1st Edition

Ontological Insecurity in the European Union

Edited By Catarina Kinnvall, Ian Manners, Jennifer Mitzen Copyright 2020
    182 Pages
    by Routledge

    182 Pages
    by Routledge

    The European Union (EU) faces many crises and risks to its security and existence. While few of them threaten the lives of EU citizens, they all create a sense of anxiety and insecurity about the future for many ordinary Europeans. This comprehensive volume explores the concept of ‘ontological security’ which was introduced into international relations over a decade ago to better understand the ‘security of being’ found in feelings of fear, anxiety, crisis, and threat to wellbeing. The authors make use of this concept to explore how narratives of European integration have been part of public discourses in the post-war period and how reconciliation dynamics, national biographical narratives and memory politics have been enacted to create ontological security. Within this context, they also discuss the anxiety of the ‘remainers’ in the Brexit referendum and the consequences of its failure to address the ontological anxieties and insecurities of remain voters. The book also explores: how European security firms market ontological security and provide an ontological security-inspired reading of the EU’s relations with post-communist states; the EU and NATO’s engagement with hybrid threats; and the EU as an anxious community.

    This book was originally published as a special issue of the journal European Security.

    1. Introduction: Ontological (in)security in the European Union

    Catarina Kinnvall, Ian Manners and Jennifer Mitzen

    2. Narrating Europe: the EU’s ontological security dilemma

    Vincent Della Sala

    3. Breaking with Europe’s pasts: memory, reconciliation, and ontological (In)security

    Bahar Rumelili

    4. Political memory, ontological security, and Holocaust remembrance in post-communist Europe

    Jelena Subotic

    5. Socio-psychological reactions in the EU to immigration: from regaining ontological security to desecuritisation

    Tal Dingott Alkopher

    6. Brexit, existential anxiety and ontological (in)security

    Christopher S. Browning

    7. The market for ontological security

    Elke Krahmann

    8. Countering hybrid warfare as ontological security management: the emerging practices of the EU and NATO

    Maria Mälksoo

    9. Anxious community: EU as (in)security community

    Jennifer Mitzen


    Catarina Kinnvall is Professor of Political Science at Lund University, Sweden. Her research is focused on global security, migration, religion and nationalism, with a particular emphasis on South Asia and Europe.

    Ian Manners is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark. His research interests lie at the nexus of critical social theory and the study of the European Union in planetary politics, including global society, economy, environment, conflict, and politics.

    Jennifer Mitzen is Associate Professor of Political Science at The Ohio State University, USA, with research interests in international relations theory, global governance, and international security.