Insuring War: Sovereignty, Security and Risk (2012)
Luis Lobo-Guerrero, Insuring War: Sovereignty, Security and Risk, Routledge (Interventions Series), 2012, ISBN: 978-0-415-61772-7
Insurance is a central, if until now ignored, instrument of war in the modern period. Ever since the eighteenth century, interaction between governments and insurers in Western countries has materialised in the form of war risk schemes that have contributed to the waging of war and the preservation of peace. The operation of those schemes has given rise to a curious, if not innocent, association between practices of statehood and practices of risk, which are theorised here under the label of ‘insurantial sovereignty’.
The book draws on the British experience of using maritime insurance as an instrument of war during the Napoleonic Wars, the two World Wars, and the early twenty-first century. It asks, what happens, when, under conditions of war, the sovereign adopts insurantial imaginaries and practices into its rationalities of government? In doing so the book makes a novel contribution to the understanding of liberal security and liberal governance which is central to the theory of Political Science and International Relations, the understanding of international political sociology, and international political economy.
The book follows Insuring Security: Biopolitics, Security and Risk as the second of a trilogy that analyses how concepts and practices of power, risk and security materialise in the form of insurance as a central instrument of governance in the liberal world.
Reviews of Insuring War
Insuring War does much more than show how important practices of insurance were to the development of modern warfare and security. Historically rich and theoretically sophisticated, the book demonstrates the central importance of the Probabilistic Revolution and secular risk calculation to the very possibility of sovereignty and modern statehood. Highly recommended to students of International Relations and International Political Economy alike. Marieke de Goede, Professor of Politics, University of Amsterdam
Lobo-Guerrero’s Insuring War is, first and foremost an important contribution to political thinking. Eschewing the traditional framing of violent conflict that foregrounds executive decision-making, arms races, and geopolitical alliances, Insuring War makes evident that what is central to the politics of deadly engagements is “the concerted art of managing uncertainty.” Michael Shapiro, Professor of Political Science, University of Hawai’i at Mãnoa, USA
Luis Lobo-Guerrero is what I consider to be one of the foremost scholars in International Relations and specifically Critical Security Studies. Inspired by Michel Foucault’s analytics and methods and forming part of a triptych devoted to insurance and security, Lobo-Guerrero provides in this volume a fascinating and original investigation into insurance and its uses in time of war. Vivienne Jabri, Professor of International Politics, King’s College London