history, even though it is first and foremost the history of bureaucratization of the military apparatus before it becomes the overall bureaucratization of state administrations. Even in the nineteenth century, if we take a state like the Kingdom of Prussia, it was above all the Prussian General Staff, which was considered to be the most effective model of bureaucracy and was seen as providing an overall model in the administration of the Prussian state. This shows in the 19th century the link between bureaucratization and war and thus the perception of military headquarters as the provider of a model for state bureaucracy.

Why is it so important to understand the logic of bureaucratization when talking about security practice? One could say that if security is first and foremost a defence against threats and therefore presupposes the ability to fight, including by the force of armies, how do the bureaucracies intervene? In fact, professionals, as we rightly believe they are at the heart of security practices, are increasingly bureaucrats. If we take the example of the military, generally in the academic and sociological definitions of what a military man is, we can see what in the literature of sociology-military is known as the "military specificity", that is to say what the military institution has different from other institutions, and we insist here on the fact that the military is an expert in the use of force, which is a repository of military violence. It is a minority of military personnel who normally train for war or conduct war on the battlefield. In fact, the majority are bureaucrats in the discharge of their military duty is related to logistics, planning, support, command and control, and training, which are a set of practices that have nothing to do with the use of force. In this sense, most military personnel are bureaucrats before they become warriors. When we talk about the transformation of the military profession today, it is important to distinguish between the warrior's and the military's non-coercive functions, which are nonetheless important in understanding the security practices of this institution. Military personnel are not only warlords in any case in times of war and when they are on the battlefield at once, they are also military managers and as managers, they are also bureaucrats working in offices and exercising their professional power through offices as places where information is written, recorded, stored and stored.

This transformation can be seen in the "tooth-to-tail ratio", the tooth that refers to the coercive dimension of the military administration, the number of military personnel who are or may be involved in the use of force on the battlefield. Tail "refers to all that is the administration of military units, but also to the administration of the population, since it is a question of taking through conscription and military service to constitute soldiers, for logisticians, it is a question of listing all the material resources likely to be mobilized and used in times of war.

The "tooth-to-tail ratio" reflects the propensity of the military personnel, which conforms to the war image of the military, but which in reality is less and less prevalent in the military institution. During the American Civil War, this ratio was 9:1. For 9 soldiers who fought on the front lines of this war, there was an administrator or bureaucrat who specialized in the immediate delivery of weapons on the battlefield, which meant listing the weapons available and the arms manufacturing plants on the territory he administered to transport them to the battlefield, but also referred to those who were conducting the census of the population to raise armies in order to raise armies. During the Second World War, this ratio was 1:1, with an average of 1 military bureaucrat per combatant. Currently, this ratio in the Western states is 1:10. Through these ratios and this evolution, we can see that the armies are becoming more and more bureaucratized, less and less military personnel are using or likely to use force on the battlefield, and more and more military personnel are likely to work in the offices.

There is this evolution for a variety of complex reasons. One of the reasons is that the increased sophistication of weapons used in wartime, coupled with an enhanced capacity for destruction of these weapons, means that it is not necessary to have a 9:1 ratio to conduct a war effectively. When we have fighter planes and especially when we have drones, it is not necessarily necessary to deploy men in the field armed by hand, we can be satisfied with having an army of computer scientists, information and communication technology specialists or logisticians who conduct the war through drones. Pilots are needed for fighter pilots and behind the pilots, there is a whole army of administrators, bureaucrats, military intelligence specialists who work upstream to allow the bombing. The sophistication of weapons largely explains the bureaucratization of armies. The targeted killing, which is killing through the use of drones, is really in an indistinction zone in which it is very difficult to say whether we are in the dimension of a soldier who uses force immediately after the battle or whether we are rather on the logic of bureaucratic and administrative activities that take place before the use of force. What is certain is that this reflects a gradual distance between the soldier and his target, there is a distance from the long term inseparable from the emergence of more and more sophisticated weapons which, from the 15th century to the present day, allow the military to gradually move away from the battlefield and thus to distance itself from its ability to see directly the results of the damage and destruction it has caused.

This same preponderance of bureaucracy is found in police work and may be even more so than in military work since, from a military point of view, administration and bureaucracy are above all an instrument. From a military and war history point of view, the bureaucracy can be seen as a sine qua non instrument for raising taxes and troops, administering the military units themselves and thus being able to wage war immediately.

