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Print Publication Date: Mar 2018
Subject: Political Science, International Relations, Political Theory
Online Publication Date: Apr 2018 DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198777854.013.1
The Future of Security Studies
Alexandra Gheciu and William C. Wohlforth
The Oxford Handbook of International Security
Edited by Alexandra Gheciu and William C. Wohlforth
Abstract and Keywords
We situate the chapters that follow in the changing context of the study and practice of
international security and show how rigorous thinking about the future informs the vol
ume. Dramatic changes in the international security landscape against the backdrop of
the increased salience of the classical security agenda of great power rivalry call for a
new state-of-the-field compendium. The state of the field, meanwhile, is not what it was
even a few years ago, with the rise of new approaches and the transformation of older
ones. By asking leading thinkers to address developments in international security
through a future-oriented lens, we are able to present readers with a comprehensive and
cutting edge guide to the field.
Keywords: international security, theory and practice of international security, future of international security
THESE are fascinating times for practitioners and students of international security. More
than a quarter-century following the end of the Cold War—and a century after the “war to
end all wars”—questions about security remain among the most discussed and contested
within the discipline of International Relations. Statements about international security
can be found in abundance all around us: they suffuse the speeches of politicians of all
political colors, dominate newspaper columns as well as the social media, flash across our
television screens, and, simultaneously, are at the heart of a plethora of academic studies.
Yet, among both academic circles and practitioners, there is little agreement over the na
ture and impact of key dynamics of international security, or even the very meaning of the
term. As Krause and Williams (this volume) argue, “[t]his relativity of security—of who or
what is being threatened, and from what or whom—has important consequences for un
derstanding security relations between states, within states, and between non-state ac
Following the collapse of communism and the end of the Cold War, Francis Fukuyama fa
mously wrote about “the end of history” and many other prominent academics outlined a
vision of a new era of peace and cooperation, based on liberal democracy, global capital
ist forces, and/or a reinvigorated set of international organizations (van Evera 1990; Kay
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sen 1990; Russett 1994). This optimistic view was challenged, however, by those who
warned that the post-Cold War era would be a time marked by renewed conflict, arms
races, and even civilizational clashes (Mearsheimer 1990; Huntington 1993). Still other
scholars regarded the collapse of Cold War political structures as a development that cre
ated the political and intellectual space needed to question old ways of thinking and ad
vance a conception—and an agenda—of security focused on the well-being of individuals,
environmental concerns, development, gender issues, or the status of underprivileged
communities (Tuchman Matthews 1989; Roberts 1990; Peterson 1992; Homer-Dixon 1999).
International security practices also seemed to undergo (p. 4) substantial change, leading
to a proliferation of activities that would have been impossible during the Cold War. These
included, for instance, a series of democracy-promotion activities as well as humanitarian
interventions, conflict prevention initiatives and complex, UN-sponsored peacebuilding
missions that were designed to address deep-rooted problems, promote stability in con
flict-torn countries, and to avoid regional and international spillovers (Carothers 2006;
Paris and Sisk 2009; Caplan 2012).
Just as (most) International Relations (IR) scholars were beginning to get used to the
post-Cold War broadening of the security agenda, another set of events occurred that
once again seemed to radically change the international landscape: the 9/11 terrorist at
tacks. Those events—and the US-led responses to them—generated unprecedented atten
tion to the rise of non-state actors and their impact on the international security environ
ment (Enders and Sandler 2006; Hoffman 2006; Pape 2006; Sageman 2008; Cronin 2009).
At the same time, a series of scholars drew attention to what they perceived as the pro
foundly adverse effects of the new “War on Terror” on state–civil society relations around
the world, including in liberal-democratic countries (Aradau and van Munster 2007; Bigo
et al. 2015; Jarvis and Lister 2015). These critiques were accompanied by expressions of
concern about the narrowing of the security agenda in the post-9/11 era—involving what
could be seen as a reversal of post-Cold War intellectual and political developments. For
instance, some prominent academics deplored the fact that the international community
had missed a significant opportunity to break down the artificial boundary between secu
rity and development, and to formulate an agenda based on the recognition of the funda
mental connection between these two fields (Baranyi, 2008; Newman 2010; Tschirgi et al.
2010). As Tschirgi (this volume) cogently argues, “the real consequence of 9/11 was not to
deepen the links between security and development but to ‘securitize’ development by
subordinating it to a militarized security agenda.”
To further complicate matters, the great power agenda seemed to re-emerge. Russia an
nexed Crimea and stoked separatist conflict in Ukraine, intervened forcefully in support
of the government in Syria’s civil war, and stepped up more or less veiled threats con
cerning Central/East European countries. For its part, China continued active support of
its claims in the South China Sea. These developments led many IR scholars to predict a
return to Great Power rivalries (Mearsheimer 2014). Yet the new patterns of behavior al
so exhibited seemingly novel features falling under such rubrics as “hybrid” or “ambigu
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ous” warfare. Whether these developments were truly novel or not, scholars were left to
debate whether their traditional models were up the task of analyzing them.
