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This edited volume addresses the potential for ethical visions of security and what such visions might look like.
The key contribution of this book is in bringing together the emerging theoretical discussions on ethics and ethical reasoning within security studies to speak to this common theme. These ethical ‘visions’ of security engage directly with the meaning and value of security and security practice, and present a new research agenda directly concerned not only with what security is, but with what securityshould be, and as such consider these questions:
- Who, or what, should be secured?
- What are the fundamental ontological grounds and commitments of different security ethics?
- Who or which actor/s are legitimate agents, providers or speakers of security?
- What do ethical security practices look like? What ethical principles, arguments, or procedures, help generate understandings of ethical security practices?
In a world of increasing insecurity and threats, security studies critically needs to engage directly with these normative questions to consider what securityshould be about and for whom it exists.
The first part of the text discusses ontologies of security in relation to ethics, outlining first the critical ‘anti-security’ perspective, before discussing the ethical potential within security; it then considers world security, the referent of security, and posthuman ethical security. The second part surveys a wide range of different visions of ethical security and security practice, from just securitisation theory to human security, cosmopolitan security and positive security. The editors use ‘Ethical Security Studies’ as an umbrella term, representing a new field comprised of a wide range of perspectives on ethics and security rather than advocating a specific vision. What brings the field and these authors together is a common faith in the idea that security either is or can be, a good thing. A key aim is to create a richer and more constructive engagement—both between traditional and critical security studies, and streams within critical security studies and theory which divide on the merits of opposing, or seeking to reform, security practices and ontologies.
This book will be of much interest to students of critical security studies, ethics philosophy, and IR.