Critical Security Studies: Concepts and Cases

Critical Security Studies: Concepts and Cases

Critical Security Studies: Concepts and Cases

Critical Security Studies: Concepts and Cases

Synopsis

Critical Security Studies establishes a critical perspective for the study of post-Cold War international relations, and examines challenges to international security caused by regional fragmentation, and by global economic and cultural change.

Excerpt

This book emerged out of a desire to contribute to the development of a self-consciously critical perspective within security studies. Intellectually, the rationale for this is straightforward: security studies (however broadly defined) has been among the last bastions of orthodoxy in International Relations to accept critical or theoretically sophisticated challenges to its problematic. Yet lurking in the interstices of the discipline, one can without much effort find a wide range of scholarship that is “about” security (and its core subject matter), but that its authors, or the discipline, refuse to label as such. Simply bringing together some of these perspectives serves to make the challenges to orthodoxy more clear, and to signal that critical approaches to security studies are more than a passing fad or the idiosyncratic obsession of a few scholars.

Ultimately, this is healthy for security studies as a whole. For some time now, security studies has been treated as a theoretically impoverished cousin to the sturdy children of International Relations, which could include (depending on your preference) liberal and radical approaches to international political economy, neoliberal institutionalist analyses, regime theory, and so forth. Debate among competing approaches, and a greater conceptual clarity, can only strengthen the claims of security studies scholars for intellectual respect. Moreover, it is possible to argue that far from falling into desuetude with the end of the Cold War, many of the most interest-

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