CfP: ‚Human Securitization, Executive Politics, and Governmentality‘

Call for Papers for the Panel ‚Human Securitization, Executive Politics, and Governmentality‘ within the section ‚The Transformation of Security Culture‘ (Section Convenors: Christopher Daase, Georgios Kolliarakis), SGIR 7th Pan-European International Relations Conference, Stockholm, September 9-11, 2010

Panel Convenor: Andreas Vasilache


Call for Papers for the Panel ‚Human Securitization, Executive Politics, and Governmentality‘ within the section ‚The Transformation of Security Culture‘ (Section Convenors: Christopher Daase, Georgios Kolliarakis), SGIR 7th Pan-European International Relations Conference, Stockholm, September 9-11, 2010

Panel Convenor: Andreas Vasilache

The human security doctrine aims at a conceptual and material widening of the notion of security. It transcends the traditional distinction between domestic and international security, broadens the scope of security from its focus on one sector (sector of organized political violence, i.e. the police and military) towards many different policy areas (health, education, environment, culture, etc.), and aims directly at the individual as addressee of security efforts. Taking into account and acknowledging that today, on the one hand, different problems, challenges, and entire policy fields (social justice and welfare, environment, education, etc.), may have security implications and/or, on the other hand, that these problems directly challenge the possibilities of a dignified life of individuals and groups, the concept of human security aims at reaching a situation ‚free from fear‘ by broadening the scope of security in both conceptual and empirical terms. While the human security concept has its roots in development discourses, within the past years, it has become quite
influential in IR and thus demands careful discussion within this discipline, too.
However, the main aim of the panel consists in a critical reconsideration of the human security concept. In addition, or even in contrast to the critique of its idealistic implications or the supposed ‚unpractical utopianism‘ often brought forward against the human security concept, the panel aims at looking at the shortcomings, and in particular at possible normative shortcomings of this highly normative concept. These shortcomings seem to mainly consist in a securitization and executive deformation of politics in general. Although they might be unintentional, they, however, in parts – or in particular world-regions – might counteract and undermine the declared normative targets (and possible advantages) of the human security concept. In particular, the universalist claim and the boundless conceptual structure of the human security notion seem to need critical reconsideration – or maybe even to be contrasted with an idea of freedom from security.
As the topic of this panel is rather broad, papers dealing with human security and its possible shortcomings from both a rather theoretical perspective (referring, for instance, to the conceptual logics of the separation of powers in state theory (regardless of the IR school of thought), current governmentality studies, discourse-analyses, constructivist approaches, etc.) and from a rather empirical perspective (looking, for example, at the interrelation/hierarchy/collision of different norms, targets, or claims in international politics and within the human security concept, the problem of implementation, institutionalization and/or operationalization, etc.) are highly welcome. Although the aim of this panel is to take a critical (normative) look at human security, papers arguing in favour of the concept are – of course – also much desired.

Paper Proposals should be sent to the eMail: Andreas.Vasilache@uni-bielefeld.de