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Contemporary Security Studies

Contemporary Security Studies (5th edn)

Alan Collins
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date: 07 December 2023

p. 22115. Societal Securitylocked

p. 22115. Societal Securitylocked

  • Paul Roe


This chapter focuses on the concept of societal security. It first considers how society came to be conceived as a referent object of security in its own right before discussing the Copenhagen School’s understanding of both society and societal identity. It then examines threats to societal security, which can be categorised into migration, horizontal competition, and vertical competition, by giving examples relating to immigration and the rise of the political right, genocide, ‘culturecide’, and the Yugoslav wars. The chapter also describes a number of those means that can prevent or hinder the reproduction of collective identity, and how societies may react to such perceived threats. Finally, it evaluates some of the main critiques of the concept of societal security as an analytical tool.

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