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Lucile Maertens

about what we are looking at and why, and what is excluded when we look at something in a particular way’ (Bellamy et al. 2010 : 20). A critical approach to UN peacekeeping would then question the values and representations that inform peacekeeping and the political order that peacekeeping interventions shape, promote, or sustain. Critical security studies (CSS) can be narrowly defined as gathering post-positivist analysis focused on human security and emancipation (Buzan and Hansen 2009 : 36). However, in a broader sense, CSS refers to a

in United Nations peace operations and International Relations theory
Open Access (free)
Politics of movement

This book brings together a number of contributions that look into the political regulation of movement and analyses that engage the material enablers of and constraints on such movement. It attempts to bridge theoretical perspectives from critical security studies and political geography in order to provide a more comprehensive perspective on security and mobility. In this vein, the book brings together approaches to mobility that take into account both techniques and practices of regulating movement, as well as their underlying infrastructures. Together the contributions inquire into a politics of movement that lies at the core of the production of security. Drawing on the insight that security is a contingent concept that hinges on the social construction of threat – which in turn must be understood through its political, social, economic, and cultural dimensions – the contributors offer fine-grained perspectives on a presumably mobile and insecure world. The title of the book, Security/Mobility, is a direct reference to this world that at times appears dominated by these two paradigms. As is shown throughout the book, rather than being opposed to each other, a great deal of political effort is undertaken in order to reconcile the need for security and the necessity of mobility. Running through the book is the view that security and mobility are entangled in a constant dynamic – a dynamic that converges in what is conceptualised here as a politics of movement.

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Memory and mortality at the bombsite

Death is simultaneously silent, and very loud, in political life. Politicians and media scream about potential threats lurking behind every corner, but academic discourse often neglects mortality. Life is everywhere in theorisation of security, but death is nowhere.

Making a bold intervention into the Critical Security Studies literature, this book explores the ontological relationship between mortality and security after the Death of God – arguing that security emerged in response to the removal of promises to immortal salvation. Combining the mortality theories of Heidegger and Bauman with literature from the sociology of death, Heath-Kelly shows how security is a response to the death anxiety implicit within the human condition.

The book explores the theoretical literature on mortality before undertaking a comparative exploration of the memorialisation of four prominent post-terrorist sites: the World Trade Center in New York, the Bali bombsite, the London bombings and the Norwegian sites attacked by Anders Breivik. By interviewing the architects and designers of these reconstruction projects, Heath-Kelly shows that practices of memorialization are a retrospective security endeavour – they conceal and re-narrate the traumatic incursion of death. Disaster recovery is replete with security practices that return mortality to its sublimated position and remove the disruption posed by mortality to political authority.

The book will be of significant interest to academics and postgraduates working in the fields of Critical Security Studies, Memory Studies and International Politics.

UN peacekeeping is a core pillar of the multilateral peace and security architecture and a multi-billion-dollar undertaking reshaping lives around the world. In spite of this, the engagement between the literatures on UN peacekeeping and International Relations theory has been a slow development. This has changed in recent years, and there is now a growing interest tin examining UN peacekeeping from various theoretical perspectives to yield insights about how international relations are changing and developing. The volume is the first comprehensive overview of multiple theoretical perspectives on UN peacekeeping. There are two main uses of this volume. First, this volume provides the reader with insights into different theoretical lenses and how they can be applied practically to understanding UN peacekeeping better. Second, through case studies in each chapter, the volume provides practical examples of how International Relations theories – such as realism, liberal institutionalism, rational choice institutionalism, sociological institutionalism, feminist institutionalism, constructivism, critical security studies, practice theory, and complexity theory – can be applied to a specific policy issue. Applying these theories enhances our understanding of why UN peacekeeping, as an international institution, has evolved in a particular direction and functions the way that it does. The insights generated in the volume can also help shed light on other international institutions as well as the broader issue of international co-operation.

