Europe

The below publications focus on EU and non-EU European countries, cities and professional networks as empirical cases. Works that link European with non-European cases are listed under ‘global’.


The political construction of collective international danger  

JIRD‘Securitization theory’ offers a powerful take on the political construction of threats. In its original variant, however, the theory focuses strongly on the deontic (norm-breaking) powers of ‘security talk’ – and not on the threat sceneries that the latter substantively describes. This recent article in the Journal of International Relations and Development addresses this latter link, reworking securitization into a positional/relational argument. Seen its way, the framing of something as threatening comes with larger – often implicit – claims about threatening and threatened actors in world politics. The empirical cases on post-war France and West Germany show how securitization equals an epistemological systematization of international affairs, for the political construction of collective international danger becomes an ordering process that conditions foreign policy strategizing.

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Hagmann, Jonas (2016). Securitisation and the production of international order(s). Journal of International Relations and DevelopmentPDF


(In)security and the production of international relations: The interlinked politics of threat construction and foreign policy-making in Europe

RoutledgeWhat happens to foreign politics when actors, things or processes are presented as threats? This book explains state’s international behavior based on a reflexive framework of insecurity politics. It argues that governments act on knowledge of international danger available in their societies, and that such knowledge is organized by varying ideas of who threatens whom and how. The book develops this argument and illustrates it by means of various European case studies. Moving across European history and space, these show how securitization projected abroad evolving – and often contested – local ideas of the organization of international insecurity, and how such knowledges of world politics conditioned foreign policymaking on their own terms. With its focus on insecurity politics, the book provides new perspectives for the study of international security. Moving the discipline from systemic theorizing to a theory of international systematization, it shows how world politics is, in practice, often conceived in a different way than that assumed by IR theory. Depicting national insecurity as a matter of political construction, the book also raises the challenging question of whether certain projections of insecurity may be considered more warranted than others.

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Hagmann, Jonas (2015). (In-)security and the production of international relations: The politics of securitisation in Europe. London/New York: Routledge, 244p. URL


National risk registers: The measurement, comparison and ranking of all kinds of danger

SD.gifEuropean civil protection agencies have become highly active in measuring, comparing and ranking all kinds of public danger, ranging from natural hazards to industrial risks and political perils. This article focuses on this production of integrated ‘national risk registers’  and the analytical power politics in which they are complicit. It argues, first, that by positing ‘science’ as an objective determinant of security truth, the registers advance modernist understandings of how knowledge about danger can be arrived at – thus discounting both ‘sovereign’ and popular authorities. Second, it shows that by operationalizing traditional risk-assessment formulas, risk registers empower seemingly apolitical decisions in security affairs, taken on the basis of cost–benefit thinking. Third, it discusses how risk registers’ focus on ‘themes’ tiptoes around the definition of referent objects, thus avoiding explicit decisions about beneficiaries of particular security decisions. Taking these factors into account, the article finds the new risk registers to depoliticize national security debates – while transforming insecurity into something permanent and inevitable.

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Hagmann, Jonas; Dunn Cavelty, Myriam (2012). National risk registers: Security scientism and the propagation of permanent insecurity. Security Dialogue 43(1): 79-96. PDF