Formatting European security integration through database interoperability

Rocco Bellanova, Georgios Glouftsios

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we explore the security politics of EU database interoperability, inquiring how knowledge infrastructures underpin European security integration. Sitting at the intersection of Science and Technology Studies (STS) and critical approaches to European security, we unpack the co-constitutive relation between database anxieties and interoperability mechanisms. By database anxieties, we refer to what European institutions identify as the main epistemic and operational concerns that emerge from the current use of databases by security authorities across Europe. These anxieties are expected to be resolved by mechanisms that foster interoperability. We argue that the relation between database anxieties and interoperability mechanisms shapes the novel conditions of possibility for European security integration in a datafied world. While far-reaching in technological terms, interoperability is not about introducing a new overarching system, but about the management, re-organisation and re-purposing of datasets. Such formatting matters politically because it eventually informs sovereign acts of policing and mobility control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-474
Number of pages21
JournalEuropean Security
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Rocco Bellanova’s research was supported by funding provided by the Université Saint-Louis–Bruxelles (Belgium) in the framework of the preparation of the ERC Starting Grant project “DATAUNION - The European Data Union: European security integration through database interoperability” (ERC-StG-2021, GAP-101043213). Georgios Glouftsios’ research was funded by Fondazione Caritro (Project “Digitised Borders”).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Copyright 2022 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • Database Interoperability
  • Interoperability
  • European Security
  • science and technology studies (STS)
  • critical data studies


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