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Typologies of securitisation and desecuritisation: the case of U.S. environmental security (1993-2006)

By Rita Floyd


This thesis addresses a perceived limitation of Ole Wrever's securitisation theory resulting from the undertheorised nature of the effects of securitisation and desecuritisation. This thesis challenges this minimalism and proposes a coherent set of systematic tools by which the effects of either can be analysed. The key here is the idea that not all securitisations are the same, but rather that they differ in terms of who is benefited by a given securitisation or, in other words, securitisation for whom. Starting from the idea that it matters who benefits from a given securitisation, this thesis develops with agency-benefiting securitisation and with problem-benefiting securitisation two types of securitisation. In tandem with this, the thesis develops two types of desecuritisation namely, 'desecuritisation as politicisation' and 'desecuritisation as depoliticisation'. For the environmental sector of security this thesis further develops normative conceptualisations of positive and negative securitisation and desecuritisation, whereby positive and negative are derived from what in moral philosophy is known as a consequentialist ethic, whereby the moral rightness (or wrongness) of an action is evaluated in terms of its consequences. This thesis finds that in the environmental security sector positive and negative securitisation/desecuritisation correspond to the categories of problem- and agency- benefiting securitisation, and desecuritisation as politicisation/depoliticisation respectively. The theoretical framework is applied to the case of U.S. environmental security from 1993 - 2006. This application affimls the existence and the merits of types of securitisation and desecuritisation, it further affirms the logic and intrinsic worth of a consequentialist evaluation ofsecurity and it offers valuable insights into the theory and practice of environmental security

Topics: JZ
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