While there is little agreement among IR scholars—or, indeed, practitioners—over the rel
ative importance of various factors and actors, few would disagree with the view that to
day the international security landscape is far more complex than it has been in a long
time. As Neumann and Sending (this volume) cogently argue, the contemporary period is
characterized by “a proliferation in the types of actors that practice security, whether in
ternally through the establishment of national security agencies alongside police and de
fence, or externally, through the role played by private security companies, NGOs offer
ing risk assessments, or firms specializing in cybersecurity that the state is dependent up
In the first decades of the twenty-first century, conventional international security ques
tions, including Great Power politics, arms control, economics of war and peace and
(p. 5) nuclear proliferation (e.g. Buzan; Caverley; Copeland; Gleditsch and Clauset; Deud
ney; Erickson; Solingen, all in this volume) coexist and compete for attention with devel
opments such as climate change, energy (in)security, cybersecurity threats, the power of
visual representations, the role of non-state actors in the provision of (in)security, chal
lenges posed by refugees and new patterns of migration, the rise of transnational crime
or the growing role of the global South in international politics (Philpott; Avant and Hau
fler; Adamson, Abrahamsen, and Sandor; Busby; Bros; Cronin; Deibert; Hansen; Jakobi;
Klotz; Kreps et al.; Percy; Peterson; Welsh). In a similar vein, as the chapters in Part V of
this collection clearly demonstrate, twenty-first-century international security actors in
clude entities that have long been at the heart of mainstream approaches (e.g. great pow
ers and alliances), but also a broader set of regional and global institutions as well as
more informal transnational networks, and powerful domestic groups and individual lead
ers (see the contributions by Buzan; Rynning and Schmitt; Hurd, Legrenzi, and Lawson;
Schmitt; Sambanis and O’Leary; Horowitz; Feaver, Coletta, and Cohn). Together, these
developments compel us to rethink some taken-for-granted categories and divides (e.g.
between public and private spheres and between security and development), complicate
the politics of national security (Krebs this volume), and raise new and interesting norma
tive dilemmas and challenges (see Vinjamuri and Welsh, this volume).
In this multi-faceted environment, the relationship between the study and practice of se
curity has also become more complex. In the words of Neumann and Sending (this vol
ume), this relationship has become “more difficult to describe as a singular one: In some
areas, the relationship between expertise and practice may be heavily institutionalized
and dominated by a singular profession. This may be the case for certain areas of intelli
gence. In other areas, such as cybersecurity, the relationship between practice and exper
tise is different, being less firmly institutionalized and more open to competition from
non-state actors.” In essence, the evolving relationship between expertise and practice
“can best be described as one of increased differentiation, where ever more actors per
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form ever more specialized tasks of both analyzing and of providing security” (Neumann
and Sending, this volume).
This extraordinary complexity in practices and analyses of international security lies at
the heart of our Handbook. The aim of this volume is to serve as the definitive statement
of the state of international security and the academic field of security studies.
1.1 Why a New International Security Com
The Handbook provides a tour of the most innovative and exciting new areas of research
as well as major developments in established lines of inquiry. Even as it presents a com
prehensive portrait of an exciting field, it has a distinctively forward-looking theme. All
scholarly claims about international security, both normative and positive, have (p. 6) im
plications for the future. Asking thinkers about international security to extract implica
tions for the future is a way to impose clarity about the real meaning and practical impli
cations of their work. Inviting authors to be future-oriented is not synonymous with ask
ing everyone to embrace the aim of making predictions. Indeed, this book reflects the fact
that, within the field of security studies, there are diverse views on how to think about the
What does it mean to think about the future of international security? In practical terms,
it means to ask questions such as: is fundamental change possible? Who are the agents
and what are the processes or developments that can lead to change? How does one rec
ognize fundamental change when one sees it? Conversely, what is the nature of struc
tures or factors that prevent transformation in international security? What methods are
suitable for analyzing those structures, processes, and agents? Are the ways scholars
have studied international security up to now likely to be suitable in the years ahead?
Contributors to this volume address these questions as they develop their arguments
about the future of international security.
Future-oriented questions are woven through the study and practice of international se
curity. Our purpose is to make them more explicit, as has been the case in some of the
most influential scholarship ever produced in our field. Especially in the immediate after
math of the Cold War’s end, scholars generated a number of future-oriented works that
would go on to shape inquiry and, in some cases, practice, for years. These include Barry
Buzan’s People States and Fear, Mearsheimer’s “Back to the Future”, Jervis’s “The Future
of World Politics: Will it Resemble the Past,” and Acharia’s “Will Asia’s Past be its Fu
ture”—among others. While these works differ in how they see the connection between
scholarship and thinking about the future, they have in common explicit efforts to ad
dress the questions we set forth above.
Building on such future-oriented works, this compendium makes a unique contribution to
International Relations. By asking all contributors to think about the future, the Hand
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book of International Security—more than many existing collections of this kind—
achieves a significant degree of unity. Encouraging both established leaders and rising
stars of the field to push their arguments into the future yields a uniquely revealing pic
ture of the state of international security studies at this critical juncture. It sheds un
precedented light on strengths and weaknesses in knowledge and provides a stocktaking
of expert expectations—one we expect to be of intense interest not only to current schol
ars, practitioners, and journalists, but to future chroniclers of the evolution of knowledge
in this critical area.
Before going any further it is important to clarify that contributions to this volume are not
exclusively forecasts or prognostications. They engage history, the evolution of knowl
edge, theory, interpretation, debates, and empirical data. Indeed, thinking about the fu
ture implies a reflection of how we got “here”—however “here” might be conceptualized.
