Critical Security Studies

1st Edition

Nick Vaughan-Williams, Columba Peoples

Routledge
Published July 3, 2012
Reference - 1872 Pages
ISBN 9780415603287 - CAT# Y112405
Series: Critical Concepts in Military, Strategic, and Security Studies

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Summary

Although prominent—some would argue pre-eminent—within the modern political lexicon, the concept of ‘security’ is complex and contested. While the meaning and reference point of security was once largely taken for granted within International Relations, the past thirty years or so have witnessed the growth of a range of approaches that refuse to take this concept and its application as self-evident. Instead, serious scholarship, often grouped under the rubric of ‘Critical Security Studies’, has sought to question and critique dominant conceptions of security, to introduce new theoretical approaches to the assessment of security discourses and practices, and to expand the range of issues considered within security analysis. This new four-volume collection from Routledge provides a timely anthology of the subdiscipline’s best and most influential scholarship to help users make sense of a now dizzyingly large body of literature and a continuing explosion in research output.

Bringing together these major works in one easy-to-use reference resource, the collection illuminates the sometimes complex debates within and between different critical approaches to security, where even the meaning, form, and function of critique is itself contested. And, rather than attempting to impose a unitary or monolithic understanding of Critical Security Studies, the collection editors have instead captured the diversity and vibrancy of critical research on security by grouping the gathered materials into four interrelated themes: defining, deepening, broadening, and extending security.

Volume I (‘Defining Security’), collects a variety of critical perspectives on the meaning of the concept of security. Volume II (‘Broadening Security’), meanwhile, presents arguments for and against the ‘broadening’ of security to include issues such as environmental degradation, migration, and health. The third volume (‘Deepening Security’) in the collection gathers assessments of the appropriate point of reference for security that range from the individual to the global level, while Volume IV (‘Extending Security’) brings together materials that have sought to extend existing critical approaches, and to expand further the disciplinary boundaries of Security Studies.

The collection is fully indexed and includes a comprehensive introduction that places the collected material in its historical and intellectual context. It is destined to be valued by students, teachers, and researchers of Security Studies—as well as those working in contiguous fields—as a vital and unique resource.

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