Politics of Securitization


The Politics of Securitization 

Two decades have passed since Ole Wæver first formulated the theory of securitization and roughly a decade since the most well-known application in Security: A New Framework for Analysis. Today, the debate in the IR community concerning this theory seems to be stuck in rather well-known positions. This conference wants to take the debate one step further and bring to light how different understandings of politics define and constrain the field of security studies in general, and securitization theory in particular. 

The programme is structured around five themes which help to understand the meaning and understanding of politics in today's security theories: security politics as conflict; security as a political function in society; security besides western modernity; security as a normative approach to politics; and the concept of science and theory. These themes should highlight different conceptual understandings of politics and show what such understandings do to the way in which we study security.

Each of the themes is illuminated by three to four speakers and an intense, joyful and lively discussion - all which will help celebrate Ole Wæver's 50 years birthday at the end of the week!

As a direct result of the conference a special issue of the Security Dialogue on the politics of securitization was published.


Day 1: Monday, September 13th

9.30-40 Welcome

9.40-10:00 Introduction

Ulrik Pram Gad and Karen Lund Petersen, CAST:
 "Concepts of politics in studies on securitization"

10:00-12:00:  Security Politics as Conflict? Stabilization, stability, or destabilization

A view of politics as conflict is what constitutes the basis for poststructuralist security studies. This agreement, however, opens the possibility for conversations on the configuration of these battles on meaning. Specifically, a conversation over how to prioritize change relative to stability is eminent. Or in other words: How much and how to go post structuralism. .

Jef Huysmans, Professor, Open University:
"What is an Act? Dispersing Politics of Insecurity"

Lene Hansen, Professor, University of Copenhagen:
"The Implications of Speaking/Showing Security: Revisiting the Responsibility of Public Security Academics"

Holger Stritzel, Lecturer, University of St. Andrews: "Security as Translation: A genealogical reading of Global Threat Discourses"

Discussant:  Rens van Munster, Senior Researcher, Danish Inst. for Internat. Studies

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:00-15:30:  Security Politics as Function

By discussing the usefullness of understanding security as a separate functionally differentiated practice, and the implied understandings of politics and power, the papers in this panel contributes to the ongoing academic debate on the analytical limits of the modern concept of security, captured, e.g., in the concept of securitization.

Barry Buzan, Professor, LSE: 
"Securitization, Sectors and Functional Differentiation" (Co-authored with Mathias Albert)

Iver B. Neumann, Research Director, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs:
"After Securitisation: Diplomatisation or Violisation?"

Stefano Guzzini, Professor, Danish Institute for International Studies:
"Power and 'politicisation'"

James Der Derian, Professor, Brown University:
"The role of the media in securitization" [title tbc.]

Discussant:  Anna Leander, Professor, Copenhagen Business School

15:30-16:00 Break

16:00-18:00:  Security besides Western modernity

This panel discusses how the concept of security is historically and culturally circumscribed by exploring the limits of the logic of security; its epistemic roots, its spatial and cultural limits, and alternative routes of conceptual development. 

Mona Kanwal Sheikh, Ph.D. fellow, University of Copenhagen:
"The religious challenge to securitization theory"

Tarak Barkawi, Senior Lecturer, Cambridge University:
"On the generative powers of war in politics and society: What happens to securitization when war and the enemy have a say."

Pinar Bilgin, Associate Professor, Bilkent University:
"The politics of (the study of) securitization in the non-West: Adopting securitization theory as 'Western/European security' in Turkey"

Discussant:  Manni Crone, Senior Researcher, Danish Institute for International Studies

19:00 Conference Dinner


Day 2: Tuesday, September 14th

9:00-11.00 Securitization as Ethical Science: deconstruction, emancipation, pragmatism

This panel attends to the normativity of securitization theory by explicitly relating to the political strategy implied in any critical approach to security.

Rita Floyd , Post.Doc. fellow, University of Warwick:
"Can securitization be used in normative analysis? "

Michael C. Williams, Professor, University of Ottawa:
"Securitization and the politics of fear"

Vibeke Schou Tjalve, Senior Researcher, CAST:
"Designing DeSecurity: Realism, Pragmatism and the Public Sphere"

Discussant:  Carsten Bagge-Laustsen, Ass. professor, Aarhus University

11.00-11:15: Break

11.15-12:30: Securitization and The Politics of Science

This session will discuss the role of science within security studies. It will problematize the scientific ideal of securitization theory by asking, first, what kind of theory securitization theory is - and, second, by what are the advantages and disadvantages of applying securitization theory as an analytical strategy (or method).

Trine Villumsen, Researcher, CAST:
"Securitization and Science. Objectivation and ‘doxic battles' in securitization processes"

Kenneth Waltz, Professor, Columbia University:
"Securitization: Thoughts about Theory Applied to Security Problems."

Ole Wæver, Closing remarks

13:15: Lunch


15:00 Birthday reception at the Department of Political Science