Securitization Theory: Past, Present, and Future
US : Palgrave Macmillan
2 (April 2019)
331 - 348 p.
legitimacy, politics of the extraordinary, performativity, audience, securitization, regime of practices
This contribution to the symposium examines tensions holding back the development of securitization theory and proposed potential avenues to transcend and resolve them. Specifically, it argues that the evolution of securitization has been shaped by two main debates: one between those who hold that securitization is decided by the elite and those who hold that it is co-constructed by the elite and target audiences; and a second debate between scholars who treat securitization as de-politicization and researchers who argue that securitization cannot be severed from politics. While these debates have been acknowledged in the literature, they are seldom if ever addressed. This article examines the roots of these tensions, showing how they have undermined the coherence of the theory. It then introduces the concept of a regime of practices as a promising solution, arguing that it better accounts for how security issues emerge and acquire their legitimacy, which provides them with a social stickiness. Further, the article shows that both moments of creation and transformation of regimes of practices involve a specific kind of politics (the politics of the extraordinary), wherein ideas, principles, and aims of the community are said to be vitally at stake.