Working paper
Governing through security? Institutional discourse, practices, and policies in the metropolitan city of Milan
Sciences Po LIEPP Working Paper
QUASSOLI Fabio - Università degli studi di Milano Bicocca (Auteur)
COLOMBO Monica - Università degli studi di Milano Bicocca (Auteur)
MOLTENI Andrea - Università degli studi di Milano Bicocca (Auteur)
Paris : Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Evaluation of Public Policies
Sciences Po LIEPP Working Paper : 83
In our paper, we aim at pointing out the way the most relevant institutional actors currently define the security agenda for the Milanese metropolitan area, which kind of goals they try to pursue, upon which instruments and resources they can rely, which division of labour and forms of cooperation they try to putting into practices. We draw from an analyses of both official documents by the main public institutions involved in the governance of security in Milan and semi-structured interviews to all the members of the Comitato provinciale per l’ordine pubblico e la sicurezza – a board that gather the president of the province, the mayor of the province capital (plus mayors of other cities and towns of the province who can be involved on an ad hoc basis), the representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Prefetto), the District Attorney and the chiefs of all the national police forces – as well as to politicians, civil servants and commissioners of the local police of the city of Milan. We illustrate how discourses and practices of in/security have contributed to the construction of the city as place exposed to a multiplicity of risks that local authorities and police forces are expected to manage. Furthermore, we highlight how the diffusion and legitimization of an ‘ideology of safety’ has turned the demand to live in safe communities into an attempt to legitimize exclusionary practices insofar as discourses on security were strictly interconnected with discourses on cultural identity and, focusing on both the (imagined) community repertoire and the us/them opposition, ended up legitimizing a racialized urban governance of inclusion and exclusion. Finally, we try to show that a recent attempt, by the new centre-left government, to modify such an approach is generating ambiguous and controversial results and is paradoxically promoting an even stronger securitization of urban policies, spaces and life through more democratically oriented governmental practices.