Endangered City: The Politics of Security and Risk in Bogotá
Genealogies of Endangerment
This chapter investigates how the mandate to relocate populations living in Bogotá’s high-risk zones affects state-subject relations. Focusing on the daily workings of the municipal government’s housing resettlement program for families living in recently designated “zones of high risk,” it highlights how the emergent political technology of risk management combines modern, liberal ideals of rights, citizenship, and freedom with other enduring forms of sociality, such as kinship, patronage, and religion. Based on daily interactions between government officials and this program’s beneficiaries, as well as interviews with both groups, it discusses the forms of social relationality, political authority, technical expertise, and ethical responsibility accompanying the imperative to protect the lives of vulnerable populations. Rather than assuming that this initiative institutes a new regime for governing urban spaces and populations, this chapter shows that it simultaneously draws upon and is shaped by multiple genealogies of power.