Of late, scholarly efforts that appropriate the notion of securitization to the Asia-Pacific security studies context have turned their “securitizing” gaze towards the concept and practice of human security. This paper argues that articulators of securitization fail to take seriously the radical possibilities afforded by their concept. More specifically, their claims that they are redefining security thinking reveal, on closer inspection, an unflagging commitment to the state at odds with their radical theoretical promises. Their discourse on human security is therefore a state-centered exercise deployed for the ongoing inscription or production of the state. Human security discourse is therefore less about the security of humans per se than a practice of statecraft. A suggested possibility for “emancipation” lies in the efforts of critical social movements to create new modes of political thinking and doing. To the extent that securitization effectively depoliticizes political spaces and practices, critical social movements, by way of a politics of resistance, help to re-politicize allegedly secure and sanitized domains—of the state, on the one hand, and, more indirectly, of security studies, on the other.
East Asia and Asia Pacific / International Politics and Security / Working Papers
Last updated on 01/07/2014