How do technologies mediate security practices and how can we study them? In this talk I draw on my fieldwork in banks to show how banks rely on technologies to detect suspicious transactions that may be connected to money laundering or terrorism financing. Inspired by work at the intersection of (critical) security studies and science and technology studies, I foreground the role of digital technologies in the production of security expertise by compliance officers and intelligence analysts in banks. The research is based on multi-sited ethnography centred around ‘sites of experimentation’.
Esmé Bosma is a PhD candidate at the Department of Political Science of the University of Amsterdam and a member of project FOLLOW: Following the Money from Transaction to Trial, funded by the European Research Council (ERC) (www.projectfollow.org). For her research project she has conducted field research inside and around banks in Europe to analyse counter-terrorism financing practices by financial institutions. Her research lies at the intersection between (critical) security studies and science and technology studies. She holds a master’s degree in Political Science from the University of Amsterdam. She is co-editor of the book Secrecy and Methods in Security Research. A Guide to Qualitative Fieldwork (Routledge, 2019).