The promise of theories of just securitization

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


In this chapter I discuss the advantages of theorizing the ethics of security by devising criteria that determine the justice of security, whereby security is understood as an action or a process (for short: securitization). I argue that the possibility for theories of ‘just securitization’ is so vast that this can serve as a meta-theoretical framework organizing thinking on ethics and security in general. This argument is advanced making three key points: First, I demonstrate that such theories can target different audiences. For example, they may be action-guiding and primarily seek to inform policy-makers, or they may be evaluative and primarily target scholars, while they can also do both. Second, I showcase that such theories can be informed by different moral imperatives, specifically they can be used to constrain the number of permissible securitizations in the world, while they may also be used to call for more security action to increase the amount of actual security in the world. Third, I argue that because criteria of just securitization can be derived using a variety of methods, they can appeal to moral objectivists as well as to those sceptical of the possibility of objectivism.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthical Security Studies
Subtitle of host publication A new research agenda
EditorsJonna Nyman, Anthony Burke
ISBN (Print)9781138912328
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016


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