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Practicing Uncertainty: Scenario-Based Preparedness Exercises in Israel

By Limor Samimian-Darash

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Cite As:
Samimian-Darash, Limor. 2016. “Practicing Uncertainty: Scenario-Based Preparedness Exercises in Israel”. Cultural Anthropology 31 (3), 359-86. https://doi.org/10.14506/ca31.3.06.

Abstract

In this article, I analyze how the Turning Point scenario-based exercise works as a technology-based uncertainty, both in its conceptualization of the future and in its enactment. The Israeli preparedness exercise involves the activation of and reaction to a chosen event, one that does not replicate the past or attempt to predict the future. Though designed to challenge responders, the scenario does not represent a worst-case event but a plausible one. With this technology, the Israeli preparedness system is directed neither toward producing specific responses nor toward discovering the best solutions for an unknown future. Rather, the technology generates uncertainty through its execution, from which new problems are extracted. I examine both the discursive and the dispositional aspects of the Turning Point scenario, approaching it as a narrative put into action. I thus go beyond the conceptualization of the future underlying this technology and address how it practices uncertainty.

Keywords

scenario; uncertainty; preparedness; security; risk