Critical Approaches to International Security / Edition 1

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During the Cold War the concept of international security was understood in military terms as the threat or use of force by states. The end of East-West hostilities, however, brought 'critical' perspectives to the fore as scholars sought to explain the emergence of new challenges to international stability, such as environmental degradation, immigration and terrorism. Critical Approaches to International Security is the first book to offer a wide-ranging and comprehensive analysis of the field of critical security studies. It maps the evolution of debates about security from the end of the Cold War to the present day, arguing that the conceptual and methodological innovations of critical security studies are crucial for understanding many contemporary international developments. Organized around a range of core concepts that have defined various critical approaches, the book guides the reader through a wide range of literature and debates. Topics covered include the relationship between security and change, identity, the production of danger, trauma, human insecurity and emancipation. The book explores the meaning and use of these concepts and their relevance to real-life situations ranging from NATO expansion, conflict in the Balkans, migration, suffering in war, failed states and state-building, the war on terror and Hurricane Katrina. This book makes a significant and original contribution to the study of international relations and security studies and will be of great value to students and scholars of international relations and security studies.

About the Author:
K. M. Fierke is Professor of International Relations at the University of St Andrews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
In this second edition of Critical Approaches to International Security Karin Fierke retains the thematic strengths of the first edition while mapping changes in the contours of the field of critical security studies since 2007. With her focus on security as both constructed and necessarily political, Karin Fierke remains one of the most important voices on critical theoretical engagement with security in international relations. This text is a must-read for any student or researcher serious about the study and practice of security.
Matt McDonald, The University of Queensland

Pushing further the debates over critical approaches to security studies, the second edition of Fierke's book addresses its core themes — change, identity, danger, trauma and emancipation — in a clear and compelling manner. The book will make an excellent textbook, engaging directly with real-world security issues while remaining true to its critical engagement.
Keith Krause, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780745632933
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 3/28/2007
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.60 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

K.M. Fierke is Professor of International Relations at the University of St. Andrews, and has taught or held research fellowships at the universities of Minnesota, Amsterdam, Oxford and Queen's Belfast. She is the author of Changing Games, Changing Strategies (1998), Diplomatic Interventions: Conflict and Change in a Globalizing World (2005), Political Self Sacrifice: Agency, Body and Emotion in International Relations (2013) numerous book chapters or articles on constructivism and security in prominent journals and co-editor of Constructing International Relations: The Next Generation (2001).

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgements     vii
Introduction     1
Politics and security     4
Context     11
Definitions and Redefinitions     13
Realism and the Cold War     16
The methodological debate     22
Return to the military definition?     28
The Proliferation of Concepts     33
Essentially contested concepts     33
An ethnocentric concept     35
Proliferation of concepts     42
Conclusion     51
Construction     53
Change     55
Human nature and social construction     56
Structures and agents     60
Cause versus reasons     68
Conclusion     74
Identity     75
Aspects of identity     75
Identity and discourse analysis     81
Identity and the 'clash of civilizations'     87
Conclusion     97
The Production of Danger     99
The representation of danger     100
The politics of danger     108
The production of insecurity     112
What is at stake?     118
Practice     121
Trauma     123
Psychologizing trauma     124
The securitization of trauma     132
The politicization of trauma     137
Conclusion     143
Human Insecurity     144
Human security     145
Development and security     150
A critical analysis     156
Conclusion     165
Immanent Critique     167
Revisiting the themes     169
Questioning assumptions     170
Immanent critique     184
Emancipation     186
Emancipation     187
The state is a provider of protection     190
Military strength is the core of security     193
Vulnerability must be avoided at all costs     199
Conclusion     204
Notes     206
References     210
Index     231
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