The politicization of security (ERIS special issue out now)

ERIS‘Security’ has for the most part been considered a special kind of politics by observers, as one that closes down inclusive policy-making and democratic debate. This Special Issue reviews theoretical and empirical developments at the intersections of ‘security’ and ‘politics’. It argues that research centering on the notion of politicization offers new ideas on how to addresses this complex and evolving conceptual tandem, and importantly, helps elucidate the growing range of actors, arenas and arguments factually visible in contemporary security affairs. The Special Issue develops a framework around the dimensions of controversy, mobilization and arena-shifting, and showcases the potential of such a perspective through empirical illustrations and theoretical examinations, covering issues such as post-Snowden public-policy controversy in Germany, lay participation in European security strategy-making, and the evolving role of the British parliament in UK security politics. The Special Issue’s ambition is to re-engage the relationship between security and politics, to inspire innovative new empirical work on ‘politics around security’, and to empower more differentiated inquiries into the ambivalent consequences of politicization.

Hagmann, Jonas; Hegemann, Hendrik; Neal, Andrew (2018). The politicization of security: Controversy, mobilization, arena shifting . European Review of International Studies 5(3): 3-29. URL ToC

JIRD piece on the construction of collective international insecurity (out now)

JIRDHow do notions of collective international insecurity come about, and what are their effects on foreign policy-making? The Copenhagen School’s 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 article addresses this latter link by 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 (2018). Securitisation and the production of international order(s). Journal of International Relations and Development 21(1): 194-222. PDF

Book “(In)Security and the Production of International Relations” now in paperback

What 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 (Germany, France, and Switzerland in particular). 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. By moving the discipline from systemic theorizing to a theory of international systematization, the book seeks to show how world politics is, in practice, often conceived in a different way than that assumed by grand 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.

* Paperback versions of the book can now be ordered through Routledge.

Chapters

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

JIRD article on securitization as world-ordering practice (out now)

Securitization theory conceptualizes the 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 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, thus becoming an ordering process that conditions foreign policy strategizing.

Orders

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

Routledge book: (In)security and the production of international relations

What happens to foreign politics when actors, things or processes are presented as threats? My first 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 (Germany, France, and Switzerland in particular). 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. By moving the discipline from systemic theorizing to a theory of international systematization, the book seeks to show how world politics is, in practice, often conceived in a different way than that assumed by grand 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.

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

JIRD article on securitization theory and foreign policy-making

Securitization theory conceptualizes the 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. My forthcoming article in the Journal of International Relations and Development addresses this link, reworking securitization into a positional/relational argument. Seen this 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, thus becoming an ordering process that conditions foreign policy strategizing.

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