Politics of Security: Towards a Political Philosophy of Continental Thought

By Michael Dillon | Go to book overview

Chapter 1

Security, philosophy and politics

What might be called a society’s threshold of modernity has been reached when the life of the species is wagered on its own political strategies.

(Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality)


INTRODUCTION

There is a preoccupation which links both the beginning and the end of metaphysics, and so also the beginning and the end of metaphysical politics. It is something which, because it furnishes the fundamental link between politics and metaphysics, affords me my entry into the relationship which obtains between them. That something is security. If the question of the political is to be recovered from metaphysical thinking, therefore, then security has to be brought into question first.

Security, of course, saturates the language of modern politics. Our political vocabularies reek of it and our political imagination is confined by it. The hypocrisy of our rulers (whosoever ‘we’ are) consistently hides behind it. It would, therefore, be an easy task to establish that security is the first and foundational requirement of the State, of modern understandings of politics, and of International Relations, not only by reference to specific political theorists but also by reference to the discourses of States. But I want to explore the thought that modern politics is a security project for reasons which are antecedent to, and account for, the axioms and propositions of (inter)national political theorists, the platitudes of political discourse, and the practices of States, their political classes and leaders. Consequently, to conceive of our politics as a politics of security is not to advance a view held by particular thinkers or even by particular disciplines. It is to draw attention to a necessity (which Heidegger’s history of metaphysics will later allow us to note and explore) to which all thinkers of politics in the metaphysical tradition are subject.

In pursuing this thought it follows that security turns-out to have a much wider register—has always and necessarily had a much wider register, something which modern international security studies have begun to register—than that merely of preserving our so-called basic values, or even our mortal bodies. That it has, in

-12-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Politics of Security: Towards a Political Philosophy of Continental Thought
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgements ix
  • Introduction 1
  • Chapter 1 - Security, Philosophy and Politics 12
  • Chapter 2 - Radical Hermeneutical Phenomenology 36
  • Chapter 3 - The Topos of Encounter 79
  • Chapter 4 - Interlude 113
  • Chapter 5 - The Political and the Tragic 129
  • Chapter 6 162
  • Notes 205
  • Bibliography 237
  • Index 245
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 252

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.