Concept group 1: Securitization / Desecuritization
first funding stage (2014-2017)
As the central analytical category of the SFB/TRR, the term and concept of securitization require further reflection. Starting point for considerations of the concept group will primarily be the terminological and conceptual approach of the Copenhagen School of International Relations (Buzan, Wæver). Their reflections will be evaluated with regard to their applicability to wider historical contexts and developments (since antiquity) and will be, if necessary, modified. This presents a conceptual challenge in the sense that the approach of the Copenhagen School first and foremost takes the modern liberal (and democratic) nation state into account. The foundamental assumption is that states and their political elites have a genuine interest in securitizing as many issues as possible in order to legitimise and substantiate their raison d'être and their claim to power.
Indeed, the historicisation of the concept of securitization primarily relates to the rise of the territorial state, the still central importance of the state as a securitizing actor, and the challenges of the classic state due to processes of globalisation and territorialization/denationalization. However, the understanding of securitization in the SFB/TRR significantly exceeds the unilateral or even exclusive state perspective that, in parts, characterises the approach of the Copenhagen School and the reception thereof. Instead, it should be asked: Which actors have an interest concepts, practices and processes of securitization? How has the state’s role in securitization processes developed and changed? Securitization in the sense of the Copenhagen School must initially be discussed as both a performative act and a speech act. In the Copenhagen School’s analyses, securitizing speech acts refer back to a grammar that originates from the political military sector. However, a SFB/TRR that focusses on the historical perspective have to reflect upon the question which other levels of language and actors can be identified throughout history, and which features have been important in various historical constellations in order to render a securitizing speec act successful.
Furthermore, it should also be discussed whether securitization automatically stands for processes of depoliticization, as the Copenhagen School argues. Would a process of “desecuritization” then lead to repoliticization? How do we determine the concept of desecuritization", and what are the links between securitization and “desecuritisation”?