With regard to police work, it is a question of maintaining order and identifying a certain number of irregularities in the behaviour of a population. The regularity of behaviour forms the basis of the social norm for which the police officers are the guarantors, which implies that they fight against incivility and delinquency, but also against crime, whether organised or not. In order to identify behavioural irregularities within a population, to identify what does not constitute normal behaviour and what is deviant behaviour in a population, it is first of all necessary to know, record, observe and archive its movements and displacements and thus to administer populations and the territories in which they are found. In a sense, bureaucracy can be seen as the very heart of police work, because of its power to accumulate information and thus build up an institution's informational capital. Population records are used both to identify deviant, delinquent and criminal populations and distinguish them from the rest of the population, as well as to identify patterns of behaviour. A police officer who uses the right of self-defence to arrest someone is only part of the police reality, the main part of police work being above all a task of recording the population in order to identify behaviour patterns in relation to which deviant behaviour, delinquency and crime can be defined.

As far as intelligence services are concerned, this is also the case with the use of an accumulation of information on a given population. The principle is to collect information about a population and store it so that it can be used to identify individuals or groups against which we want to fight effectively.

Total information awareness 1.gif

The "Total information awareness" program is one of the major American intelligence service projects after 9/11, which was the project that sought to gather systematic information on individuals living all over the world in order to be able to write a 20-page report on any individual. This programme would have been substantially discontinued since 2004. In intelligence services, there is the fantasy of unlimited accumulation of information and thus of building up an informational capital enabling them to strengthen their power over their target population, which is no longer necessarily the population administered as in police work, but which is increasingly contained in the population's work with regard to the world population.

From this perspective, the recent trend in intelligence transformation is increasingly indistinguishable between police and military intelligence. Traditionally, police intelligence is the gathering of information in a criminal justice logic, that is, about individuals suspected of committing a crime. Military intelligence is not concerned with individuals, but with groups that are essentially the armed forces of enemy states.

Today we see mass intelligence directed both inward and outward, targeting not only groups through the enemy armed forces, but also mass intelligence on all the individuals inhabiting the planet. We can see the logic of police intelligence and military intelligence in some way merge into each other, notably through the "Total information awareness" program which illustrates and imagines modern intelligence services and above all shows the transformation of data collection practices of intelligence services towards a more and more important mass information practice, particularly in a logic of war on terrorism. It goes through the same process and logic as the bureaucracies, i. e. documenting, storing data and thus ultimately accumulating information on increasingly large population groups.

When talking about accumulation, it is important to stress that it involves a "change of mentality". The ideology that underpins state power will change as the state bureaucratizes. The functioning of the State will increasingly translate into "standard operating procedures". That is to say, in similar situations, we will reproduce the same type of behaviour defined through rules of engagement, established procedures and which correspond to the standards of the profession that puts this into practice, whether it is police officers or military personnel who must follow procedures defined in advance. This explains the often negative image of bureaucracy as being, in the end, very mechanical, inflexible and never adaptable to the transformations and flows through which reality is transformed every day. This "standard operating procedure" also explains the image of efficiency and rationality that Max Weber identifies in bureaucracies, because it is also through these standard operating procedures that inefficiencies are avoided and attempts are made to maximise the operational efficiency of bureaucracies.

Another characteristic of bureaucracy is that it is an impersonal power. In principle, a bureaucracy and a bureaucracy applying the same procedures to everyone regardless of who they are. Bureaucratic power must be impersonal, knowing someone should not make any difference, since in principle the bureaucrat is not the owner of his or her own principle of legitimation, which is found in an abstract principle of bureaucracy, the principle of "standard operating procedures", which implies disregarding the identity of individuals and not applying abstract principles.

State bureaucratization also translates into the increased transformative capacity of societies. Michael Mann explains how states, through bureaucratization, exercise a power that is less and less despotic and more and more infrastructure. He was trying to answer the question of whether the depositaries of state powers today have more or less power over the monarchs of the Middle Ages. There is a paradox because on the one hand the monarch of the Middle Ages could arbitrarily order this or that individual to die, his despotic power was very important, just as the Roman emperor could decide which population should be executed. In this sense, the monarch of the Middle Ages or the Roman emperor had more power than most executive powers in modern states which cannot in a purely arbitrary way decide to lead to the death of groups of people without any justification whatsoever. Thus, the modern state has much less despotic power than monarchical power or empires might have. On the other hand, they have an infrastructure power that is incomparably more important than the States of the Middle Ages. The king of the Middle Ages could not decide to homogenize the language spoken by his own people for the simple reason that he had never inventoried this population, there was no national education and therefore no school where the population was sent to learn a language that was identical to that spoken by the monarch. The same goes for the Roman Empire. The modern States have through their bureaucracy, their ministries and ultimately through the principle of national education and schools imposed relatively homogeneous languages throughout the territory. Within each linguistic unit, the language is homogenized, there is an official language on the one hand and dialectal practices on the other which was impossible to implement in the Middle Ages. This shows that the modern state has much more power through its infrastructure for profoundly transforming society. It also implies that these States are dependent on the transformations affecting these societies. The purely arbitrary power of the executive to sentence an individual to death is impossible.

