Socialising security: making space for people in global politics

Socialising Security outlines a normative approach to critiquing and reconstructing security practices that occur in our name. It begins with a brief conceptual history of security as used in modern states, with special emphasis given to the concept of ‘national security’ as developed in the context of the early Cold War. This leads to a critical appraisal of contemporary security practice, with special attention given to the emergence of border and homeland security in Australia and the United States, and the forms of subjectivity it both provoked and defended. The entailments from this appraisal will then be taken up to develop a theorization of security that emphasises the inter-activity of the conduct of security professionals and the proliferating figures and objects they seek to secure.

The innovation of this approach its twofold intent; it is both critical and normative. Critically, Socialising Security seeks to defamiliarise acritical and unreflexive understandings of security practices through close analytic attention to the ways in which security is incorporated into the identity, ethics, and operative paradigms of invested states and individuals. Normatively, this project will move from the problems and contradictions thrown up by this process to develop workable models for security’s re-socialisation. This will be done by through a constructive synthesis of prevalent concepts and practices of security with works within political theory from a diverse range of philosophers, including William Connolly (on pluralist ethics of intersubjectivity), Phillip Pettit (on republican freedom and incorporation), and Gerald Frug (on architectures of governance).

Start By 20 January 2012
Completed By 30 August 2013
Funding RMIT Research Support
Researcher(s) Robin Cameron, Peter Chambers
Program Human Security and Disasters
Location(s) Christmas Island – Australia
Melbourne – Australia