The Weaponisation of Everyday Life

Research Workshop

The everyday environment has long been weaponised, from rioters throwing cobblestones, to the use of improvised explosive devices by insurgents. Automobile technologies have been foremost in presenting opportunities for enacting violence and exerting leverage, from the car-bomb (Davis 2006), to the recent rise of so-called ‘vehicle-as-weapon’ attacks. Such attacks, in which cars and trucks are deliberately crashed into crowded places, surged of late, spreading quickly across geographical and ideological divides (Miller, Hayward 2018). Often perpetrated by lone actors, such attacks can be almost impossible to anticipate and prevent, without radically altering the character of everyday urban life (Coaffee 2019; Chambers, Andrews 2019).

The trend raises a number of key issues regarding the interplay between security, insecurity and daily life (Monroe 2016). Bringing together academics from geography, terrorism studies, anthropology, and criminology, the day aims to explore: links between the weaponisation, and the securitisation, of everyday life (for instance the role of surveillance in driving tactical innovation); the importance of the internet in contemporary terror trends; the significance of countermeasures (from barriers, to ‘bollart’, to geofencing to widened pedestrian areas) in altering ‘everyday’ patterns of accessibility, ‘liveability’ and risk exposure within cities;  and automobility’s wider significance in modern insurgency and protest, from vehicular terrorism to highway blockades.


University of St Andrews,

Parliament Hall

26th November 2019


Registration (Free)

9.25am – 9.40am

Registration and Coffee

9.40am – 9.45am

Welcome and introduction – Satya Savitzky (CSTPV)

9.45am – 10.45am

Keynote Address – Prof Jon Coaffee (Warwick University)

10.45am – 11.00am 

Coffee Break

11.00am – 1pm

Panel: Peter Lehr (Chair), Gilbert Ramsay (CSTPV), Vincent Miller (Kent), Nick Brooke (CSTPV) – discussant  

1.00pm – 2.00pm


2.00pm – 4.00pm

Panel: – Bernhard Blumenau (Chair), Kristin Monroe (Kentucky), Satya Savitzky (CSTPV), Jon Coaffee (Warwick) – discussant 

4.00pm – 4.15pm

Closing Remarks – Tim Wilson