While the past figures more prominently in some chapters (e.g. in Parts I and III) than in
others, all the authors adopt some kind of historical perspective in developing their analy
ses and discussing key implications for the future. The purpose of this Handbook is to
provide instructive conceptual clarity and to lead the field, rather than following it.
(p. 7) 1.2 Reflecting the Diversity of the Interna
tional Security Field
This Handbook includes a variety of approaches, reflecting the richness and diversity
characteristic of the field of international security—and the fact that disagreements
among scholars in this field revolve not only around the question of what is security, but
also over how to study it. As the chapters in Part II amply demonstrate, thinking about in
ternational security continues to be organized around several highly influential schools of
thought and methodological orientations (Sjoberg; Hendershot and Mutimer; Quinn; Bar
nett; Owen; Bigo and McCluskey; Lauretig and Braumoeller; Checkel; Mutlu, and Salter;
Kydd; McDermott and Hatemi).
For a long time the study of security was powerfully influenced by (structural) realist
thinking. Much scholarship on international security was thus “preoccupied with the four
S’s of states, strategy, science and the status quo” (Williams 2013: 3). The focus was on
states as the key agents and referents of security in the international system, and on
strategy “inasmuch as the core intellectual and practical concerns revolved around devis
ing the best means of employing the threat and use of military force” (ibid.) Thinking
about security sought to be scientific as it applied positivist methods in search of objec
tive knowledge about the world. Finally, the conservative focus meant that little or no at
tention was paid to the possibility of radical transformation in the international realm. As
Stephen Walt famously put it,
Security studies seeks cumulative knowledge about the role of military force. To
obtain it, the field must follow the standard canons of scientific research: careful
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and consistent use of terms, unbiased measurements of critical concepts, and pub
lic documentation of theoretical and empirical claims. (Walt 1991: 222)
From this perspective, the evolution of security studies is synonymous with the growth of
scientific knowledge, involving a quest for timeless causal laws that govern patterns of
human behavior. This approach to international security is grounded in an understanding
of human subjects as instrumentally rational actors dealing with an external reality that is
independent of their values and perceptions, and to which they can relate objectively. In a
similar vein, the conception of state action as the instrumentally rational pursuit of self-
interest lies at the heart of structural realist analyses of international security (Krause
and Williams 1997: 40).
The chapters that follow reflect how far the field has come from the neorealism-dominat
ed debates of the past. What constitutes broadly positivist research and the nature of crit
icism of the assumptions underlying such work have been transformed. It is worth recall
ing that a significant challenge to conventional thinking about international security came
from approaches that are widely seen as falling under the broad umbrella of critical secu
rity studies, or CSS (Krause and Williams 1997; Hendershot and Mutimer this volume;
(p. 8) Krause and Williams this volume). In their 1997 volume, Krause and Williams asso
ciate critical security studies with a particular orientation: the “appending of the term
critical to security studies is meant to imply more an orientation toward the discipline
than a precise theoretical label. . . . Practically, a broad definition allows many perspec
tives that have been considered outside of the mainstream of the discipline to be brought
into the same forum” (Krause and Williams 1997: x–xi). As Hendershot and Mutimer (this
volume) argue, “CSS does not denote a coherent set of views, an ‘approach’ to security;
rather it indicates a desire. The initial desire was to study security/strategy differently
than that which predominated during the Cold War” (see also Mutimer 2015). More re
cently, CSS has come to identify scholars who study securitizing processes, emancipatory
potentials, discourses of threat and danger, gendered and sexed bodies, visual and emo
tional mediations, racialization and terror, logics, techniques, migration and borders, and
material/non-human affects.
Arguably, the key challenge posed by CSS to dominant realist thinking involved primarily
a process of framing security—and its study—as a political phenomenon (Nunes 2012).
Security was conceptualized as more than a natural response to a self-evident truth, and
security studies as more than the formulation of expert knowledge to address threats that
exist “out there in the world.” Critical security studies set out to go beyond previous
moves to broaden and deepen the security agenda by re-examining concepts and method
ologies hitherto taken for granted by security scholars. Importantly, critical scholars en
gaged in an analysis of the politics behind the construction of knowledge about security:
ideas about security came to be seen as political insofar as they were the product of inter
pretation, contestation, and struggle among various actors. Furthermore, critical security
scholarship also sought to shed light on the connection between security theory and the
wider political order, examining the ways in which particular conceptions of security can
not be separated from broader ideas about how politics works or should work (Nunes
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2012: 347). Scholars embracing this approach also sought to draw attention to the impact
of ideas and practices of security upon the constitution of a particular political order,
thereby conceptualizing security theorizing as a political activity in its own right.
Yet, Hendershot and Mutimer persuasively argue in this volume that the CSS orientation
and critical stance has come with its own limitations. One of the key problems, their chap
ter suggests, is that despite its commitment to pay attention to the politics of security,
critical security scholarship has not always engaged its own politics (see also Wibben
2016: 144, cited by Hendershot and Mutimer). In this context, “[d]espite avowed commit
ments to critique concepts and practices that sustain militarized, petro-chemical addict
ed, zero sum security relations, critical security scholars must also imagine the possibility
that criticality can also affect domination and exploitation. That is to say, CSS needs to
more thoughtfully consider its ongoing complicity amongst the settler colonial and imper
ial ordering of global relations. This analysis leads Hendershot and Mutimer to conclude:
“there is no question that to have a future CSS must decolonize. CSS must accept its com
plicities, not to atone for a racist or imperial past, but to signal a willingness to work to
ward present possibilities of un-settling people, land and knowledge.”
