Dennis Pauschinger

Dennis Pauschinger is currently an Associate Researcher at the Chair of Political Geography at the University of Neuchâtel. He previously worked in the Swiss National Science Foundation projects Power and Space in the Drone Age and Big Data in Agriculture: The Making of Smart Farms. The projects investigated the socio-spatial effects of emergent technologies, automation, security and surveillance and the digitalisation of society in both urban and rural areas with a specific focus on drones. Dennis’ postdoctoral work emerging from these projects has recently been published with Surveillance & Society and Geographica Helvetica, is forthcoming with the Journal of Rural Studies and under review with the Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management.

Dennis also pursues his independent research interests involving the socio-political dimensions of urban in/security issues, digital technologies, state violence and policing mostly from the perspective of Brazil. His scholarship is embedded in interdisciplinarity at the intersections between geography, criminology and political sociology and relates to research communities such as critical security studies, science and technology studies and international political sociology. Inspired by both quantitative and qualitative research methods but mainly grounded in ethnography, his work has appeared in acclaimed journals such as Environment and Planning D: Society and Space and Conflict and Society: Advances in Research and is under review with Security Dialogue.

Dennis holds a Sociology degree from the University of Hamburg and obtained his PhD as an EU Erasmus+ Fellow in the joint Doctorate in Cultural and Global Criminology at the Universities of Kent and Hamburg. Currently he turns his PhD thesis into a book, forthcoming with the Oxford University Press Clarendon Studies in Criminology. The manuscript reconsiders policing and sport mega-events in the Global South. It provides a unique ethnographic case study of Rio de Janeiro’s civil police and within the city’s sport mega-event surveillance and security architecture. The book critically explores and problematises the adaptation and impact of standardised and globalised sport mega-event security models on local public security conditions in the city of Rio de Janeiro before, during and after the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. The book contrasts cutting-edge technology-based systems of surveillance, communication and security purchased and implemented for the events with traditional police work embedded in traditions of racialised violence and social inequality.

His PhD topic resulted from his long-term engagement with Brazil and previous working experiences outside academia. From 2002 to 2006 Dennis was involved with the Brazilian civil society organisation, Associação Comunitária Monte Azul, which develops social activities in three favelas in the south zone of São Paulo. Dennis worked in the institutional development and international relations department where he coordinated the international volunteer programme and consulted for other NGOs. Together with former Monte Azul volunteers he founded a supporting organisation to Monte Azul in Europe and served as the Chairman over a period of five years. After that, Dennis continuously and tirelessly upholds his engagement for social justice, citizenship and democratic rights in Brazil and elsewhere.

Dennis’ expertise turned to sport mega-events in 2008 when he started working as integration officer and translator for the Hamburg football club HSV. Until 2011 he was responsible for the integration of the Brazilian (and other Latin American) players and their families. His work was an integral part of the team-management and he advised the coaches and the board and acted as a mediator of intercultural issues related to the players. This period led Dennis to discover the world of sport politics that normally stays hidden behind the curtain of mediated sport spectacles.

In numerous media appearances and discussion contributions at conferences and political platforms like Play the Game, the German Federal Agency of Civil Education and radio and TV stations, Dennis actively links his research and work experience to public debates and does consultancy and training work outside of academia. His performance qualities were awarded with the Post Grad Prize by the PSA Sport and Politics Specialist Group for the best postgraduate presentation on the security dynamics at the 2014 World Cup.

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