Security (studies) and the limits of critique: why we should think through struggle

Coleman, Lara Montesinos and Rosenow, Doerthe (2016) Security (studies) and the limits of critique: why we should think through struggle. Critical Studies on Security, 4 (2). pp. 202-220. ISSN 2162-4887

[img] PDF - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial No Derivatives.

Download (357kB)


This paper addresses the political and epistemological stakes of knowledge production in post-structuralist Critical Security Studies. It opens a research agenda in which struggles against dominant regimes of power/knowledge are entry-points for analysis. Despite attempts to gain distance from the word ‘security’, through interrogation of wider practices and schemes of knowledge in which security practices are embedded, post-structuralist CSS too quickly reads security logics as determinative of modern/liberal forms of power and rule. At play is an unacknowledged ontological investment in ‘security’, structured by disciplinary commitments and policy discourse putatively critiqued. Through previous ethnographic research, we highlight how struggles over dispossession and oppression call the very frame of security into question, exposing violences inadmissible within that frame. Through the lens of security, the violence of wider strategies of containing and normalizing politics are rendered invisible, or a neutral backdrop against which security practices take place. Building on recent debates on critical security methods, we set out an agenda where struggle provokes an alternative mode of onto political investment in critical examination of power and order.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: security, struggle, Foucault, violence, critique
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > International Relations
Depositing User: Sharon Krummel
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 15:26
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2021 16:38

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update
Project NameSussex Project NumberFunderFunder Ref
Discipline, dissent and dispossessionG1216INDEPENDENT SOCIAL RESEARCH FOUNDATIONUnset