(p. 9) At the same time, what constitutes (for lack of better terms) mainstream or posi
tivist international security research has undergone radical shifts since neorealism’s hey
day. For one thing, realism has morphed into a complex school of thought that is rediscov
ering its classical roots as it grapples with decades of cumulating critiques (Quinn, this
volume). Advances in the social scientific implications of research in biology, evolution,
and neuroscience are altering the foundations of core assumptions in the study of interna
tional security. Most notably, strict rationality assumptions no longer play the role in so
cial science in general and international security studies in particular that they once did
(Hatemi and McDermott). Increasingly sophisticated quantitative methods and more and
better data expose some of the fallacies of earlier quantitative work and allow re
searchers to capture systemic and structural effects, historical contingency and individ
ual agency in ways unforeseen two decades ago (Lauretig and Braumoeller; Horowitz).
Some of these same advances have eroded the old qualitative–quantitative divide in inter
national security research (Lauretig and Braumoeller). Even that epitome of scientism,
mathematical game theory, has evolved in ways to better capture change and contingency
Not surprisingly, this diversity of views of what is security and how to study it is also re
flected in thinking about the future. While our volume does not claim to be exhaustive, it
does seek to capture some of the key differences in conceptions of the future of interna
tional security—ranging from mainstream positivist accounts to various branches of criti
cal scholarship. Readers will find in this volume some of the most influential positivist
voices in the field of international security. Yet, it should be noted that a positivist orienta
tion does not dictate a uniform view about the role prediction plays in social science.
Scholars committed to the principles of objective theory testing acknowledge classes of
complex events that may defy forecasting and are sensitive to continuing limitations on
the availability of good data regarding key predictors. But most nonetheless hold that
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thinking rigorously about the future and, indeed, more ambitious and precise forms of
forecasting are valid and important goals of international security studies. For some,
thinking about the future involves using massive empirical data informed by theory to
predict developments in security affairs, ranging from overall trends to contingent fore
casts of specific events, such as the probability of civil war or state breakdown (e.g. Lau
retig and Braumoeller; Clauset and Gleditsch, this volume). Some see forecasting value in
establishing the broad parameters of incentives for various kinds of international security
behavior, stipulating that the balance of costs and benefits will in general affect the prob
ability of certain classes of actions (Caverley). Others have an understanding of IR ontol
ogy that leads to a certain degree of skepticism about forecasting, holding that interna
tional security is perforce a historical science, but still contend that contingent predic
tions are a useful way to clarify theories and update them. For instance, Copeland (this
volume) argues that theories of great power war will have little relevance to the modern
nuclear age unless they incorporate within their deductive logics the importance of secu
rity-dilemma spiraling and the ongoing risk of inadvertent war. As he puts it, we need the
ories that show us “under what conditions states shift (p. 10) from peaceful cooperation to
harder-line policies that consciously increase the risks of things getting out of hand.”
Some scholars, while arguing that point prediction in International Relations is virtually
impossible, seek to retain an ability to think analytically about the future by identifying
and connecting chains of contingencies that could shape the future. From their perspec
tive, a useful approach is the formulation of scenarios that map a set of causes and trends
in future time. Scenarios are stories of how the future might unfold that are based on dif
ferent combinations of causal variables, which may take on different values in different
scenarios. By constructing scenarios, the aim is to identify various driving forces and then
seek to combine these forces in logical chains that could generate a range of outcomes,
rather than single futures. Scenarios are founded upon provisional assumptions and
causal claims, which become the subject of revision and updating. For instance, in her
chapter on transnational crime, Jakobi argues that despite the expansion of global crime
governance in recent decades, presenting the future of crime, security, and its gover
nance faces many unknowns. In her view, what type of crime will be most prominent in
the future is dependent on technological progress, regulatory frameworks, and on politi
cal agendas. In addition to all these unknown background conditions—she goes on to ar
gue—crimes differ in how they are governed today, and they are likely to differ in the fu
ture. Yet, three main points seem to be particularly important for future crime gover
nance and security: the availability and use of data, the role of formal norms, and the dif
ferent aspects of security—individual, national, and global. Different scenarios are plausi
ble for each of these points, depending on whether to expect a linear development or ma
jor disruptions.
From the point of view of other scholars, even analyses based on a conception of contin
gent causal mechanisms do not go far enough. What is needed, from this perspective, is a
stronger rejection of the positivist project, which starts from the recognition that the
process of gaining knowledge about international security must involve a process of inter
pretation, including self-awareness of the researcher’s own historical time and place. For
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scholars who are associated with the critical security camp, the aim of scholarship is not
to identify objective laws and test hypotheses against a presumably independent reality of
international security, but rather to understand the dynamics and implications of the con
struction of security practices in a particular historical and social context. This is to be
done via a set of interpretive methods that can shed light on the ideational frameworks
within which the relevant actors are acting, the rules they are following, as well as the so
cial structures in which they are embedded, and that empower certain subjects at the ex
pense of others, and enable a particular interpretation of threat to prevail at a given mo
ment in time.
