William Collins set to publish new book on security by Ruben Andersson

Publisher William Collins has acquired the rights to a new book by Professor Ruben Andersson exploring how a self-defeating desire for security has come to dominate politics. 

The book, whose working title is Age of Security, is due to be published by spring 2027.

From the hard security of border walls and rearmament to the soft security of Ring doorbells and risk protocols, we are increasingly being sold a variety of policing solutions. What does this do to our politics, and who stands to gain? Going back to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of new border barriers, the book moves through the ‘war on terror’ and the pandemic response into the present global security disorder. The book will suggest that both security supply and demand are escalating, yet they are often tragically – and profitably – mismatched. Security solutions frequently fail to provide the safety citizens crave, as seen from disastrous wars to chaotic borders and battles over everyday surveillance. The book will argue that security has stepped into a void where ordinary politics has failed – while pointing to pathways forward that rehabilitate a more positive vision of our common future.

Professor Andersson said, ‘From chaotic border operations to brutal wars and a mass-surveillance arms race, security is increasingly defining our politics. We urgently need to understand how security is entrapping us and how we can start to break free. This is what Age of Security will set out to do.'

Eva Hodgkin of Williams Collins said, ‘It’s a comforting yet dangerous fantasy to believe that we can secure our way to freedom from behind our own walls. I was so energised reading Ruben’s vital challenge to this "threat mindset", which has become a standard and accepted part of our daily lives, and his vision for a world made safe by true social security. His on-the-ground reporting, in multiple languages, combined with vivid narratives of the individual lives caught in security’s nets, make for compulsive reading. The book stakes a bold claim to a different kind of world, and I can’t wait to publish it.’

Ruben Andersson is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford and the holder of a Leverhulme Major Research Fellowship on global security. His previous books include Illegality, Inc., winner of a BBC award, as well as No Go World and (with David Keen) Wreckonomics: Why it’s time to end the war on everything, featured recently as a Guardian Long Read and featuring in this month’s Oxford Literary Festival. He has written on the disastrous ‘fight against illegal migration’ and security politics for the Guardian, Observer, Foreign Policy, Financial Times, El País and Project SyndicateThis is his first book for a non-academic (trade) publisher.