Luis Lobo-Guerrero, Insuring Security: Biopolitics, security and risk, London: Routledge, 2010. ISBN: 978-0-415-58343-5
Insurance is the world’s largest economic industry, providing a form of security that more than triples global defence expenditure. However, little is know about the form of security insurance provides. This book offers a genealogical interrogation of the relationship between security and risk through its materialisation in insurance.
This work seeks to argue that insurance practices ascribe value to life and in so doing produce a form of security central to the understanding of contemporary liberal governance and security. Lobo-Guerrero theorizes insurance as a biopolitical effect that results from the continuous interaction of an ‘entrepreneurial form of power’, and traditional forms of sovereign security. Through rich empirical cases and a unique theorization, the book breaks apart the traditional division between security studies, political economy and political theory. The author explores this theory in relation to specific issues such as the use of life insurance in the molecular age, the use of insurance to securitize against environmental catastrophic risk, specialist products such as kidnap and ransom insurance, as well as the use of insurance to counter maritime piracy in the twenty-first century.
Providing an important and original contribution to the study of the biopolitics of security, this work will be of great interest to all scholars of security studies, international relations and international political economy.