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Critical Approaches to International Security, 2nd Edition



Critical Approaches to International Security, 2nd Edition

Karin M. Fierke

ISBN: 978-1-509-50167-0 March 2015 Polity 320 Pages

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During the Cold War the concept of international security was understood in military terms as the threat or use of force by states. The end of EastÐWest hostilities, however, brought ‘critical’ perspectives to the fore as scholars sought to explain the emergence of new challenges to international stability, such as environmental degradation, immigration and terrorism.
The second edition of this popular and highly respected text offers a wide-ranging and comprehensive analysis of the growing field of critical security studies.  All the chapters have been fully revised and updated to map the on-going evolution of debates about international security since 1989, including the more recent shift in emphasis from critiques of the realist practices of states to those of global liberal governance.  Topics covered include the relationship between security and change, identity, the production of danger, fear and trauma, human insecurity and emancipation. The book explores the meaning and use of these concepts and their relevance to real-life situations ranging from the War on Terror to the Arab Spring, migration, suffering in war, failed states and state-building, and the changing landscape of the international system, with the emergence of a multipolar world and the escalation of global climate change. 
Written with verve and clarity and incorporating new seminar activities and questions for class discussion, this book will be an invaluable resource for students of international relations and security studies.


1 Definitions and Redefinitions

2 The Proliferation of Concepts

3 Change

4 Identity

5 Danger

6 Fear and Trauma

7 Human Insecurity

8 Emancipation

Includes new pedagogical features such as guided reading sections and questions for discussion. It is also fully revised to reflect the much-changed security terrain since the first edition, with each chapter being substantially edited and lots of new material on issues such as human security and technology being added.

In this second edition of Critical Approaches to International Security Karin Fierke retains the thematic strengths of the first edition while mapping changes in the contours of the field of critical security studies since 2007. With her focus on security as both constructed and necessarily political, Karin Fierke remains one of the most important voices on critical theoretical engagement with security in international relations. This text is a must-read for any student or researcher serious about the study and practice of security.
Matt McDonald, The University of Queensland

Pushing further the debates over critical approaches to security studies, the second edition of Fierke's book addresses its core themes -- change, identity, danger, trauma and emancipation -- in a clear and compelling manner. The book will make an excellent textbook, engaging directly with real-world security issues while remaining true to its critical engagement.
Keith Krause, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva