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Social Sci LibreTexts

14: Securitization Theory

  • Page ID
    13076
  • Securitization theory shows us that national security policy is not a natural given, but carefully designated by politicians and decision-makers. According to securitization theory, political issues are constituted as extreme security issues to be dealt with urgently when they have been labeled as ‘dangerous’, ‘menacing’, ‘threatening’, ‘alarming’ and so on by a ‘securitising actor’ who has the social and institutional power to move the issue ‘beyond politics’. So, security issues are not simply ‘out there’ but rather must be articulated as problems by securitizing actors. Calling immigration a ‘threat to national security’, for instance, shifts immigration from a low priority political concern to a high priority issue that requires action, such as securing borders. Securitization theory challenges traditional approaches to security in IR and asserts that issues are not essentially threatening in themselves; rather, it is by referring to them as ‘security’ issues that they become security problems.