The Quest for Silver Bullets: Implications for Our Construction of Citizenship

  • Peter Lehr
Part of the Advanced Sciences and Technologies for Security Applications book series (ASTSA)


In this first chapter of the book’s third part, I set the scene by discussing our conception and construction of citizenship. My core argument here is that new technologies, especially security-related technologies, change our view of what it means to be a citizen. In particular, I draw on the ‘Agency of Things’ as well as the ‘Internet of Things’ to highlight the relevance of technology in that regard. Since it is not only about technology per se but also the willingness to make use of it without too many critical questions asked, I also discuss some controversial views of politicians who seem to be willing to trade civil liberties for more security. I conclude this chapter by pointing out that we are already on a slippery slope in that regard, sleepwalking away from being citizens of liberal democracies towards being citizens of less liberal states driven by an ‘us versus them’ dichotomy much more pronounced than it is right now.


Agency of things Internet of things Citizenship Exclusive citizenship Inclusive citizenship Nationalism Universalism Utilitarianism 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Lehr
    • 1
  1. 1.CSTPV, School of International RelationsUniversity of St. AndrewsSt AndrewsUK

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