Consider, for instance, Didier Bigo and Emma McCluskey’s chapter on the PARIS ap
proach to studying processes of (in)security and (in)securitization. The PARIS approach
(Political Anthropological Research for International Sociology) brings to the forefront the
study of how different bodies of knowledge are labeling security, examining the tensions
and controversies between and within practitioners and disciplinary (p. 11) fields in these
labeling practices. Bigo and McCluskey place their emphasis on the different intellectual
moves by which it is possible to study the relationship between the construction of the
“security” label and the boundaries of the “security” practices that may be labeled by oth
ers’ freedom, mobility, violence, or privacy. As opposed to viewing the two in opposition,
the chapter conceptualizes the relation between security and insecurity as a mobius strip;
a metaphor which demonstrates how one can never be certain of what constitutes the
content of security and not insecurity. Consequently, a PARIS approach calls for the study
of everyday (in)securitization processes and practices.
Far from regarding this diversity as a problem, our volume will use its core theme (the fu
ture) as an opportunity to clarify the differences among various approaches to interna
tional security.
1.3 Key Sub-themes in this Collection
In order to ensure clarity and unity, all contributors to this Handbook address a core
theme: what does it mean to think about the future of international security? There are
several sub-themes that structure the chapters as they address the core theme. While not
all contributors pay equal attention to everything, all of them engage with several of
these sub-themes, which include: the relationship between continuity/change, the driving
factors that are likely to affect the future; methods and approaches needed to study the
factors that will shape the future; and also, in a broader perspective, normative questions
about what the future should look like, and why.
Following an introductory part that frames the volume by providing a history of interna
tional security studies and an analysis of the evolving relationship between the study and
practice of security (in Chapters 2 and 3), Part II clarifies the ways in which different ap
proaches think about the future of international security, anticipate ways in which the
boundary between security and insecurity will be drawn, address research trends, and
envisage the future of the discipline—and the contributors’ own approach within the dis
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cipline. Contributors also consider the different factors that are likely to shape the future
of the field, and the evolution of the boundary between international security and other
fields—including by reflecting on ways/areas in which IR scholars might need to borrow
from other fields.
The key aim of Part III is to analyse what could be called the “big swings” in the field:
these are broad patterns or sets of developments that transcend specific issues and are
likely to affect a variety of challenges/actors in international security—including the chal
lenges and opportunities addressed in Part IV and the actors examined in Part V. Building
on this analysis of big swings, Part IV provides concrete illustrations of the ways in which
different IR scholars think about the future. The main goal of this Part is to address some
key security challenges, problems, and questions that are likely to be prominent in the fu
ture. It is important to keep in mind that our Handbook does not (p. 12) claim to offer an
exhaustive account of all relevant international security issues. Finally, Part V focuses on
actors that can be expected to play important roles in the twenty-first-century security
environment. Contributors to this Part examine the degree to which they expect change/
continuity in the constitution and behavior of these actors. Relevant questions include:
how do those actors respond to ideational and/or material forces? How are they likely to
evolve, and how much freedom to maneuver will various actors have in addressing the
dominant security challenges? What types of power will they be able to exercise and what
(if any) forms of pathological behavior might they engage in? Last but not least, how
should these actors behave in the future?
In the chapters that follow, some of the sharpest minds in the field of International Rela
tions grapple with these questions. Along the way, they provide a comprehensive (if not
exhaustive) stocktaking of what scholars think they know about war and peace, how they
think they know it, and where they think their field of inquiry and international security
more broadly are headed.
Acharia, Amitav. 2003/2004. Will Asia’s Past be its Future? International Security, 28(3):
Aradau, Claudia and Rens van Munster. 2007. Governing Terrorism through Risk: Taking
Precautions, (Un)knowing the Future. European Journal of International Relations, 13 (1):
Baranyi, Stephen. 2008. The Paradoxes of Peacebuilding Post-9/11. Vancouver: UBC
Bigo, Didier, Evelien Brouwer, Sergio Carrera, Elspeth Guild, Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet,
Julien Jeandesboz, Francesco Ragazzi, and Amandine Scherrer. 2015. The EU Counter-
Terrorism Policy Responses to the Attacks in Paris: Towards an EU Security and Liberty
The Future of Security Studies
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Agenda. CEPS Liberty and Security in Europe (81). Available at:
Buzan, Barry. 1991. People, States and Fear. London: Harvester Wheatsheaf.
Caplan, Richard. 2012. Exit Strategies and State Building. New York: Oxford University
Carothers, Thomas (ed.). 2006. Promoting the Rule of Law Abroad: In Search of Knowl
edge. New York: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Cronin, Audrey Kurth. 2002/3. Behind the Curve: Globalization and International Terror
ism. International Security, 27(3): 30–58.
Cronin, Audrey Kurth. 2009. How Terrorism Ends: Understanding the Decline and Demise
of Terrorist Campaigns. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Enders, Walter and Todd Sandler. 2006. The Political Economy of Terrorism. New York:
Cambridge University Press.
Fukuyama, Francis. 1992. The End of History and the Last Man. London: Penguin Books.
Hoffman, Bruce. 2006. Inside Terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press.
