Politics of prediction: security and the time/space of governmentality in the age of big data


From textquoteleftconnecting the dotstextquoteright and finding textquoteleftthe needle in the haystacktextquoteright to predictive policing and data mining for counterinsurgency, security professionals have increasingly adopted the language and methods of computing for the purposes of prediction. Digital devices and big data appear to offer answers to a wide array of problems of (in)security by promising insights into unknown futures. This paper investigates the transformation of prediction today by placing it within governmental apparatuses of discipline, biopower and big data. Unlike disciplinary and biopolitical governmentality, we argue that prediction with big data is underpinned by the production of a different time/space of textquoteleftbetween-nesstextquoteright. The digital mode of prediction with big data reconfigures how we are governed today, which we illustrate through an analysis of how predictive policing actualises between-ness as hotspots and near-real-time decisions.

European Journal Of Social Theory