The writing of this book has been long and hard. And, as is always the case in these endeavours, it would have been a lot longer and a lot harder had it not been for the help of many friends and colleagues.
To begin with, I am very much indebted to the Department of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. In the summer of 1995, I was lucky enough to be awarded a three-year research grant. The time spent at Aberystwyth culminated in finishing my PhD thesis; the work that subsequently provided the theoretical and empirical foundations for this book. While at Aberystwyth, my thinking on questions concerning societal security and the security dilemma came to be shaped by a number of people, not in the least Ken Booth, Mark Smith and perhaps most profoundly, Nicholas Wheeler. Nick was not only vital in enabling me to work out some of the theoretical underpinnings of the thesis, but, and perhaps without knowing it, also gave me my first lessons in how to write in academic English.
While conducting the research for the PhD, I was also able to spend around 18 months in total at the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute (COPRI). For someone working on the concept of societal security, being at the 'Copenhagen School' itself was an exciting period of time. While there, I benefited enormously from the intellectual input of Barry Buzan, Ole Waever and most of all, Haakan Wiberg. More than anything else, this is a COPRI book, and I hope that it will make a valuable contribution to the existing work of the Copenhagen School.
The book itself was finished here, at Central European University in Budapest. A great deal of the concept-building owes much to the interest in my work from colleagues past and present; in particular, Alex Astrov, Uli Sedelmeier, Nick Sitter, and my now wife Joanna Renc. I hope they will be pleased with the final result.
Last, but of course, not least, I am grateful to Sally Green at Frank Cass, who has shown an enormous amount of patience in waiting and waiting for me finally to finish this book. Thanks.