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The politics of securitization and the Muhammad cartoon crisis: A post-structuralist perspective

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Lene Hansen
Publisher / Publication: 
Security Dialogue, Vol. 42, No. 4-5: 357–369
Abstract: 

A broad array of authors and schools have influenced Barry Buzan and Ole Wæver’s formulation of securitization theory, including John L. Austin, Jacques Derrida and Carl Schmitt.

This article draws attention to and strengthens the post-structuralist elements in the writings of Buzan and Wæver, as this part of the theory has received less attention than those attributable to Schmitt and Austin. Starting from securitization theory as developed by Buzan and Wæver and engaging with later expansions of the theory, I suggest a post-structuralist framework built around three questions: Through which discursive structures are cases and phenomena represented and incorporated into a larger discursive field? What is the epistemic terrain through which phenomena are known? And, what are the substantial modalities that define what kind of an issue a security problem is? The last part of the article brings this framework to bear on the ‘Muhammad cartoon crisis’ that began with the publication of 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten in 2005.

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