Homer-Dixon, Thomas. 1999. Environment, Scarcity, and Violence. Princeton, NJ: Prince
ton University Press.
Huntington, Samuel. 1993. The Clash of Civilizations. Foreign Affairs, 72(3): 22–49.
(p. 13) Jarvis, Lee and Michael Lister (eds.) 2015. Critical Perspectives on Counter-Terror
ism. London: Routledge.
Jervis, Robert. 1991–92. The Future of World Politics: Will it Resemble the Past? Interna
tional Security, 16(3): 39–73.
Kaysen, Carl. 1990. Is War Obsolete? International Security, 14(4): 42–64.
Krause, Keith and Michael C. Williams. 1997. Critical Security Studies: Concepts and Cas
es. London: UCL Press.
Mearsheimer, John. 1990. Back to the Future: Instability in Europe after the Cold War. In
ternational Security, 15(1): 5–57.
Mearsheimer, John. 2014. The Tragedy of Great Power Politics (updated edition). London
and New York: W.W. Norton & Co.
Mutimer, David. 2015. Critical Security Studies: A Schismatic History, In A. Collins, (ed.),
Contemporary Security Studies, 4th edn, pp. 87–107. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
The Future of Security Studies
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Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).
Subscriber: University of Ottawa; date: 31 July 2019
Newman, Edward. 2010. Peacebuilding as Security in “Failing” and Conflict-Prone States.
Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding, 4: 305–22.
Nunes, Joao. 2012. Reclaiming the Political: Emancipation and critique in security stud
ies. Security Dialogue, 43(4): 345–61.
Pape, Robert. 2006. Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism. New York:
Random House.
Paris, Roland and Timothy Sisk. (2009). The Dilemmas of Statebuilding: Confronting the
Contradictions of Postwar Peace Operations (Security and Governance Series). London;
New York: Routledge.
Peterson, Spike V. 1992. Gendered States. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Roberts, Brad. 1990. Human Rights and International Security. Washington Quarterly: 65–
Russett, Bruce. 1994. Grasping the Democratic Peace. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University
Sageman, Marc. 2008. Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty-First Century.
Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Tschirgi, Necla, M. Lund, and F. Mancini (eds.) 2010. Security and Development: Search
ing for Critical Connections. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner.
Tuchman Matthews, Jessica. 1989. Redefining Security. Foreign Affairs, 68 (2): 162–77.
Van Evera, Stephen. 1990–91. Primed for Peace: Europe after the Cold War. International
Security, 15(3): 7–57.
Walt, Stephen. 1991. The Renaissance of Security Studies. International Studies Quarter
ly, 35: 211–39.
Williams, Paul D. 2013. Security Studies: An Introduction, 2nd edn. London: Routledge.
Alexandra Gheciu
Alexandra Gheciu is an Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Public and In
ternational Affairs, and Associate Director of the Centre for International Policy Stud
ies, University of Ottawa.
William C. Wohlforth
William C. Wohlforth is the Daniel Webster Professor of Government at Dartmouth
... Los cambios globales obedecen a dinámicas locales y la seguridad sostenible alcanza a convertirse en un marco lo suficientemente viable para interpretar la convergencia entre los sures glocales y la seguridad internacional. Sin embargo, en la continua búsqueda de elementos epistemológicos y marcos de entendimiento, el futuro de los estudios en seguridad ha sido diseñado con la preocupación de desligar los enclaves de los problemas del siglo XX con sus respuestas a los dilemas del siglo XXI y sus contrastes (Gheciu y Wohlforth, 2018). ...
... Con base en lo anterior, la evolución de los estudios de seguridad ha sido sinónimo del crecimiento del conocimiento científico aplicado, esto implica una búsqueda constante de causas subyacentes, relaciones causales y procesos epistemológicos complejos que comprendan patrones del comportamiento humano (Gheciu y Wohlforth, 2018;Williams, 2003). Entonces, la reimaginación desde los sures glocales sobre la seguridad internacional intenta aportar a dicho estado del arte y de la cuestión debido a que se asume que este enfoque pretende explicar que desde el Sur se puede comprender mejor y con menor margen de error las volatilidades sobre la inseguridad internacional. ...
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El objetivo principal de esta investigación es aportar nuevas perspectivas a la agenda académica en seguridad internacional. Es esta oportunidad sobre la construcción ontológica de la propuesta conceptual de los “Sures Glocales”. Este artículo responde a la pregunta ¿por qué re-imaginar la ontología de la seguridad internacional desde los Sures Glocales? Es así como la hipótesis que guía al estudio es que al re-imaginar la ontología de la seguridad se puede acercar al entendimiento particular, local y real de los fenómenos con alcance global y sus directas implicaciones en la seguridad internacional. Uno de los principales resultados es que, para solucionar los problemas y amenazas contemporáneos, es necesario re-imaginar las causas subyacentes particulares de cada asunto relativo a la seguridad. Así se logra determinar que, en dicha materia, los fenómenos responden a sistemas complejos de interacción en el que es necesario revaluar las narrativas ortodoxas entre el Norte y el Sur Globales para una configuración moderna de “Sures Glocales”.