Bureaucratisation also results in a functional division of tasks, i. e. bureaucracies are subdivided and become increasingly complex and specialised in increasingly smaller activities. They are thought in terms of a logic of "means - ends", i. e. their logic is that of instrumental rationality and a logic in which different levels of application of a decision are distinguished in order to maximize its impact. This can be seen through military administrations that distinguish between the strategic, operational and tactical levels of government. The distinction between the political level which is the government, the strategic level which is the interface between governments and the armed forces, the operational levels which is the territory in which the armed forces intervene and the tactical level is the level on which military units are deployed. This political, strategic, operational and tactical distinction is also a distinction between the objectives set by the political level and the means used to achieve this objective, which is deployed at the tactical and operational level. This typically bureaucratic distinction between political, strategic, operational and tactical is a distinction between thinking in terms of "means - ends", i. e. how to maximise the chances of achieving a political goal by maximising scarce or at least expensive means as far as the armed forces are concerned. This is a thought in terms of efficiency and maximizing utility.

Bureaucracies differ at different hierarchical levels. There is a higher bureaucracy giving orders to lower bureaucracies, but at the same time a bureaucracy is always presumed to be independent or at least autonomous in its own sphere of action. From this point of view, civil-military relations are very ambiguous because of bureaucratic rationality because there is both the logic of subordination of the bureaucracy to the political authorities in accordance with the hierarchical principle, i. e. a military is supposed to follow the orders of a general who himself follows political directives given by the Ministry of Defence, which itself, the Minister of Defence, is subject to the executive power, and the military is also subject to the authority of a general. At the same time, the military is assumed to be autonomous as a bureaucrat in its own sphere which is the military sphere. In principle, the executive branch cannot "micromanage" military operations on the ground. Military aircraft are autonomous in their own sphere of action, which is itself subject to politics. This is the ambiguity of bureaucracies that are both subject to politics and at the same time autonomous in their own sphere, and this is clearly the case for the armed forces.

What are the practical implications of this bureaucracy?

It is twofold and essentially ambiguous, since at the same time, the fact that there are bureaucracies makes politicians responsible because the fact that there are bureaucracies operating on the principle of the written record means that the directives given by politicians, whether in terms of repressive directives from the armed forces to their people or in terms of repressive activities by the police forces, leave written traces in the administrations and in the police force. If there had been no bureaucracy during the Bosnian war between 1992 and 1995, it would have been very difficult to charge Radovan Karadži? with a crime against humanity, because what made it possible to find traces of the orders he gave is in particular the fact that the bureaucracies, particularly military ones, took note of the political directives given and which in the execution of these acts also listed the way in which these political directives were used. Thus, the bureaucracy makes politicians responsible from this point of view.

But at the same time, paradoxically, sociologist Zygmunt Bauman showed how the bureaucratic principle itself disempowered the state apparatus. This is because the bureaucracies are more and more differentiated according to functional differentiation, each bureaucracy becomes more and more specialized in a reduced and very limited activity. At the same time, to the extent that it reflects in terms of "means - ends", its purpose is increasingly limited to its sphere of action. For example, in the implementation of the Shoah, we can question the responsibility of the railways in France, Germany, Poland and elsewhere for the execution of this genocide. Railroad bureaucrats can always say that their role was only to move a certain number of people to a certain location, which is not reprehensible as such, except that this essentially bureaucratic activity conditioned the very possibility of transporting people to concentration camps where they were eliminated. Each bureaucrat, in so far as he only deals with a very small dimension of an overall operation such as genocide, does not necessarily see the overall result of this myriad of bureaucratic activities. He sees only what he does, and what he does does not lead directly to the death of men. This means that the bureaucratization of the State, the functional division of tasks into ever more precise and reduced tasks, which are increasingly limited to micro-finalities, disempower the entire State apparatus. From this dual point of view, genocide is made possible by the bureaucratization of the state, but the identification of those responsible for genocide is also made possible by the bureaucratization of the state. In the same way, bureaucratization translates into increased efficiency of mass killings, because it becomes possible to organize a genocide in Rwanda in a few weeks in 1994, killing 800,000 people if there had not been state bureaucracies capable of ordering China's impressive numbers of machetes. In early 1994, the Rwandan state ordered a quantity of machetes that should have caused the Chinese to worry. It was the fact that this bureaucracy worked effectively that allowed this genocide. When analysing the Rwandan genocide, there is a tendency to focus on local specificities, particularly the tension between the Tutsi and Hutu ethnic groups, but the truth is that it was the bureaucratization of the Rwandan State that led to this genocide.

