No emancipatory alternative, no critical security studies

Hynek, Nik and Chandler, David C. (2013) No emancipatory alternative, no critical security studies. Critical Studies on Security, 1 (1). pp. 46-63. ISSN 2162-4887

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We offer a provocation – that we should stop appending ‘Critical’ to ‘Security Studies’. Critical security as an academically and politically contested terrain is no longer productive of emancipatory alternatives. In making this claim, we seek to reflect upon the underlying dynamics which drove the boom in critical security studies in the 1990s and the early 2000s and its pale afterlife in the recent years. To support the argument empirically, the attention is paid to the role of emancipatory agency at the heart of critical security understandings. As we argue, the current state of ‘critical’ security theorising is no longer informed by the emancipatory impulse of the 1990s and the critical claims have been much damaged by the retreat of liberal internationalism and rise of non-emancipatory and post-emancipatory approaches. The critics that remain in the field thus articulate much lower horizons with regard to policy alternatives and conceptualise no clear agency of emancipatory possibilities. Ironically, ‘critical’ security theorists today are more likely to argue against transformative aspirations – rather than in favour of them.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Social Sciences and Humanities
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2014 11:52
Last Modified: 07 Jan 2014 11:52

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