This article sets out to experiment with sociologist Ulrich Beck’s work and explores paths that have not yet been taken with Beck in the Security Studies. The paper argues that if we want to take Beck seriously, we need to look beyond his ‘risk society’ thesis and acknowledge that his main thesis was that we live in a social reality that is qualitatively new and, consequently, calls for a radical shift in how we look at and talk about this ‘new world’. This implies two things. First, it requires accepting that research inspired by Beck can always only be ‘provisional’ because of the inherent provisionality of his own scholarly endeavour. Second, it means that if one wants to take Beck’s work as a whole seriously in Security Studies, ‘security’ needs to be studied from within the ‘new world’ he imagines.
The Construction of “European security” in “The European Union in a Changing Global Environment”: A Systematic Analysis
This article systematically studies HR Federica Mogherini's strategic paper "The European Union in a Changing Global Environment" to understand the discursive foundations of the new EU Global Strategy.
This article argues that internationally endorsed peace agreements entrench the restructuring of power relations that take place in ‘new wars’. It characterizes new wars as ‘mutual enterprises’ in which networks of state and nonstate actors engage in violence for economic and/or political gain. The article shows the way in which such networks subvert efforts to implement a rule of law, primarily using the example of Bosnia.
This article looks at the use of the words 'resilient' and 'resilience' in Obama's National Security Strategy 2010 and argues that it constitutes an exercise in ‘occupying’ these words with ideologically loaded meanings. This can be interpreted as the actualisation of both words as ‘political keywords’.
This paper explores the imagination of 'drones' in Germany and reveals how they are symbolically ‘tamed’ through a (modern) understanding of bordered social ‘containers’, in which they are imagined to exist and, subsequently, are subject to ‘compartmentalised’ responsibilities.
This special issue of the Journal of Conflict & Security Law examines the role of law in constructing and mitigating the ‘security gap’ by grounding the analysis in specific ‘security cultures’: constellations of ideas about security and security practices. The special issue brings together some of the contributions to the conference ‘Law, Justice and the Security Gap’, which was convened in June 2014 at the London School of Economics and Political Science by the research programme Security in Transition: An Interdisciplinary Investigation into the Security Gap, funded by the European Research Council.
Special Issue – Law, Justice and the Security Gap: Justice as a Security Strategy? International Justice and the Liberal Peace in the Balkans
The establishment of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in the midst of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina was seen by many as a radical innovation in security thinking and practice. This article examines the security implications of international justice in the Balkans by situating the analysis within the broader context of international interventions in the region. The article starts by elaborating a distinctive conception of ‘security’ that emerges from the pursuit of international justice, addressing questions such as security for whom, security from what and security by what means.
Special Issue – Law, Justice and the Security Gap: Reducing the Security Gap through National Courts: Targeted Killings as a Case Study
This article examines the potential role of national courts in reducing the ‘security gap’ in the context of armed conflicts. Judges in democratic States assume different roles. They may variously serve as a legitimating agent of the State; avoid exercising jurisdiction for extra-legal considerations; defer to other branches of the government; enforce the law in line with the rule of law ideal; or develop the law and introduce forms of ethical judgment that go beyond positive application of the law. Identifying the various roles assumed by national judiciaries, their institutional limits and interactions with the executive offers a useful tool for assessing their potential role in advancing human security.
The Afghan Local Police (ALP) was designed as an international counterinsurgency programme that works by raising small, village-level defence forces from within rural Afghan communities. Despite being driven by counterinsurgency objectives – that is, seeking to defeat insurgents - its emphasis upon harnessing local populations reflects broader fashions in development and security policy circles. Such policies, in turn, are commonly seen as emerging from a body of theoretical literature that is rethinking the nature of political order in conflict-torn spaces.
In crisis-hit countries, intensive risk management increasingly characterizes the presence of international interveners, with measures ranging from fortified compounds to ‘remote programming’. This article investigates the global drive for ‘security’ from an ethnographic perspective, focusing on Afghanistan and Mali.