The Open UniversitySkip to content

What's in an act? On security speech acts and little security nothings

Huysmans, Jef (2011). What's in an act? On security speech acts and little security nothings. Security Dialogue, 42(4-5) pp. 371–383.

Full text available as:
PDF (Accepted Manuscript) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (210Kb)
DOI (Digital Object Identifier) Link:
Google Scholar: Look up in Google Scholar


This article makes a claim for re-engaging the concept of ‘act’ in the study of securitization. While much has been written about the discursive and communicative aspects of securitizing, the concept of ‘act’ that contains much of the politicality of the speech-act approach to security has been relatively ignored.The task of re-engaging ‘acts’ is particularly pertinent in the contemporary context, in which politically salient speech acts are heavily displaced by securitizing practices and devices that appear as banal, little security nothings. The main purpose of the article is to begin the framing of a research agenda that asks what political acts can be in diffuse security processes that efface securitizing speech acts.

Item Type: Journal Article
Copyright Holders: 2011 The Author(s)
ISSN: 1460-3640
Keywords: securitization theory; risk management; politics; insecurity; act
Academic Unit/Department: Social Sciences > Politics and International Studies
Social Sciences
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Citizenship, Identities and Governance (CCIG)
Item ID: 30102
Depositing User: Jef Huysmans
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2011 09:13
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2016 14:12
Share this page:


Scopus Citations

Actions (login may be required)

Policies | Disclaimer

© The Open University   + 44 (0)870 333 4340