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What is the value of security? Contextualising the negative/positive debate

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journal contribution
posted on 06.04.2016, 09:30 by Jonna Nyman
Review of International Studies has seen a debate over the value of security. At its heart this is a debate over ethics: about the extent to which security is a ‘good’ and whether or not security politics produces the kind of world we want. More recent contributions focus on the extent to which security is ‘positive’ or ‘negative’. However, this paper argues that the existing debate is limited and confused: key authors use the terms ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ in different and at times contradictory ways. The paper clarifies the roots of the existing debate, and then moves on to clear up the confusion by drawing out two different uses of the terms positive and negative: an analytic frame and a normative frame. In response, it proposes a pragmatist frame that synthesises the existing uses, drawing on pragmatism and practice-centred approaches to analyse the value of security in context. The contribution of the paper is thus twofold: it both clarifies the existing debate and suggests a solution. This is key because the debate over the value of security is crucial to thinking about how we want to live.

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Citation

Review of International Studies, 2016, 42(5) pp. 821-839

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Published in

Review of International Studies

Publisher

Cambridge University Press (CUP) for British International Studies Association

issn

0260-2105

eissn

1469-9044

Acceptance date

31/03/2016

Copyright date

2016

Available date

06/04/2016

Publisher version

https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/review-of-international-studies/article/div-classtitlewhat-is-the-value-of-security-contextualising-the-negativepositive-debatediv/35DD059A39E7D0E9B3219649E39B99B5

Language

en

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