Défense de thèse de Colin Glesner

Sciences politiques et sociales


Jeudi 3 février 2022
Portalis + retransmission en streaming sur le site de l'ULiège
de 15h30 à 17h30

On February 3rd, 2022, Colin Glesner will publicly defend his thesis entitled "Safety and security in and through practice: tensions at the interface.", submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Political and Social Sciences.

Due to the pandemic, the viva will take place online. 

February 3rd, 2022 at 3:30 pm via this link.



This thesis investigates how organizations and societies protect against various dangers. Specifically, it focuses on security (malevolent) and safety (non-malevolent) related hazards and examines the relationships between safety and security through two case studies, namely an ethnographic inquiry within a nuclear research center (NRC) and a fieldwork on emergency management (EM) in Belgium. Opting for heuristics from Science and Technology Studies (STS), this thesis examines what roles play materialities in enacting the networks of safety and security. This study shows how tensions between safety and security arise at the interface of these two networks. Analyzing the tensions, this research also shows how they are rooted in three paradoxes which correspond to antagonistic principles respectively advocated by safety or security, namely, facilitation of movement vs. restriction of movement, confidentiality vs. transparency and trust vs. distrust. Based on this analysis, this thesis demonstrates that, safety and security paradoxical tensions cannot be avoided through the integration of the two domains but need to be articulated in order to express their generative potential. To do so, it conceptualizes and proposes the setting up of tension venues which can be understood as spaces where actors managing safety and security meet, discuss around tensions and their roots in order to find innovative ways to deal with them.


Pr. Catherine Fallon, ULiège, Secretary of the jury 

Dr. Catrinel Turcanu, SCK CEN 

Dr. Robbe Geysmans, SCK CEN 

Pr. Sissel Jore, University of Stavanger – Norway

Dr. Frank Hardeman, Director of the Federal Agency for Nuclear Control

Dr. Michiel Van Oudheusden, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven 

Pr. Sebastien Brunet, ULiège,  President of the jury

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