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Governing the social through security politics

In the twenty-first century, ‘vulnerability’ has become central to the governance of security, migration, integration, social care and mental health. But what does it mean to govern through vulnerability? We might optimistically think vulnerability signifies a new-found commitment to precarious lives on the part of policymakers. But why, then, do associated policy recommendations appear to transform welfare state provision – moving away from provision to those in need and towards the remoulding of subjects so that they do not become ‘costly’ or ‘risky’? This book responds to the rise of ‘vulnerability’ in the fields of public health, psychology, international security, political administration, post-colonial African and Middle Eastern politics, policing and migration. Across this policy landscape, we show that vulnerability has become central to the reinvention of social governance. Wherever policymakers wish to extend social control further into communities and their municipal structures, the language of vulnerability is used to appropriate the spaces previously administered by the welfare state. How is the language of vulnerability so powerful and transformative? At its core, ‘vulnerability’ implies a pre-emptive temporality – it is used to denote the potential for something negative to occur. The reorganisation of security and social policies around vulnerability works to centre a preventive, anticipatory temporality. The book is split into two parts: looking first at the transformation of the welfare state that brought risk and security logics into social policy. The second part explores how contemporary national security programmes appropriate the language and modalities of safeguarding and care.

Life and death in the Third Nuclear Age

Unparalleled catastrophe provides a timely intervention that challenges orthodox thinking around nuclear weapons by mapping out how and why the world is entering a new era of catastrophic threats. After the first use of nuclear weapons in 1945, Albert Einstein warned the world that ‘we thus drift toward unparalleled catastrophe’. This book tells the story of how we are no longer drifting, but racing towards unparalleled catastrophe at breakneck speed. As states modernise and increase their nuclear weapon stockpiles, and develop new weapons systems, and as the global nuclear arms control regime faces pressures like never before, Unparalleled catastrophe provides a chronicle of events, and an analysis of developments that have brought the world into a Third Nuclear Age. To make sense of our contemporary moment, Unparalleled catastrophe puts forward the case for critical nuclear studies, traces the dangers of recent epoch-defining developments, and provides a political intervention into contemporary security debates about nuclear weapons. The book is the first of its kind to document and critically analyse the dawn of the Third Nuclear Age. Drawing on a diverse range of source material – from policy documents, military doctrine and news reports to pop songs and social media memes – Unparalleled catastrophe examines the causes of the Third Nuclear Age and how it manifests in our everyday lives. In doing so, Unparalleled catastrophe explores what has brought us to the brink of catastrophe, and suggests what can be done to avoid it.

Lessons for critical security studies?
Emmanuel-Pierre Guittet

of this, I take a step back and reflect more broadly on the intersections, actual and potential, between the literatures on mobilities and critical security studies. The ‘new mobilities paradigm’ emerged across different disciplines from sociology to geography, anthropology to business studies, migration and tourism to urban studies. 1 Mobility may be undoubtedly fashionable but evaluating its

in Security/ Mobility
Making environmental security ‘critical’ in the Asia-Pacific
Lorraine Elliott

insecure by them. Nor does it provide much in the way of guidance on appropriate policy responses or ways of overcoming insecurities. A central purpose of this chapter is to deploy a critical security studies approach to ‘unpack’ environmental security (and the relationship between environment and security) in the Asia-Pacific. I do so in the face of Shamsul Haque’s pessimism about

in Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific
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Emancipating security in the Asia-Pacific?
Simon Dalby

challenge mounted by critical security studies to the assumption that the contemporary state system actually provides security to its peoples. Insurgencies, not only in Indonesia but also in Thailand, Burma and the Philippines, suggest the importance of ‘domestic’ political violence as a cause of numerous insecurities. The nuclear standoff on the Korean peninsula reminds the reader

in Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific
Towards a critical turn?
Yongjin Zhang

in the last decade or so. It has generated a wide range of scholarship, so much so that Ken Booth claims recently that critical security studies ‘has established an institutionalised life of its own, with courses and programs in a number of universities, as well as a steadily growing body of research’. He argues that it remains ‘a subject without much explicit literature

in Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific