Bio/Contact

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Along the US-Mexico border fence at the San Pedro River

Benjamin J. Muller

I am an Associate Professor with the Departments of Political Science at King’s University College at the University of Western Ontario. My research and publications reflect my interdisciplinary background in international relations theory and contemporary social and political thought, covering issues from contemporary aviation security and trusted traveler programs, to the increasing reliance on biometric technology and risk management in contemporary border security, to a critical security studies analysis of Hizballah. In general, I am interested in the intersection of borders, borderlands, security and identity, as well as topics concerning biometric technology, surveillance studies, politics of risk, critical security studies, and international political sociology. I am currently working on a project called “Ferocious Architecture” on the linkages between the application of surveillance and identification technologies and related trusted traveler programs in border security and the architecture and infrastructure at borders. From September 2014 to March 2015 I was the inaugural Visiting Research Fellow at the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. During that sabbatical year, I was also an invited speaker and guest at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey in May 2015. I serve as a collaborator on two major SSHRCC grants: “Borders in Globalization” and “The New Transparency: Surveillance and Social Sorting” and I was the Visiting Borders Research Scholar at the Center for Global Studies at the University of Victoria, May-August 2016.

At King’s University College, in addition to teaching International Politics and Critical Security Studies, I serve as the Chair the KUC Faculty Association (2015-2018) and serve as Past-President of ISA-Canada. I have served on the board of directors for the Association for Borderlands Studies, various executive positions in ISA, CPSA, ENMISA, and served as chief negotiator in collective bargaining for KUC Faculty Association.

Contact

The best way to contact me is via email: bmuller@uwo.ca

My office is located upstairs in the Wemple Building Room 231. These are not the easiest block of offices to find on campus. In order to access my office, take the stairwells on the west side of the building, nearest the parking lot between Wemple and the Residences. My office hours are Wednesdays 12:00-2:00 or by appointment.

A History

I have taught and researched critical security studies and international political sociology for more than a decade and lived in a number of cities across Canada, the US and Europe. Currently tenured professor in the Department of Political Science at King’s University College. I’m also a faculty member in the Centre for American Studies and the Centre for Research on Migration and Ethnic Relations and I often serve on graduate committees in the Centre for Theory and Criticism, and am a founding member of the Electro-Governance Group, all at Western University.

Before teaching at King’s, I taught critical security studies and international relations theory at Simon Fraser University, the University of Victoria and Queen’s University of Belfast. I teach an eclectic combination of critical theory and contemporary global politics, influenced by questions of contemporary (in)security practices, borders and identities, and the emerging reliance on identification and surveillance technologies throughout society.

In spring 2008 I held the first Visiting Research Fellowship at the Border Policy Research Institute, Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, USA. During this period, I was invited to contribute to a NATO/European Science Foundation Initiative on The Role of Law, Ethics, and Justice in Security Practices, at the Peace Research Institute, Oslo, Norway (PRIO), under the direction of Dr. Peter Burgess.

Throughout the duration of PhD studies in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in addition to enjoying local culture, I took an interest in local politics, and participated in initiatives such as the ‘European Liaison’ meetings. In addition to this, I have been interviewed regularly by both Canadian and international media on issues of surveillance and border and aviation security, and testified on related issues before a number of Canadian Parliamentary Committees on issues related to Public Safety, National Security, and Immigration, and regularly provide invited guest lectures on such issues to academic, public, and professional audiences.

Doctor of Philosophy (Queen’s University, Belfast, 2005)

Master of Arts (University of Victoria, 2000)

Bachelor of Arts (University of Victoria, 1999)