Security and secularization in international relations

Mavelli, Luca (2012) Security and secularization in international relations. European Journal of International Relations, 18 (1). pp. 177-199. ISSN 1354-0661

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What is the relationship between security and secularization in International Relations? The widespread acceptance of secularism as the paradigmatic framework that underlies the study of world politics has left this question largely unexplored. Yet, the recent challenges to the secularization thesis and the growing attention that is being devoted to questions of religion and secularism in international politics increasingly suggest the importance of undertaking this investigation. This article takes up this task in three main steps. First, it will explore how the limits of a widely accepted but nonetheless problematic account of the emergence of the modern Westphalian nation-state contribute to a dominant underlying assumption in security studies that implicitly associates security with secularization. Second, it will articulate a competing genealogy of security and secularization which suggests that rather than solving the problem of religious insecurity, secularization makes the question of fear and the politics of exceptionalism central to the state-centric project of modernity and its related vision of security. Finally, the article will examine how these elements inform and, most of all, constrain attempts to move beyond the traditional state-centric framework of security. The focus will be on three such attempts: human security, the securitization theory and Ken Booth’s critical theory of security

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Depositing User: Luca Mavelli
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2013 11:21
Last Modified: 29 Jan 2013 11:21
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