Emancipation in critical security studies: Political economy, domination and the everyday

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This chapter discusses an emancipation-inspired approach within critical security studies. This approach has drawn from the Marxist and Frankfurt School traditions to advance a critique of security with explicit emancipatory intentions. It begins by introducing the idea of ‘security as emancipation’ (SAE) and its take on the critique of security, showing how this approach conceives insecurity as the presence of constraints upon life and freedom. It then seeks to develop SAE in three ways. First, the chapter unpacks one of the key assumptions of SAE, the materiality of security, and connects this with political economy and class as important elements in security analysis. Second, the chapter makes the case for a shift towards the everyday political economy of security, with the goal of equipping SAE to better engage with the concrete production of insecurity in day-to-day practice and interactions. Finally, the chapter reconsiders the way in which SAE deals with the question of power, arguing for the need to understand power as domination, or the systematic reproduction of subordination.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Critical International Relations
EditorsSteven Roach
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781788112895
ISBN (Print)9781788112888
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2020

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