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The globalisation of insecurity and its structuring impact on foreign policy making

English title The globalisation of insecurity and its structuring impact on foreign policy making
Applicant Hagmann Jonas
Number 121212
Funding scheme Fellowships for prospective researchers
Research institution University of Copenhagen Department of Political Science
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Political science
Start/End 01.09.2008 - 31.05.2009
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All Disciplines (2)

Political science

Keywords (4)

security reformulation; foreign policy analysis; rethorical strategies; political entrepreneurship

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
The research project looks at the processes and practices of the reformulation of security policy in different European countries, Switzerland included. In so doing it pursues these questions: Who formulates threat discourses? What are the political aims of such formulations? How does the proposition and recognition of a number of “new threats” (this is chiefly non-military challenges) affect the foreign policy arena? Is insecurity in a process of assessed globalisation - this is, are contemporary threats becoming more collective/global in scope, and are they becoming increasingly often driven by non-state actors?

This research project is located in the International Relations discipline’s security studies subfield. It adopts a sociological philosophy of science in which security politics is no response to objective, externally given national threats or security concerns - but an inherently social process. In this process, security politics is constituted by the very articulations of policymakers and other leading security policy experts. This is to say that contrary to traditional security studies’ positivist philosophy of science, the agency and responsibility of actors in re- and procreating security politics is being endogenised into explanatory models.

The analytical framework proposes three empirical foci. First, looking into who formulates security politics in concrete instances, it maps the diversity of views that policymakers formulate in different polities, and across different time periods (1950-today). Second, looking into the actual content of security policy formulations, it also traces the very evolution of security ‘perceptions’ (or framings/discourses) over time. Third, looking at the foreign policy rationales that politicians are crafting upon these evolving threat discourses, the research project then focuses on the interplay between threat construction and foreign policymaking. Waving these three observations together, the framework argues that evolving threat constructions both empower and marginalise different kinds of actors over time. It also argues that differential constructions of threats - this is of who affects whom and how - causally affect the very foreign policy rationales that actors can craft and meaningfully communicate in the foreign policy arena.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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