... However, the regime of terror and nuclear threat in the Cold War era ushered in a new security paradigm; nontraditional or non-military threats as manifested in terror, environmental hazards, climate change, food security, poverty, pandemics, political violence, economic constraints, terrorism and several other related concepts that threatened local and global security more than military threats (Buzan & Hansen 2009;Peoples & Nick 2014). In the post-Cold War, the threats of non-traditional security became more pronounced when instability in various states and regions of the world attracted the attention of global key players in security matters towards pursuing collective security (Collins 2019;Ghecu &Wohlforth 2018). Regional security alliances such as NATO, UN peacekeeping force, ECOMOG and other numerous regional security platforms were formed (Buzan & Schouenborg 2018;Francis 2008). ...
... Según lo expuesto en el apartado anterior, las realidades de seguridad en el Sur global se escapan de las tradicionales arquitecturas analíticas asociadas a las clásicas tensiones militares, dilemas de seguridad y carreras armamentistas (Baldwin, 1997;Miller, 2001). La complejidad de las lógicas de seguridad en dicha configuración geográfica tienen que ver más con las paradojas territoriales, humanas y sociales, que con las prefiguraciones binarias de amigo-enemigo (Browning y McDonald, 2013;Gheciu y Wohlforth, 2018). ...
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El presente artículo es una apuesta por resolver la pregunta: ¿cómo interpretar las particularidades de la seguridad en el Sur global desde América Latina cuando la tendencia es a que sean zonas pacíficas, pero altamente violentas? Una de las respuestas tentativas al cuestionamiento tiene que ver con el hecho de que, si se trabajan aproximaciones desenclavadas de las clásicas visiones militaristas de la seguridad, es mucho más fácil acercarse a la realidad territorial. Entonces, la intersección entre las dimensiones de Little security nothings o pequeñas cotidianidades de seguridad, las gobernanzas criminales y la ontología de la inseguridad produce una lectura interpretativa más real, que permite una mayor proximidad entre tomadores de decisiones, academia y ciudadanía en general. De tal manera, el aporte original del texto está en la aproximación integral desde las tres dimensiones como lentes complementarios para comprender las dinámicas y lógicas de las realidades de la seguridad.
... The idea of entangled logics has its roots in the countless academic inquiries made into the evolution of the security notion, where a shift from a territorial state-centric perspective to broader interpretations has been identified (Buzan 1991, Buzan et al. 1998, Checiu and Wohlforth 2018. Hence, the comprehension and governance of security could be grounded in multiple logics at oncesecurity logic being the interplay of discursive practices on the constructions of identity, security governance and the perception of threats (Waever 1996, Barnutz 2010. ...
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Entangled logics, which attribute meaning to security, characterise the contemporary security field, bringing about broad comprehensions and ambiguous concepts. Civil defence has (re)surfaced as one such concept that is broadly conceived in the official discourses produced by decision-makers. Since security is ultimately enacted by practitioners, alias decision-takers, their interpretations of concepts significantly shape policy actions. Therefore, this article moves from decision-makers’ discourses to decision-takers’ interpretations and explores the divergent understandings of the concept of civil defence in Sweden. Applying a discursive approach to data gathered through official documents and interviews with 21 national agency representatives, organised under five societal sectors, it finds that two main interpretations emerge, across and within sectors. These are conceptualised as “territorial civil defence” and “societal civil defence”, linked, respectively, to logics of “territorial security” and “societal security”. These differences, as is argued, potentially challenge agency collaboration and eventual policy coherence in terms of policy aims, governance and venues for cooperation. Hence, the study highlights the complex constraints that contemporary security discourses set in the policy sphere. It concludes that in order to effectively meet and capture the complexity of contemporary security, disentanglement of the field’s concepts, both in theory and in practice, is needed.
... These critiques express concern about a potential narrowing of the security agenda in the post-9/11 era and the impending reversal of post-Cold War achievements in broadening and deepening the security agenda. 39 CTS produces a rich and diverse scholarship: since 2008, it has its journal under the same name, and a Handbook, both set up by Richard Jackson from Aberystwyth University. 40 According to Sondre Lindahl from Østfold University in Norway, CTS intends to 'produce knowledge which can help shape, improve, change, or replace contemporary counterterrorism.' 41 By studying knowledge production in the context of CTS, Lindahl conveys a substantial engagement with the epistemological consequences of both CT and CSS as advanced by Ken Booth's Aberystwyth School. ...
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The launch of ‘critical intelligence studies’ (CIS) as an academic subfield in intelligence and a new strand in critical scholarship is a unique opportunity to proceed at both registers. This article positions CIS in IR-related critical studies by focusing on ‘critical security studies’ (CSS) and ‘critical war studies’ (CWS). What are the implications of the basic assumptions, concepts, theories, and methods of CSS and CWS for developing CIS? In response, CIS will be analyzed at different normative, epistemological, ontological, and methodological levels. Various implications, suggestions, and recommendations emerge from this study, seeking to contribute to critical scholarship and CIS’ research agenda.
The ‘regulatory state’ has prevailed in almost every sector of European public policy. The provision of security, however, is still widely viewed as the domain of the ‘positive state’, which rests on political authority and autonomous capacities. Challenging this presumption, we argue that expertise – as foundation of authority – and rules – as policy instruments – also shape the provision of European security by national and, in particular, supranational ‘regulatory security states’, namely the European Union (EU). We lay out a framework for mapping the uneven and contested rise of European regulatory security states; analyzing drivers and constraints of security state reforms; and grasping the implications of the regulatory security state for the effectiveness and democratic legitimacy of European security policy-making. We advance the research program on the regulatory state and contribute to an innovative understanding of who governs security in Europe’s multi-level polity, by what means, and on what legitimatory grounds.
