Why the Syrian regime has been targeting civilian infrastructure

The recent displacement of civilians and rebel fighters from the Damascus suburb of Eastern Ghouta signals an important victory for the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. In the face of these successes, it is worth remembering that the imminent downfall of Assad’s regime was proclaimed several times since the onset of violence in Syria in late 2011. Each time, Assad… Read more »

On Militarism and Security: a Special Issue Introduction

This blog post briefly introduces the Security Dialogue Special Issue on Militarism and Security: Dialogue, Possibilities and Limits, guest edited by Anna Stavrianakis and Maria Stern (Volume 49, Issue 1-2, February-April 2018). Here they talk about their own article for the special issue, which also serves as its introduction.  By Anna Stavrianakis and Maria Stern If your child… Read more »

Valuing Critical Feminist Insights on Militarism and Security

By Annick Wibben Many Security Studies scholars still query the usefulness of feminist approaches to security. Or rather, they quite simply ignore the significant contributions made by Feminist Security Studies scholars [see e.g. Stern & Wibben 2015]. Sometimes this means that they miss, or are puzzled by, observations such as the finding that women might… Read more »

Postcolonial states and ‘excessive militarism’: The Indian story

By Swati Parashar Do all states embrace militarism as a natural condition of their existence? Can militarism in different states be differentiated in content and form? How do states engender security through militarism? How is civilian consent built around militarism, especially in postcolonial states? In an era when populist regimes seem to dominate the political… Read more »

Taking “Militarism” Seriously in Critical Security Studies- Renaissance of a Concept?

By Bryan Mabee and Srdjan Vucitec The word “militarism” has seen better days. Judging by Google Books’ Ngram Viewer, it first entered into the vernacular in the nineteenth century, first in Spanish, then in French, Italian and Russian, then in English and German. The word reached its zenith in these European languages during and after… Read more »

Debunking the Security Myth of Military Might

By Vitoria Basham Using and maintaining military force as a means of achieving security:  a flawed idea? In my recent article published in Security Dialogue I critique the longstanding idea that military force and the maintenance of strong armed forces provides security. This idea forms part of the social contract between liberal democratic states and… Read more »

Confronting the Colonial- Even in Critical Studies

By Maria Eriksson Baaz and Judith Verweijen At a time when colonial revisionism is seemingly on the rise and articles calling for re-colonization are published even in renown critical journals (though clearly and comfortably not without controversy), turning a critical eye towards ourselves as ‘critical’ scholars might be seen as ‘navel-gazing’ or even as dangerously… Read more »

Performativity of Security in Military Interventions

By Elke Krahmann Many actors have embraced performance as a measure for the effectiveness and legitimacy of their international governance activities, ranging from the United States government to the World Health Organization and the World Bank. In my recently published article in Security Dialogue, “From performance to performativity: The legitimization of US security contracting and… Read more »

The Soldier We See

By Julia Welland In contemporary Britain, the figure of ‘The Soldier’ is increasingly visible. S/he (although the figure is, of course, nearly always a ‘he’) appears in documentaries, in art and museum exhibitions, in Armistice Day commemorations, guarding the 2012 Olympics, in ‘boot camp’ exercise regimes, in schools, as the ‘real heroes’ of reality TV… Read more »

Agamben, Hobbes, and Rethinking Security in the Messianic Key

By Sergei Prozorov Contemporary critical security studies increasingly turns to the problematic of political theology. This interest and inquiry into the theological origins of today’s political concepts and categories enables more effective critical interventions in contemporary politics. “Messianism” is one of the less explored aspects of political theology in security studies. While its connotations of… Read more »