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My dissertation seeks to establish a nuanced understanding of security through an empirical account based on research in the field of aviation security. The core of the dissertation consists of 6 articles (published, accepted for publication, or under review) that deal with distinct technologies, knowledges, and practices within aviation security. In detail, the articles are as follows: Leese M (2013) Blurring the Dimensions of Privacy? Law Enforcement and Trusted Traveler Programs. Computer Law & Security Review 29(5): 480-490; Leese M (2014) The New Profiling: Algorithms, Black Boxes, and the Failure of Anti-discriminatory Safeguards in the European Union. Security Dialogue 45(5): 494-511; Leese M (2015) Privacy and Security - On the Evolution of a European Conflict. In Gutwirth S, Leenes R & De Hert P (eds.) Re-forming European Data Protection Law. Dordrecht/Heidelberg/New York/London: Springer, 271-292; Leese M (2015) Body Scanners in Germany: A Case of Failed Securitization. European Journal of Internal Security (forthcoming); Leese M and Koenigseder A (2015) Humor at the Airport? Visualization, Exposure, and Laughter in the “War on Terror”. International Political Sociology (forthcoming); Leese M (under review) Governing airport security: an empirical account between economic rationality and the public good. Criminology & Criminal Justice. These empirical pieces are embedded in a theoretical framework that offers multiple perspectives on security, including security as value, security as transformation, security as securitization, security as future, security as government, security as surveillance, security as technology, security as economy, security as assemblage, and security as normativity. The applied perspectives are arguably linked, leading in their subsequent order to a ‘complication’ of security that in the end culminates in the call for an understanding of security as a normatively charged field that – especially when considering its potentially detrimental impacts on human rights and civil liberties – should be pried away from the notion of threat and exceptionalism and instead be re-politicized.