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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Photographs, cartoons, video—in sum, visual representations—are crucial to how security problems become known and debated. Yet, images have only recently entered security studies as a particular topic in need of research. This chapter shows how technological innovations, major events, and theory development within the larger fields of humanities and the social sciences explain why and how images have entered security studies. Images are important to security politics because they are capable of evoking emotions and they travel across national and linguistic boundaries in ways that words cannot. Striking images have supported the calls for expanding the concept of security to include non-military threats, such as for example HIV/AIDS or famine. But images may also cause conflicts when they are seen as insulting to core values and identities. The study of images is so complex that a pluralistic methodology and multiple epistemologies are warranted.

Keywords: aesthetic politics, cartoons, concepts of security, emotions, epistemology, images, methodology, photographs, technology

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