This chapter provides a partial history of the label ‘Critical Security Studies’ and the way it has developed and fragmented since the early 1990s. It considers the primary claims of the major divisions that have emerged within the literatures to which the label has been applied: constructivism, critical theory, and poststructuralism. It looks at the 1994 conference held at York University in Toronto entitled Strategies in Conflict: Critical Approaches to Security Studies , which spawned a book called Critical Security Studies: Concepts and Cases (1997b), and Security: A New Framework for Analysis (1998), which was published to serve as a relatively comprehensive statement of ‘securitization studies’, or the Copenhagen School. The chapter argues that Critical Security Studies needs to foster an ‘ethos of critique’ in either the study or refusal of security. Finally, it examines Ken Booth’s views on poststructuralism as part of a broad Critical Security Studies.
The commonly accepted interpretation is that a religious motive—the desire to please God—is the principal reason why people volunteer for suicide missions. American political scientist Robert A. Pape rejects this view. For him the common thread linking suicide bombers is a political objective— driving out an occupier from one’s homeland, which they see as furthering the common good of their society. In arriving at this theory, Pape relied on the concept of “altruistic suicide,” developed by French sociologist Emile Durkheim in his pioneering work Suicide (1897). These ideas are discussed in Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism (2005), from which the passage below is taken.
This volume provides a comparative study of exit with regard to international operations of a state-building nature. The chapters focus on the empirical experiences of, and scholarly and policy questions associated with, exit in relation to four families of experience: colonial administrations, peace support operations, international territorial administrations, and transformative military occupations. In all of these cases, state-building, broadly conceived, has been a key objective, undertaken most often in conditions of fragility or in the aftermath of armed conflict. The chapters offer detailed accounts of practice associated with exit-examining the factors that bore on the decisions by external actors to scale down or terminate an operation; investigating the nature of any planning for withdrawal; exploring whether exits were devised with clear objectives in mind; and assessing the effects of the exit strategies employed, especially in relation to peace and stability. The volume also addresses issues of a more thematic nature, notably recent institutional innovations that are intended to help manage transitions; the political economy of exit; competing normative visions of exit; and the policy implications of the analysis contained here. The case studies and the thematic essays combined reflect the key experiences and issues that are most relevant to a study of exit strategies.
This book explores the contradictions that emerge in international statebuilding efforts in war-torn societies. Since the end of the Cold War, more than 20 major peace operations have been deployed to countries emerging from internal conflicts. This book argues that international efforts to construct effective, legitimate governmental structures in these countries are necessary but fraught with contradictions and vexing dilemmas.. Drawing on the latest scholarly research on postwar peace operations, the volume: addresses cutting-edge issues of statebuilding including coordination, local ownership, security, elections, constitution making, and delivery of development aid. features contributions by leading and up-and-coming scholars. provides empirical case studies including Afghanistan, Cambodia, Croatia, Kosovo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, South Africa, and others. presents policy-relevant findings of use to students and policymakers alike. The Dilemmas of Statebuilding will be vital reading for students and scholars of international relations and political science. Bringing new insights to security studies, international development, and peace and conflict research, it will also interest a range of policy makers. © 2009 Roland Paris and Timothy D. Sisk selection and editorial matter. All rights reserved.
Critical Security Studies introduces students of Politics and International Relations to the sub-field through a detailed yet accessible survey of emerging theories and practices. Written in an accessible and clear manner, this textbook: offers a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to critical security studies, locates critical security studies within the broader context of social and political theory, evaluates fundamental theoretical positions in critical security studies against a backdrop of new security challenges. The book is divided into two main parts. The first part, 'Approaches', surveys the newly extended and contested theoretical terrain of critical security studies, and the different schools within the subdiscipline, including Feminist, Postcolonial, and Poststructuralist viewpoints. The second part, 'Issues', then offers examples of how these various theoretical approaches have been put to work against the backdrop of a diverse range of issues in contemporary security practices, from environmental, human, and homeland security to border security and the War on Terror. The historical and geographical scope of the book is deliberately broad and readers will be introduced to a number of key illustrative case studies. Each of the chapters in Part II will act to illustrate concretely one or more of the approaches discussed in Part I, with clear internal referencing allowing the text to act as a holistic learning tool for students. This book will be essential reading for upper-level students of Critical Security Studies, and an important resource for students of International/Global Security, Political Theory, and IR in general. © 2010 Columba Peoples and Nick Vaughan-Williams. All rights reserved.
This article examines the evolution of security studies, focusing on recent developments in the field. It provides a survey of the field, a guide to the current research agenda, and some practical lessons for managing the field in the years ahead. Security studies remains an interdisciplinary enterprise, but its earlier preoccupation with nuclear issues has broadened to include topics such as grand strategy, conventional warfare, and the domestic sources of international conflict, among others. Work in the field is increasingly rigorous and theoretically inclined, which reflects the marriage between security studies and social science and its improved standing within the academic world. Because national security will remain a problem for states and because an independent scholarly community contributes to effective public policy in this area, the renaissance of security studies is an important positive development for the field of international relations.