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Contemporary Security Studies

Contemporary Security Studies (5th edn)

Alan Collins
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date: 28 June 2022

p. 1118. Poststructural Insights: Making Subjects and Objects of Securitylocked

p. 1118. Poststructural Insights: Making Subjects and Objects of Securitylocked

  • J. Marshall Beier

Abstract

This poststructuralist chapter explores some unconventional questions about somewhat unconventional subjects for Security Studies, a field that has traditionally been more inclined to focus on states in its investigations. In particular, it examines concepts such as ‘acting subject(s)’, which concerns who or what is acting to produce security or insecurity; ‘agency’, which refers to the capacity to act; ‘subjecthood’, which suggests mastery of one’s own agency or the idea that actions are products of one’s autonomous choices; and referent object(s), which are whom or what we seek to make secure. The chapter also discusses ‘smart’ bombs and other advanced weapons of the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) that moved into popular consciousness beginning with the 1991 Gulf War. Finally, it considers the role of children and Indigenous peoples both in security discourse and actual security practices.

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