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date: 21 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The quest for security is one of the most powerful dynamics of modern politics. To ask “what is security and security studies?” is to grapple with an ambiguous, contested, and controversial concept and discipline. This relativity of security—of who or what is being threatened, and from what or whom—has important consequences for understanding security relations between states, within states, and between non-state actors. This chapter traces some of the shifting meanings, practices, and institutions of security, showing how and why they have changed as part of a complex historical process of dealing with the place of violence and order in modern political and social life. New issues and approaches both reflect and challenge these historical lineages, raising key political and analytic questions.

Keywords: security history, concept of security, security studies, violence, security relations, war, geopolitics, strategy

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