Critical Security Studies : An Introduction book cover
2nd Edition

Critical Security Studies
An Introduction

ISBN 9780415841849
Published August 17, 2014 by Routledge
226 Pages

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Book Description

Critical Security Studies introduces students to the sub-field through a detailed yet accessible survey of evolving approaches and key issues. This new edition contains two new chapters 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 within critical security studies in application to key issues.

The book is divided into two main parts. The first part, ‘Approaches’, surveys the newly extended and contested theoretical terrain of critical security studies: Critical Theory, Feminism and gender theory, Postcolonialism, Poststructuralism and Securitization theory. The second part, ‘Issues’, then illustrates these various theoretical approaches against the backdrop of a diverse range of issues in contemporary security practices, from environmental, human and homeland security to border security, technology and warfare, and the War against Terrorism. This edition also includes new chapters on Constructivist theories (Part I) and health (Part II).

The historical and geographical scope of the book is deliberately broad and readers are introduced to a number of key illustrative case studies. Each of the chapters in Part II concretely illustrate 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

Introduction: Mapping Critical Security Studies, and Travelling Without Maps  PART I: Approaches  1. Constructivist Theories 2. Critical Theory 3. Feminist and Gender approaches to Security  4. Postcolonial­ perspectives 5. Poststructuralism and International Political Sociology  6. Securitization Theory  PART II: Issues  7. Environmental Security 8. Health 9. Homeland Security and the 'War against Terrorism’ 10. Human Security and Development 11. Migration and Border Security 12. Technology and Warfare in the Information Age 

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Columba Peoples is Senior Lecturer in International Relations in the School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies at the University of Bristol and author of Justifying Ballistic Missile Defence (2010).

Nick Vaughan-Williams is Reader in International Security in the Department of Politics and International Studies at the University of Warwick, and author of Border Politics: The Limits of Sovereign Power (2009). 


‘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