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Contemporary Security Studies

Contemporary Security Studies (5th edn)

Alan Collins
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date: 07 December 2021

p. 42728. After the Return to Theory: The Past, Present, and Future of Security Studieslocked

p. 42728. After the Return to Theory: The Past, Present, and Future of Security Studieslocked

  • Ole Wæver
  •  and Barry Buzan

Abstract

This chapter reflects on the past and present of Security Studies, with a particular focus on the changing periods of theory production and practical problem solving. It begins by tracing the origins and institutional structure of Security Studies, noting that it started out as an American, think-tank based, interdisciplinary field and then became institutionalized as a part of a single discipline, International Relations (IR). Since the 1990s, the field has enjoyed a new period of high theory productivity, but largely in two separate clusters with the United States and Europe as centres of each. Among important developments during the so-called Golden Age of Security Studies were game theory and deterrence theory. The chapter proceeds by examining the stagnation of Security Studies before concluding with an assessment of future prospects and challenges facing the field, citing debates over issues such as human security and emerging non-Western approaches to IR.

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