Populo - Volume 1, Issue 1

Volume 1, Issue 1

Spring 2023

This journal is published by students and staff from the Department of Politics, Philosophy and International Relations at Swansea University.

Please visit our website where you can find an online version of all Populo editions: https://myuni.swansea.ac.uk/faculties/fhss/socsci/populo/

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© Swansea University


Chief Editor Megan Salter – Politics and International Relations

Editors Caitlin Brookes – Politics, Philosophy and Economics

Isabella Cave – Politics and International Relations

Cai Ellerton – Politics and International Relations

Sophia Thomas – Media and Communications


Volume 1, Issue 1

Table of Contents

Chief Editor’s Introduction ................................................................................................. 5

Assess why it has proved so difficult for nation states to agree on targets for carbon emissions. Answer with reference to at least ONE case study. - PO-222 - Joshua Cronin ................................................................................................... 6

Evaluate the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Copenhagen School’s Concept of Securitization. - PO-248 - Louis Brookes .................................................................................................. 16

Is Globalisation Best Understood as a Temporary Era or as an Inevitable Process? - PO-222 - Creux Léa ....................................................................................................... 27

Focusing on one of the following authors, explore the contribution of political philosophy and applied ethics to the development of a discourse of global justice which is both normatively attractive and public policy relevant: Thomas Pogge, Peter Singer, Kwame Anthony Appiah, Martha Nussbaum, Amartya Sen, James Chistensen or Mathias Risse. - PO-235 - Melanie Sinder ............................................................................................... 37

What is the Value of Comparing Different Genocides? - PO-3330 - Zev Cooper-Bennun ....................................................................................... 47

Has the Nation-State been Undermined by Globalisation? - PO-222 – Isabelle La Barbera ........................................................................................ 56

Essay on a Short Passage from Spinoza’s Ethics. – HUP-243 – Craig Rivers ................................................................................................. 67

Toxification Normalised - The Normalisation of Toxifying Rhetoric in the Rwandan Genocide and What This Means for Genocide Prevention - PO-3330 – Ben Hitchings ............................................................................................... 75

Ending Note – Call to Papers ........................................................................................... 89


Chief Editor’s Introduction

Dear readers,

Welcome to Populo! We are incredibly pleased to share the next issue of Populo since the summer of 2021.

For those who are unfamiliar with the journal, Populo is a student-led undergraduate journal which aims to publish and showcase excellent first- class assignments. The name itself is Latin for ‘by the people’, but can also be translated as ‘for the people’, truly encompassing the ethos of the journal. As was the case for the previous editions, we received many high-quality submissions, from a variety of modules and degree levels. While the journal does hope to expand its reach into other disciplines for its summer issue, such as American Studies and History, this issue solely focuses on work produced within the Department of Politics, Philosophy and International Relations. This year’s editorial team, who worked alongside myself, consists of four dedicated students. I would like to thank Caitlin Brookes, Isabella Cave, Cai Ellerton and Sophia Thomas for their invaluable input in the journal. I would also like to express my thanks and gratitude to Zeynep Kilicoglu Kirca for her support and guidance throughout the process of completing this issue. Finally, on behalf of all the editors, I would like to thank and congratulate the students whose work is featured in this issue. We all believe that everyone from across the faculty, and wider school, will find the featured articles both thought-provoking and interesting to read.

I hope you enjoy reading this issue, Megan Salter, Chief Editor.


Assess why it has proved so difficult for nation states to agree on targets for carbon emissions. Answer with reference to at least ONE case study. - PO-222 - Joshua Cronin

Nation states have historically disagreed on global targets for carbon

emissions, however, cooperation is not as rare as it once was. Firstly, this essay

will examine historical difficulties that states have faced in regard to agreeing on

targets for emissions as well as the roots of these disagreements. This essay will

also look at more recent successes in limiting global carbon emissions,

highlighting that the barriers to international environmental cooperation are

decreasing. Generally, this essay will argue that the future of carbon emission

cooperation is positive with increasing pressure from citizens and the

environment being the catalyst forcing leaders to more seriously consider

international environmental cooperation to reduce carbon emissions.

