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.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0967010611418713

URL: http://sdi.sagepub.com/content/42/4-5/371.short


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.

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  • Item ORO ID
  • 30102
  • Item Type
  • Journal Item
  • ISSN
  • 1460-3640
  • Keywords
  • securitization theory; risk management; politics; insecurity; act
  • Academic Unit or School
  • Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)
  • Copyright Holders
  • © 2011 The Author(s)
  • Depositing User
  • Jef Huysmans