Critical Security Studies : An Introduction book cover
3rd Edition

Critical Security Studies
An Introduction

ISBN 9780367224257
Published November 30, 2020 by Routledge
294 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

This textbook introduces students to the sub-field of critical security studies through a detailed yet accessible survey of emerging theories and practices. This third edition contains two new chapters – on ‘Ontological security’ and ‘(In)Security and the everyday’ – and has been fully revised and updated.

Written in an accessible and clear manner, Critical Security Studies:

  • offers a comprehensive and up-to-date introduction to critical security studies
  • locates critical security studies within the broader context of social and political theory
  • evaluates fundamental theoretical positions in critical security studies against a backdrop of new security challenges.

The book is divided into two main parts. Part I, ‘Approaches’, surveys the newly extended and contested theoretical terrain of critical security studies: constructivist theories, Critical Theory, feminist and gender approaches, postcolonial perspectives, poststructuralism and International Political Sociology, Ontological security, and securitisation theory. Part II, ‘Issues’, examines how these various theoretical approaches have been put to work in critical considerations of environmental and planetary security; health, human security and development; information, technology and warfare; migration and border security; (in)security and the everyday; and terror, risk and resilience. The historical and geographical scope of the book is deliberately broad and each of the chapters in Part II concretely illustrates one or more of the approaches discussed in Part I, with clear internal referencing allowing the text to act as a holistic learning tool for students.

This book is essential reading for upper level students of critical security studies, and an important resource for students of international/global security, political theory and international relations.

Table of Contents

Preface to the third edition

Introduction: Mapping critical security studies and travelling without maps

Part I: Approaches

1. Constructivist theories

2. Critical Theory

3. Feminist and gender approaches

4. Ontological security

5. Postcolonial perspectives

6. Poststructuralism and International Political Sociology

7. Securitisation theory

Part II: Issues

8. Environmental and planetary security

9. Health

10. Human security and development

11. Information, technology and warfare

12. Migration and border security

13. (In)Security and the everyday

14. Terror, risk and resilience

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Columba Peoples is Senior Lecturer in International Relations in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies, University of Bristol, UK.

Nick Vaughan-Williams is Professor of International Security in the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick, UK.


Praise for the 3rd editon:

'The welcome third edition of this textbook continues to provide a superb introduction and overview of critical security studies. Combining breadth and depth, it provides an excellent entry-point for students as well as a rich survey of contemporary issues and research for those working in the field.'-- Michael C Williams, University of Ottawa, Canada

'The third edition maps the vibrant developments and contestations that have both extended and reshaped the landscape of critical security studies. By combining approaches and issues, Critical Security Studies: An Introduction offers a layered and nuanced analysis of the field. The addition of emergent theoretical approaches and novel issues of (in)security renders this edition indispensable for both newcomers to critical security studies and scholars well-versed in the debates.'-- Claudia Aradau, King’s College London, UK

'This book represents the state of the art with regard to critical security studies. Drawing on a remarkable range of scholarship, the authors address some of the most critical security issues facing us today. I highly recommend this text to all those interested in understanding how security (including human, ontological and everyday security) works in multiple ways and how it affects states, groups and individuals.'-- Catarina Kinnvall, Lund University, Sweden

Praise for the 2nd edition:

'I use Critical Security Studies as a required reading for my courses in Paris and London - it is in my view the best introduction to the topic and this second edition is very welcome.'-- Didier Bigo, King's College London, UK

'Combining breadth and accessibility with cutting-edge contributions, the second edition of this book provides an excellent overview of critical security studies today.' -- Michael C. Williams, University of Ottawa, Canada

'This second edition gives us a most welcome update of what remains a key introduction to critical security studies. It is great to see the most recent developments in this vibrant field of research included.' -- Jef Huysmans, Open University, UK

'In mapping the recent advances and debates in the vibrant field of critical security studies, this book will be crucially important to students and scholars alike. Critical Security Studies: An Introduction highlights a different topography of critical approaches to security, which is more complex, layered and messy than existing maps have allowed us to see. The book is thus more than an introduction to the field - it is an injunction to rethink the political-theoretical underpinnings in critical approaches and take the debates further.'-- Claudia Aradau, King's College London, UK