Category: Author’s Blog

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 »

Robot Wars

By Ian G. R. Shaw There isn’t a day goes by without predictions—wild, wacky, and horrifying—about the future of warfare. Robots stand at the centre of so many of these prophecies. Although robots have existed for decades, and even longer in the human imagination, recent leaps in artificial intelligence (AI) promise to break with old… Read more »

War-Making, International Law and Environmental Infrastructure

By: Jeannie L Sowers, Erika Weinthal, and Neda Zawahri The extensive targeting of civilian water and energy infrastructures by a range of state and non-state actors, including regional powers and armed groups, has marked the post-2011 wars in the Middle East and North Africa. The effects on human welfare and ecosystems are long-term and poorly… Read more »

The Political Economic Logic of Liberal Exceptionalism

By Jacqueline Best These are interesting times for scholars interested in the concept of “exceptionalism” and emergency. As I have pointed to in my recent article in Security Dialogue, “Security, economy, population: The political economic logic of liberal exceptionalism,” prior to the recent wave of right-leaning election wins it seemed that we were entering into… Read more »

Making the Invisible Visible – Satellites, Visual Technologies and Environmental Security

By Delf Rothe How can satellites promise to predict future environmental risks and threats? Global warming and resulting environmental changes are unfolding at an ever-faster pace. Natural disasters threaten the well-being of communities across the globe and debates around whether environmental change can (or should) be considered security risks are more topical than ever. Seeing… Read more »