Knowledgebase

Number of results: 236

Security and the performative politics of resilience: Critical infrastructure protection and humanitarian emergency preparedness

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Security Dialogue, 46 (1): 32-50
Abstract: 

This article critically examines the performative politics of resilience in the context of the current UK Civil Contingencies (UKCC) agenda.

It places resilience within a wider politics of (in)security that seeks to govern risk by folding uncertainty into everyday practices that plan for, pre-empt, and imagine extreme events. Moving beyond existing diagnoses of resilience based either on ecological adaptation or neoliberal governmentality, we develop a performative approach that highlights the instability, contingency, and ambiguity within attempts to govern uncertainties. This performative politics of resilience is investigated via two case studies that explore 1) critical national infrastructure protection and 2) humanitarian emergency preparedness. By drawing attention to the particularities of how resilient knowledge is performed and what it does in diverse contexts, we repoliticize resilience as an ongoing, incomplete, and potentially self-undermining discourse.

Resilience, war, and austerity: The ethics of military human enhancement and the politics of data

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Security Dialogue, 46 (1): 15-31
Abstract: 

This article traces the rise of military psychological resilience training, focusing on the US Army’s Comprehensive Soldier and Family Fitness program, which seeks to assess and instill resilience

in soldiers and their families through techniques developed in the discipline of positive psychology. In maximizing the happiness, optimism, and mental fitness of soldiers, military resilience training has two aims: (1) to produce a fit fighting force capable of winning complex wars, and (2) to cut costs, not by averting war, but by ostensibly reducing the need for costly healthcare through a claim to prevent soldiers’ ‘pessimistic’ responses to war. The architects of military resilience are also exporting this model to the civilian sphere of social security, using their military experiment as ‘proof of concept’ of the scientific validity not only of resilience training, but also of positive psychology more generally. The article thus illustrates that ‘social security’ cannot be held separate from inter/national security, because these domains are, in practice, imbricated. It is argued that resilience is not merely a response to war and austerity, but a means for producing these forms of precarity through a fantasy of indomitability. The article concludes by considering the broader ethics of psychological resilience.

Resilience and (in)security: Practices, subjects, temporalities

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
Security Dialogue, 46 (1): 3-14
Abstract: 

Diverse, sometimes even contradictory concepts and practices of resilience have proliferated into a wide range of security policies.

We problematize and critically discuss how these forms of resilience change environments, create subjects, link temporalities, and redefine relations of security and insecurity. We show the increased attention – scholarly as well as political – given to resilience in recent times and provide a review of the state of critical security studies literature on resilience. We argue that to advance this discussion, resilience needs to be conceptualized and investigated in plural terms. We use temporalities and subjectivities as key analytical aspects to investigate the plural instantiations of resilience in actual political practice. These two issues – subjectivity and temporality – form the overall context for the special issue and are core themes for all the articles collected here.

What is Maritime Security?

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Marine Policy, 53: 159-164
Abstract: 

Maritime security is one of the latest buzzwords of international relations. Major actors have started to include maritime security in their mandate or reframed their work in such terms.

Maritime security is a term that draws attention to new challenges and rallies support for tackling these. Yet, no international consensus over the definition of maritime security has emerged. Buzzwords allow for the international coordination of actions, in the absence of consensus. These, however, also face the constant risk that disagreements and political conflict are camouflaged. Since there are little prospects of defining maritime security once and for all, frameworks by which one can identify commonalities and disagreements are needed. This article proposes three of such frameworks. Maritime security can first be understood in a matrix of its relation to other concepts, such as marine safety, seapower, blue economy and resilience. Second, the securitization framework allows to study how maritime threats are made and which divergent political claims these entail in order to uncover political interests and divergent ideologies. Third, security practice theory enables the study of what actors actually do when they claim to enhance maritime security. Together these frameworks allow for the mapping of maritime security.

The state of the art in societal impact assessment for security research

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Publisher / Publication: 
Science and Public Policy, 42 (3): 339-354
Abstract: 

This paper sets out a structured methodology for conducting a societal impact assessment (SIA) of security research and security measure implementation.