Rationalizing coercion in the name of security[edit | edit source]

The rationalisation of coercion is a dimension that is actually linked to bureaucratisation. The idea is that bureaucratization whatever its analysts and in particular Max Weber takes the expression of a rationalization process in the sense that there is a specific rationality attached to bureaucracies and that is the instrumental rationality in terms of "means", i. e. maximizing the chances and the maximization of an objective with reduced means. To some extent, bureaucratization at Weber, or at least systematic and pervasive bureaucratization, is a characteristic of political modernity. Rationalization, too, is for him one of the criteria that characterizes modernity, not only political, but also modernity itself, which considers that rationalization is therefore an important component of modern societies. Weber speaks of a "steel cage" to define rationality in the sense that it is in the economic domain with capitalism, the domain of the state and organizations with bureaucratization and more generally in all societal domains through the rule of law in the societal domain and capitalism. He sees this in the expression of the emergence and omnipresence of bureaucracies, which reflects the underlying ideology of these bureaucracies, i. e. the instrumental rationality in which one tries to minimise costs and increase benefits in the name of a conception of efficiency that he sees as the basis of this modernity. Rationality is conceived here in terms of purpose.

In reality, there are different forms of rationality, such as the rationality of values, which refers to the fact that sometimes actions are carried out not with the aim of achieving a material and concrete objective, but simply to achieve certain values, whether religious or otherwise. Weber does not consider this type of rationality in terms of values to be particularly characteristic of modernity, if only because religious rationality is part of this type of reasoning. On the other hand, rationality as to the purpose for which the objectives sought and the means used to achieve them are strictly distinguished is specific to modernity when it becomes systematic.

Rationality consists of actions governed by reasoning and the calculation of interest. It is both by the activity of intelligence, but also by the will to quantify the social, to think in terms of interest that one tries to maximize by using scarce goods or resources as means. It is in this way that the specific rationality passes into the modern era, which is the rationality in terms of "means and ends". Weber sees the bureaucracy as political actions because a bureaucracy, if it imposes "operating standards operating procedures", if it operates by anonymous procedures and standardized norms of behaviour, it is also to maximize its chances that the political power achieves and maximizes its objectives, whatever they are with reduced means.

Science, through its ideal of truth and one of the expressions in the field of knowledge of modern rationality, the law in a wider societal field is also one of the expressions not only because the law is not only intended to separate the forbidden from the permit because the religious taboo has the same function. For Weber, the preponderance of law and law in the functioning of modern societies is linked to the ideal of predictability. That is to say, in a society governed by the law, in principle, one must be able to predict the behaviour of actors, there must not be deviant behaviours linked to the eruption of emotions or affectionate logics, whether it be revenge or hatred in social behaviour. The law must compel individuals to follow a rationality based on the idea of predictability. Behaviours can be predicted because they comply with the law and it is because behaviours can be predicted that we can also think in terms of rationality over the long term, i. e. we can develop long-term strategies, try to make intertemporal trade-offs linked to the fact that we know how individuals will react to a particular policy, linked to the fact that we know how companies will react to a climate of economic competition, for example.

According to Weber, capitalism in the economic field is also, according to Weber, the expression of this rationality that can be seen in the maximization of profit rates and intertemporal arbitrations that can be made, in particular, through the respect of the law highlighting the type of rationality as to the "means - ends" that characterizes modernity. One of the consequences of this preponderance of rationalization and bureaucratization is what Weber calls "disenchantment with the world". The world is no longer governed by the values of religious miracles and beliefs in mystery, but rather by the pre-eminence of interests, calculations and maximization of an objective, whether in terms of the objective of bureaucratic efficiency for the state or in terms of the objective of maximizing the rate of profit for business. In both cases, there is a calculatory and instrumental rationality that unfolds and stagnates between means and ends and tries to save the means to maximize the objectives we are aiming for, whether in the capitalist or bureaucratic state domain.

How does this rationalization logic unfold in the field of security, knowing that the emergence of security is also the result of the bureaucratization of violence? What does that have to do with security? What are the rationalization criteria? The criteria are:

  • predictability;
  • calculability;
  • effectiveness;
  • technology.

How do these principles translate into modern and contemporary security logics?

