Science and Security Expertise: Authority, Subjectivity, Knowledge

Science and scientific knowledge - especially in the area of natural/ `hard` or ‘wet’ sciences - have traditionally held a special status in society. With the rise of risk management practices in security politics and the securitization of novel issues in new contexts, scientists and other experts become increasingly involved in security politics, whether by explicitly taking part in the decision-making process, serving as advisors, expressing their opinion in media, or even implementing (security) policies. This special issue seeks to unpack these novel connections between security and (scientific) expertise and address some of the new questions this trend and its implications bring about. Focusing on specific empirical cases climate science, the securitization of rare earth elements, and human geography, the authors address the following aspects:

  • Authority: Under what conditions are scientists authorized to speak security and with what possible political and (un)democratic consequences? How are the rules for scientific engagement in security governance made, upheld, and challenged in specific fields?
  • Subjectivity: How is the subjectivity of experts constructed and practiced? How do experts relate to security professionals, decision-makers as well as the governed subject(s)?
  • Knowledge: What kinds of knowledge do scientists/experts provide and to whom? How is the boundary between scientific/expert knowledge and political decision constructed? How is security knowledge co-produced by different actors?

Trine Villumsen Berling, Maya Pasgaard and Dagmar Rychnovská were the primary researchers on the project.


Trine Villumsen Berling
Phone: +45 35 33 47 69