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Securitization, sectors and functional differentiation

By Mathias Albert and Barry Buzan


So far, securitization analysis has proceeded on the bontext were primarily seen as analytical 'lenses', as complexity-reducing cuts through a complex social reality. In this article, we first reflect on the ontological status of 'sectors'. Do they represent functionally differentiated realms of world politics or world society, or do sectors and functional realms need to be separated from one another clearly? After giving a short introduction to the notion of 'functional differentiation' in international relations and briefly reflecting on the ontological/analytical distinction, we scrutinize the relation between sectors and functionally differentiated realms of society. Although sectors hang together with functional differentiation, much depends on the version of functional differentiation theory used. In the communication theoretical version, securitization would be firmly located within the political system. References to functionally specific sectors would then - contra Waltz - point not only towards functional differentiation between the political and other functionally defined realms of (international) society, but also towards ongoing functional differentiation within the (international) political system

Topics: HM Sociology, JA Political science (General), JZ International relations
Publisher: SAGE Publications in association with International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO)
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1177/0967010611418710
OAI identifier:
Provided by: LSE Research Online
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