  • The criteria of calculability and effectiveness are part of modern rationality and this is also the case in this bureaucratization of violence;
  • predictability and control of uncertainties;
  • technologies as a result of applied scientific work and which is increasingly being used in security practices as well, reflecting a rationalization in the sense of Weber.

As far as calculability and efficiency are concerned, it is clear that when the monarch or emperors of the Middle Ages waged wars, it was not in the name of an ideal of efficiency, at any rate not stated as such, but rather in the name of the glory and grandeur of the ruler, and the idea of introducing mathematical rationality into war was also alien to the search for glory, and the idea of introducing mathematical rationality into warfare. On the other hand, in contemporary security practices, the ideal of calculability and efficiency that is inseparable from Weber's modern rationality is clearly present. We can see this through criteria for measuring the success of military operations. For example, if we look at NATO's military operations in Afghanistan since 2001, there has been a recurrent debate about what measures will be used to assess the effectiveness of military operations. In 2001, the idea was that military effectiveness, as in traditional wars, was measured by the number of deaths caused in the enemy camp as compared to the number of deaths in the friendly camp. This was the most common measure in conventional wars. It is a realistic measure of the degree of success in military operations. Except that in Afghanistan, the more we kill suspected enemies, the more we create possible enemies. On the other hand, the opposite side, particularly with regard to the Taliban, is sometimes looking for or implementing sacrificial strategies. The sacrifice of Taliban fighters can also be used as a symbolic resource to recruit more fighters.

From that moment on, the notion of "metrics", which is to measure the success of military operations against the number of enemy combatants killed, was called into question. Instead, it was suggested that efficiency may need to be taken into account in economic reconstruction, in political reconstruction, in the consolidation of Afghan institutions. The question is raised of how to measure it through the money spent on reconstruction projects, knowing that a large part of this money is also being diverted, in particular by the Taliban and other groups in Afghanistan. There has been a permanent search for metrics in military operations to measure the effectiveness of military operations without any certainty that measures have been taken to achieve the desired objective, whether through stabilization and consolidation of the government in power and elimination of the insurgency as far as possible. This is a debate that is ongoing and shows the importance of calculability and, in particular, the importance of being able to quantify the varying degrees of success in military operations in order to be certain that we are implementing military operations that are rational in terms of resources and in terms of the chance of success that we have for our part in military operations.

We see more and more the same thing in policing which is police activities where the dominant ideology of "new public management" increasingly requires the evaluation of public administrations. It is considered that the effectiveness of a department or bureaucracy must be evaluated in order to have as few public servants as possible, if only to minimize costs and maximize the effectiveness of that department's public action. The problem arises when we try to apply the principle of "new public management" to security operations, especially police security operations, in order to find out how the effectiveness of police operations is measured. If we measure it in terms of the number of people who have been sentenced, arrested or suspected, it is simply to see police officers multiplying identity checks, multiplying the number of arrests on increasingly unclear criteria for the sole purpose of complying with the statistics or criteria necessary for a proper assessment of the effectiveness of police services. Nevertheless, the criterion of efficiency in police operations is increasingly becoming the norm in Europe. Some police officers try to resist this tendency by highlighting the fact that behind this trend there is a specific logic of security that makes it impossible to measure the success of a security operation under penalty of producing counterproductive effects, in particular by arresting suspects and innocent persons by verbalising or controlling the identities of persons without objective reason. Nevertheless, the prevailing logic today is the application of calculable efficiency criteria, including to police operations.

The aim is to maximise the effectiveness of security professionals, whether they are military personnel through metrics or police officers through public policy reforms inspired by new public management. These effects are generally ambiguous in the safety area. From this point of view, we can see that safety is an area in which the application of efficiency criteria specific to other fields of effectiveness, produce perverse effects. One of these perverse effects, for example, is that the less violence in a given society, the more intolerable the feeling of residual insecurity may seem. This means that the less violence there is in a society, the more there is a feeling that what remains of violence, which is the irreducible part of the violence that persists in society, will appear to be intolerable. This is a paradox that has been evident since the 1970s and 1980s. When asked in the street about people's feelings about insecurity and its evolution, one often gets the impression that there is an explosion of insecurity in the suburbs, in the big cities, that terrorism is on the rise, that there are more and more incivilities and therefore more and more threats to society and individuals, even though existing statistics, in particular It shows, for example, that what is called "terrorism", the chances of it causing injury to an average person are smaller than being struck by lightning. Yet no one is thinking of spending the money on fighting or preventing lightning-related deaths that are being spent in the fight against terrorism. However, if we follow strictly the rational mathematical logic of statistics, it would be good to move in this direction.

