'Challenging and accessible, this book opens up new political questions as it describes the new ways in which life has become more comprehensively securitised.' Professor Michael Dillon, Politics and International Relations, Lancaster University The contemporary political imagination and social landscape are saturated by the idea of security and thoughts of insecurity. This saturation has been accompanied by the emergence of a minor industry generating ideas about how to define and redefine security, how to defend and improve it, how to widen and deepen it, how to civilise and democratise it. In this book Mark Neocleous takes an entirely different approach and offers the first fully fledged critique of security. Challenging the common assumption that treats security as an unquestionable good, Neocleous explores the ways in which security has been deployed towards a vision of social order in which state power and liberal subjectivity have been inscribed into human experience.
Treating security as a political technology of liberal order-building, engaging with the work of a wide range of thinkers, and ranging provocatively across a range of subject areas - security studies and international political economy; history, law and political theory; international relations and historical sociology - Neocleous explores the ways in which individuals, classes and the state have been shaped and ordered according to a logic of security. In so doing, he uncovers the violence which underlies the politics of security, the ideological circuit between security and emergency powers, and the security fetishism dominating modern politics. Key features: * Makes original use of diverse historical materials concerning the question of security * Provides a distinctive account of theoretical debates about security within the tradition of social and political theory * Gives a genuinely inter-disciplinary account of security, moving between political thought, history, sociology, and law * Is the first fully-fledged critique of security.
Mark Neocleous is Professor of the Critique of Political Economy at Brunel University, and a member of the Editorial Collective of Radical Philosophy. His previous books include The Monstrous and the Dead (2005), Imagining the State (2003), The Fabrication of Social Order (2000), Fascism (1997) and Administering Civil Society (1996).
Introduction; 1. 'The supreme concept of bourgeois society': liberalism and the technique of security; (i) Security, sovereignty, prerogative; (ii) Liberty in security and liberal insecurity; (iii) Prerogative and necessity: towards emergency; 2. Emergency? What emergency?; (i) From martial law to emergency powers; (ii) Walter Benjamin goes to Senate; (iii) Against normality; 3. From social to national security: on the fabrication of economic order; (i) The garden of security, or 'Security - this is more like it'; (ii) Containment I: national security, international order and six million corpses; 4. Security, identity, loyalty; (i) Containment II: national security, domestic order and the fear of disintegration; (ii) The garden of pansies, or 'no communists or cocksuckers in the library'; 5. The Company and the Campus; (i) Security fetishism; (ii) Security intellectuals; (iii) Closing gambit: return the gift.