Perspectives on security threat politics
in Everyday security threats
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This Chapter highlights the importance of the subject matter of the book and situates the approach and contribution in the fields of International Relations and Political Psychology. It explores existing insights into the question of what ‘security threats’ are and how we can study everyday perceptions and experiences of them. In the IR and Security Studies literature the impact of the social constructivist turn, alongside the broadening and deepening of the security agenda, has meant that threats are now widely seen as produced through dialogue and interaction between states and non-state actors alike. What has tended to be overlooked, however, is the role of public opinion and everyday views, stories, and experiences in shaping securitizing moves and conditioning their ultimate success and/or failure. In turn, two main problems are identified with psychological and behavioural analyses of threat: first, that research tends to focus on discrete security threats, such as from terrorism, immigration, or the environment, limiting understanding of threats in general, and, second, the predominant focus on threats at the national or personal level at the expense of other levels at which threats may be experienced by citizens.

Everyday security threats

Perceptions, experiences, and consequences

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