There has been a general decline in violence which has been a trend since the 17th century, but there are still residual forms of incivility and violence, including so-called "terrorist" attacks, and these seem to us to be all the more intolerable because they are rare, whereas in societies where the level of violence is very high, such as in Afghanistan or certain countries in sub-Saharan Africa, there are daily concerns. The first paradox is that the more a society seeks peace in its social relations, the more there will be a feeling that the forms of residual violence that persist in that society are intolerable, unbearable, and therefore a feeling of insecurity.

Another paradox related to the attempt to rationalize security practices by making them increasingly efficient, calculable and eliminating the most pervasive factors of insecurity, or at least perceived as such, is that the more effective the security tools, the greater the number of phenomena considered dangerous. In many societies in third world countries, or also said the countries of the South, police forces, when they exist internally, have the function of fighting rebellions, fighting against the authority in place, possibly fighting against factors of societal instability, but certainly not fighting delinquency or petty crime simply because there are not enough police forces deployed, and because there are not enough police forces deployed. It also means that there is not necessarily the feeling that petty crime is an endemic problem, as is the case with us. This shows that the more security tools are considered to be effective in view of what is considered the predominant security problem, the greater the number of phenomena that are considered dangerous. Indeed, when one begins to use statistics to measure the risks of an individual becoming an offender, criminal or terrorist, security policies become more intrusive as the number of risks and threats to potential security that one identifies multiplies. This shows that it is very difficult to apply mathematical, arithmetic and rationalizing logic to security logics in the same way as it is applied to economic policies or financial globalization.

The second criterion of rationalisation is predictability and uncertainty control. From this point of view, what there is as rationalization that we see at work through capitalist societies of bureaucratization, we also see it in contemporary security practices through a concern for the control of the future. When we talk about security, we always speak of a potential threat that could become actualized in the future, but it is no less true today in the security logics that unfold through so-called "preventive" wars, as we used to say about the war in Iraq in 2003, or through contemporary anti-terrorist practices that are oriented towards an increasingly distant future. We often see a shift in contemporary security discourse from the notion of "threat" to that of "risk". Increasingly, there is talk of "risk management" in the security professions, whether it be militia, police or intelligence services, where or before the word "threat" was used. This semantic shift, precisely is not just semantics, but also corresponds to a change of vision of the security stakes in the more and more, one turns towards a future more and more distant in the implementation of security policies.

What can be the differences between "threat" and "risk"? Threat "is always a possibility. There are different criteria and connotations attached to these two terms. Without saying that there is a fundamentally different logic between "threat" and "risk", it is the way in which these terms are used by security professionals that reflect differences in connotations that are interesting to underline. In principle, a "threat" is intentional. If we talk about "risk", there is no strategic intent behind this type of phenomenon. Rather, they are emerging phenomena that no one wanted, but which nevertheless represent a risk for our societies and the individuals who make up our societies. In general, when we speak of "threat", we refer to intentionality, when we speak of "risk", we refer to a certain number of phenomena that may be intentional, but also not intentional and that are increasingly perceived as security issues. The "threat" is not necessarily calculable from the point of view of probability. In principle, a "risk" is first and foremost a probability. We are not talking about "risk calculation" and not "threat calculation". The "risk" is calculable in contrast to the "threat".

Today, in the prevailing security logic, we are talking about "probable risk" rather than "threat" in that sense. Another difference is that a "threat" is always negative, while a "risk" can be positive. An entrepreneur must take risks if he wants to maximize his profit rate. Risk taking "has a connotation that is neutral where the" threat "is necessarily negative. Similarly, when police or military personnel talk about "threat" and say that we must "counter the threat", when they talk about "risk", it is not to "counter a risk", we manage it, we refer to different "risks" between them, we try to minimize the "risk", it raises other risks. We make trade-offs in different "risks", but we do not oppose them like we do "against the threat". When we talk about "threat", we generally consider it to be deductible, that is, a world without "threat" must be possible, while a world without "risk" cannot be possible because the way in which a risk is managed always raises other risks. For example, if we seek to combat terrorism by restricting the mobility of foreign populations, this raises other risks, not least because the free movement of persons is inseparable from economic liberalism and there are risks of economic destabilisation in a number of anti-terrorist measures. Thus, there are therefore differences in connotations between "risk" and "threat", but today, security policies are increasingly interested in the notion of "risk", which is much more forward-looking than "threat", since the very essence of "threat", in a strict sense, is to be uttered, a group or a State considered as "threatening" is a group or a State which has "threatened". While to say that a group or state represents a risk, it is not necessarily necessary for it to have made a "threat", it is not necessarily necessary for it to have present intentionality, but it may be a matter of future intentionality that is calculated on the basis of statistics, i. e. it is considered or can be said that a group which finds itself in a particular situation, or a group which is in a particular situation, to be at risk. When we talk about "risk", an increasing number of security professions are doing so, and intelligence in particular, we are presenting as "threats", i. e."risk factors", populations whose populations are now admitted to have neither made "threats" nor demonstrated the intention to do so in the present. There is a will to control the future and to fight against "risks" rather than "threats".