It first provides an overview of the need for and role of SIA, then presents an account of the existing impact assessment methodologies that have influenced this guide. The paper then describes the core methodology based upon an iterative approach to six key sectors of impact, then provides analytical questions for use in this process, before setting out a step-by-step process guideline. This guideline includes guidance on identifying stakeholders and incorporating best practice in impact assessment. Guidance on the content of an SIA report is then provided. The paper concludes with recommendations as how to best embed such a methodology within the broader security research process. The methodology has particular relevance for security research conducted within the EU.

Routledge Handbook of Private Security Studies

Document type: 
Book
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Publisher / Publication: 
Routledge
Abstract: 

The increasing privatization of security across the globe has been the subject of much debate and controversy, inciting fears of private warfare and even the collapse of the state.

This volume provides the first comprehensive overview of the range of issues raised by contemporary security privatization, offering both a survey of the numerous roles performed by private actors and an analysis of their implications and effects. Ranging from the mundane to the spectacular, from secretive intelligence gathering and neighbourhood surveillance to piracy control and warfare, this Handbook shows how private actors are involved in both domestic and international security provision and governance. It places this involvement in historical perspective, and demonstrates how the impact of security privatization goes well beyond the security field to influence diverse social, economic and political relationships and institutions. Finally, this volume analyses the evolving regulation of the global private security sector. Seeking to overcome the disciplinary boundaries that have plagued the study of private security, the Handbook promotes an interdisciplinary approach and contains contributions from a range of disciplines, including international relations, politics, criminology, law, sociology, geography and anthropology.

Routledge Handbook of Security Studies (2nd Edition)

Document type: 
Book
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Routledge
Abstract: 

The field of Security Studies has undergone significant change during the past 20 years, and is now one of the most dynamic sub-disciplines within International Relations.

This second edition has been significantly updated to address contemporary and emerging security threats with chapters on organised crime, migration and security, cyber-security, energy security, the Syrian conflict and resilience, amongst many others. Comprising articles by both established and up-and-coming scholars, The Routledge Handbook of Security Studies provides a comprehensive overview of the key contemporary topics of research and debate in the field of Security Studies.

Identity and Desecuritisation: the pitfalls of conflating ontological and physical security

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Journal of International Relations & Development, 18 (1): 52-74
Abstract: 

How can the Self move from a securitised to a non-securitised relation with the Other while its very identity depends on its relation to the Other?

Within the existing critical approaches to security, this question, which encapsulates the complex interrelationship between identity and desecuritisation, has not been explored in a systematic manner. This article builds on the emerging literature on ontological security to develop a two-layered framework of security as both ontological and physical, wherein the relationship between identity and desecuritisation can be better analysed. I argue that the conflation of ontological and physical security within the existing critical approaches to security has generated an insufficient appreciation of how identity expands the possibilities for desecuritisation while imposing new limits. In particular, the framework offered in this article highlights the possibilities for achieving ontological security in the absence of securitisation and limits to desecuritisation that stem from ontological insecurity.

Is the Environment a Security Threat - Environmental Security beyond Securitization

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
International Affairs Review, 20 (1)
Abstract: 

Looking at the question – is environmental degradation a security threat? –, this paper argues in favor of a revised framework of security that includes environment as a key determinant.

Later, the paper explains the conceptual linkages between environmental degradation and security through several theoretical viewpoints. The paper primarily focuses on the contributions of the constructivist school of thought to explain the idea of environmental security. The paper also establishes a link among environment degradation, threat to life and vulnerability. This linkage helps to understand the relationship between environmental degradation and potential conflicts. Primary information on the prevalence and effects of ecological degradation and climate change are utilized to support the thesis. Finally, the paper concludes with the argument that environmental changes hamper individual security by affecting livelihoods and promotes transnational security crises for states and regions. Hence, environmental degradation is a significant threat to security for both individuals and nation-states. 

Small States and International Security - Europe and Beyond

Document type: 
Book
Publisher / Publication: 
Routledge
Abstract: 

This book explains what ‘small’ states are and explores their current security challenges, in general terms and through specific examples.

It reflects the shift from traditional security definitions emphasizing defence and armaments, to new security concerns such as economic, societal and environmental security where institutional cooperation looms larger. These complex issues, linked with traditional power relations and new types of actors, need to be tackled with due regard to democracy and good governance. Key policy challenges for small states are examined and applied in the regional case studies.

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