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The promise of security: resilience, surprise and epistemic politics

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Resilience: International Policies, Practices and Discourses, 2 (2): 73-87
Abstract: 

Over the past decade, resilience has become a quasi-universal answer to problems of security and governance, from climate change to children's education, from indigenous history to disaster respons

e, and from development to terrorism. This article places the proliferation of resilience in relation to the earlier proliferation of security discourse and practice. Why resilience today? It answers this question by unpacking the epistemic regimes that underpin the move to resilience. Rather than tracing the differences between protection, prevention, pre-emption and resilience, the article argues that the political transformation that resilience entails becomes explicit in relation to the promise of security. Although the language of ‘promise’ and ‘promising’ has been widely used in relation to security, its political implications have remained unexplored. Underpinned by an epistemology of surprising events, resilience discourses reconfigure the promise of security. Through an empirical engagement with the turn to resilience in DFID's humanitarian policy in the UK and a theoretical reconsideration of Hannah Arendt's conceptualisation of the promise, I offer a critical vantage point on the transformation that resilience portends for our contemporary condition.

The Role of Values in Threat Analysis, SOURCE Deliverable D6.1

Document type: 
Report
Publisher / Publication: 
SOURCE Deliverable
Abstract: 

This report aims to clarify the role of values in the conceptualisation of security in threat analyses in the different sectors of the overall security landscape in Europe.

This is done on the basis of analyses of official documents, policy pronouncements, literature reviews and interviews. It is argued that the connection between values and threats often remains unclear in security strategies and risk assessments referring to values like human rights, democracy and the rule of law for their justification. In want of common operationalisations of these values, it results in a great variety of risk assessments where the value impact of risks is evaluated differently.  As a basis for security policy, there is therefore a need for making the normative judgments involved in the analyses more explicit. The authors of this report highlight three basic dimensions of such value judgments, related to questions of universalism vs. relativism and individualism vs. collectivism. These are exemplified by cases of refugee management and everyday security. Against this background, the landscape of European threat analysis is then reviewed, including a new type of national risk assessments prescribed by EU regulations on disaster risk management.  

Shared Vision, Common Action: A Stronger Europe - A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign And Security Policy

Document type: 
Policy document
Publisher / Publication: 
European External Action Service (EEAS)
Abstract: 

Executive Summary:

"We need a stronger Europe. This is what our citizens deserve, this is what the wider world expects.
We live in times of existential crisis, within and beyond the European Union. Our Union is under threat. Our European project, which has brought unprecedented peace, prosperity and democracy, is being questioned. To the east, the European security order has been violated, while terrorism and violence plague North Africa and the Middle East, as well as Europe itself. Economic growth is yet to outpace demography in parts of Africa, security tensions in Asia are mounting, while climate change causes further disruption. Yet these are also times of extraordinary opportunity. Global growth, mobility, and technological progress – alongside our deepening partnerships – enable us to thrive, and allow ever more people to escape poverty and live longer and freer lives. We will navigate this difficult, more connected, contested and complex world guided by our shared interests, principles and priorities. Grounded in the values enshrined in the Treaties and building on our many strengths and historic achievements, we will stand united in building a stronger Union, playing its collective role in the world."

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