There is the preponderance of worst-case scenarios, but also a logic of proactivity that goes hand in hand with security operations increasingly turned towards the future and towards a future that is increasingly potential and virtual than it is today. We are talking more about proactivity and anticipation rather than criminal justice. Traditional police intelligence is designed to identify individuals who have committed a crime in the past so that they can be arrested, tried and eventually convicted if their guilt has been proven, while today, increasingly, there is a logic of forward-looking intelligence, i. e., there are at-risk groups that are groups of people who have not yet committed a crime, but who, in view of the fact that they have not yet committed a crime, are still at risk.

The third criterion of rationalization in Weber's sense is the use of technology:

  • From this point of view, the military has always been at the forefront of technological innovation, whether we think of jet aircraft, the Internet or teflon. All three of these are innovations that were military innovations before being applied in civilian life. This shows how the military and war have always been a factor of technological innovation, emphasizing and valuing the use of technology in wartime contexts.
  • With regard to police, there is the development of new methods of investigation and index collection. Police are increasingly working on the basis of databases, of information collected on ever-widening groups from which they will try to identify statistical regularities in an attempt to identify irregularities that could give rise to suspicion of illegal practices. There is, therefore, the increasing use of computer technologies, data minding software and sophisticated algorithms to identify populations at risk, such as in the Netherlands, what is known as "intelligence-led policing", which is the police through intelligence techniques involving the use of sophisticated technologies in police operations.
  • In the intelligence apparatus, we also see this logic at work. More and more work is being done on "technological intelligence" rather than what used to be called "human intelligence", which is what we call conventional spies. Intelligence, or signals intelligence, consists in storing information transmitted by electromagnetic waves either by capturing telephone conversations or by intercepting messages on the Internet stored in databases. This is notably the purpose of the Echelon Network, which was revealed in the late 1990s. It is a network set up by the United States and whose radars are located in Scotland, which aims to gather and store massively information from telephone conversations on the European continent, but also from Internet messages stored on databases in the United States so as to possibly have elements at fault if terrorists infiltrate the United States from Europe or if terrorist attacks were committed from Europe, it would make it possible to find their message in the United States. It is not only a logic of criminal justice, but it is a logic of mass intelligence through the mass storage of information through electronic sensors.

Professionalization of security[edit | edit source]

These "intelligence-led policing" logics can be found in increasingly sophisticated technologies in wartime activities, in police activities, in intelligence activities and through the increasing professionalization of security professions, raising the question of what is the difference between a "trade" and a "profession". In general, in sociological literature on professions and on professionalization, it is considered that what distinguishes a "profession" from a "trade" is perhaps that a "profession" implies technical training accompanied by methods of validating skills, a "trade" can be "learned on the lateness", whereas a "profession" is learned at school, at university, to follow a theoretical and practical training, training which is not only necessary but also necessary for the development of a profession. The "profession" as opposed to the "profession" is intellectual. A "profession" has institutional means to ensure compliance with professional standards.

These three criteria of the "profession" that distinguishes it from the "profession", we see them more and more at work in what was traditionally the "security professions". In any case, as far as the military is concerned, we have seen that at the end of the Middle Ages, essentially a statutory prerogative linked to birth, there was a military aristocracy in which one was military from father to son, linked to belonging to a military family and this was totally disconnected from any possible formation or any particular intellectual skills. Today, there are more and more professional armies made up of professionals who work in the military profession primarily for reasons of salary rather than social status and who require advanced training, all the more so as the military technologies used are increasingly advanced. We see a transition from aristocracy to military meritocracy that translates into a professionalization of the "military profession" or the professionalization of what was once the "military profession".

Unlike the Versailles Congress of 1919, the Vienna Congress of 1815 was negotiated by aristocrats, while in Versailles it was civil servants illustrating the professionalisation, this transition from military and diplomacy to a social class rather than training for diplomats and militia who had specific training, regardless of their social origin.

The professionalization of security is the third element after bureaucratization and rationalization, which is the culmination of long-term transformations in security practices linked to the bureaucratization of the state.

