J. Peter Burgess
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The enchantment of security
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This chapter reconstructs the concept of security that will be gradually deconstructed throughout the book. Building on the assumptions of securitisation theory, the chapter develops a selective social history of the concept, with particular emphasis on the Cold War and post-Cold War periods. It was during this period that the discursive power of security, always latent, truly came of age. The chapter maps in detail the new security concept that developed during this period and in particular the considerable changes it quickly underwent at the end of the Cold War. The chapter analyses the new post-Cold War concept that will frame the rest of the book, deeply intertwined with culture, moral values and social and political governance. Starting from the epistemological shift that enters into force around 1989, the chapter details some of the qualities of the new security reality: globalisation, technologisation, industrialisation, mediatisation, etc. It completes the sketch of this new age of security by making the link between security and market liberalism, and the interlinkage between cultural values and security policy. This security and value, coupled with the new threat horizon dominating security thinking, leads the chapter into an analysis of the role of uncertainty, and the way that it leads security decision-makers to operate in relation to a new kind of ethics: making decisions today about unknown dangers tomorrow.

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