Contemporary transformations in the world of security professionals[edit | edit source]

Bourdieu's text "Spirit of State Genesis and Structure of the bureaucratic field" published in 1993, synthesizes the course's argument. It is the idea that the formation of the State is the fruit of a long historical process that has emerged from a number of contingencies. When we tried to transpose these sequences to southern countries, it is impertinent and even illogical. The idea behind this text is when Bourdieu speaks of "practical utopia", which is the idea that we are not necessarily in a pre-established sequence, but precisely, at various times, different possibilities have been rejected until we arrive at the process as it is today.

Bourdieu's contribution is when he goes back to Weber's definition with the State as an enterprise of a monopoly of physical violence in a given territory. Bourdieu adds the idea of a physical and symbolic monopoly of violence in a given territory. Its contribution is that the State, in its efficiency, has not only imposed the monopoly of physical violence, but has also created the conditions for the population to accept this monopoly, particularly through the school which will create the conditions through diplomas through which the State will recognize the role that it will give legitimacy within society, to different actors and within different fields. The construction of the State is accompanied by the emergence of certain spaces that will differentiate themselves during the emergence of the State, that it was the fruit of a long process in which society becomes more complex through what Norbert Elias called the "process of civilization". We're going to have different spheres, different fields that will differentiate between them. Bourdieu gives the example of the legal field and how, as time goes by, when the jurists are at the base first of all close to the king, they will create an autonomous space which is the legal space that will lay down their own rules for the establishment of royal power, but gradually become autonomous as an independent field. He also talks about the field of coercion management, which is the professional turn of security, which is one of the constituent elements of the State, and if not one of the most important is the constitution of this monopoly of symbolic violence, which has been built up on a differentiation between the internal and the external.

We have seen that security is a moving target, that its meaning has evolved enormously throughout history. Frédéric Gros who spoke first of a philosophical understanding with a work on oneself that would allow us to arrive at a state of serenity, then through the emergence of a millenarian security by saying that security is a state that we reach in the hereafter, and at the time of the construction of the modern state, the notion of security can take on different meanings. One can find different tensions between these meanings, particularly through debates between "freedom" and "security", where "security" can have both a security dimension of "state security" and a security dimension of "state security" through the notion of "social security". Through time, different understandings can take precedence over one another. Security is a movement that evolves over time. For example, with "human security", the reference object of security is no longer the State, but the individual as such. This is a questioning of "security" only in terms of "state security".

Questioning the distinction between internal and external security[edit | edit source]

An important element is the differentiation between "internal" and "external" security, where it is often felt that this distinction is being questioned today. This observation is to be qualified because when we see a long process of monopoly of violence, the last logic which is rather coherent is that we secure an internal territory within which the monopoly of violence will be exercised and outside it is anarchy. International relations are relations between states and political science is internal. The same is true for security, where the outside world of anarchy is the military and the police are responsible for the outside world. There is a different relationship to force, since the military members on the outside use maximum force, whereas the police use minimum force inside, which is that of "security".

From the moment this fundamental distinction is made, at bureaucracy level, there are professions that differ between "external security" and "internal security" professionals. So, the stakes of having bureaucracies that differentiate themselves is that each one develops his rationality with different visions, his own autonomy and his own vision with an extremely clear division of work between the war for the military and the police inside.

With regard to the sequencing that has been put in place in relation to the emergence of the state and its relationship to war, we will see that we are in a typical ideal, that things have not always been like that and that this does not necessarily apply to other countries and the rest of the world. This distinction was made for the emergence of the state in the West, sometimes for instrumental logics. The idea that the distinction between internal and external security is constitutive of the State and that only today would we be questioning it, it is because we have to make a global security discourse, the global security context as much in terms of imposed discourses, whether it be the articulation or the form that the threat takes today, we have left the Cold War threats in terms of the danger of a nuclear war or invasion. This vision is simplistic and the line between internal and external has never been completely hermetic. In the colonies, there have always been military personnel involved in police missions. The Algerian War, which was not always recognized as a "war", was justified according to police operations, but led by French soldiers in a territory that was France. Military personnel intervene in a colonial war in a French department underlines a blurred line. Several countries have gendarmerie forces that are police forces with military status. Another example is transnational police bureaucracies, for a very long time there have been police officers involved in international investigations. As early as the 19th century, the fight against anarchists was a case in which police forces from different states cooperated with each other and therefore worked internationally. These police officers have become what we call "Interpol", which is a case of transnational police bureaucracy where we have police officers who specialize in transnational issues that call into question the distinction between internal and external security.

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]