Despite the scientific community recognising the negative effects of climate change as early as the 1950s 1 , the first international environmental agreement 2 was only signed in 1992 3 , during the United Nations Conference on

Environment and Development (UNCED) held in Rio de Janeiro. This delay

between recognition and action was a result of self-interest by nation states that

were too focused on developing internally and were willing to neglect the effect their development had on the environment 4 . Developed nations refused to

1 Spencer Weart, The Discovery of Global Warming : Revised and Expanded Edition (Cambridge: HUP, 2008) ProQuest Ebook Central , https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/swansea [accessed 12/11/2022] 2 David Hirst, The history of global climate change negotiations (2020), https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/the-history-of-global-climate-change-negotiations/ [accessed 13/11/2022] (para. 13 of 25). 3 Joëlle Gergis, Sunburnt Country : The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia (Melbourne: MUP, 2018) p.211. 4 Matthew Paterson, Global Warming and Global Politics (Oxford: Taylor & Francis Group, 1996) p.185. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/swansea-ebooks/detail.action?docID=166891 [accessed 12/11/2022]


acknowledge historic and lifestyle-related emissions whilst developing nations

refused to limit emissions in fear of affecting their economic development. This

wilful ignorance by developing and developed nation-states was mutually

beneficial until the effects of climate change began to manifest in the 1980s.

Extreme weather events such as hurricane Gilbert in 1988 left ‘a fifth of the people of Jamaica homeless’ 5 or record-breaking temperature recordings like the 53°C recorded in Death Valley in the United States 6 (US) in the same year

sensitised the publics of industrialised nations to environmental issues. The

enlightenment of the public as a result of the real-world consequences of climate

change was a contributing factor in encouraging nations to initiate discourse on

how to collectively solve the issue.

The years following UNCED saw the beginning of genuine negotiations

over limiting carbon emissions. During these initial years, nation states faced

many obstacles to international cooperation. The initial obstacle was the debate

over responsibility. States used the idea of responsibility to avoid having to invest

as much into solving the climate crisis. One example of this was China’s defence

of its carbon emissions. China has been the world’s largest annual CO2 emitter since 2006, producing 11.47 billion tonnes a year 7 . However, they argued against international pressure to reduce emissions 8 by highlighting emission data in which the US has historically produced the most CO2 with 416.9 billion tonnes emitted cumulatively 9 , nearly double that of China. In shifting the responsibility 5 Paterson, p.32. 6 Paterson, p.32. 7 Our World In Data, Annual CO₂ emissions (2022), https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/co2?facet=none&country=CHN~USA~IND~GBR~OWID_WRL&Gas=CO%E 2%82%82&Accounting=Production- based&Fuel+or+Land+Use+Change=All+fossil+emissions&Count=Per+country [accessed 11/11/2022) 8 Hongyuan, Yu. Global Warming and China's Environmental Diplomacy , (New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2008), p.89. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/swansea-ebooks/detail.action?docID=3019945 [accessed 11/11/2022] 9 Our World in Data (OWD), Cumulative CO₂ emissions (2022), https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/co2?facet=none&country=CHN~USA~IND~GBR~OWID_WRL&Gas=CO%E


to the US, China was able to counter international calls to shift away from fossil

fuels. The historic position of China against international pressure to accept

responsibility for its production of carbon emissions can be further evidenced at

COP 3 in Kyoto in which China ‘adamantly opposed any commitments to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions before it becomes a ‘middle income’ country’ 10 .

The focus on which nations were responsible for climate change shifted the

international discussion away from cutting carbon emissions and instead focused

discussion on who was to blame, inhibiting action to cut carbon emissions.

This US-China debate over responsibility is representative of a wider,

global North versus global South debate in which industrially developed

countries in the global North, with high historic carbon emissions, have

historically been critical of developing countries with high current carbon

emissions. States in the global South argue that it is the global North that should

take responsibility for historic emissions and use their financial and technological capabilities to ‘promote less polluting development in the South’ 11 . This argument by the South, although accepted by the North, was met with a ‘lack of political will’ 12 from the North due to the cost and scale of actually pursuing such

a policy. This divide between the global North and South resulted in a stalemate,

primarily as a result of the global South making demands which the global North

(despite having the means to accept) did not have the political will to accept.

The lack of political will from the North is what resulted in this stalemate as

without financial and technological backing from the more politically powerful

North, the South was not able to reduce its emissions, regardless of its

intentions, due to both sides being unwilling to compromise.

2%82%82&Accounting=Production- based&Fuel+or+Land+Use+Change=All+fossil+emissions&Count=Cumulative [accessed 11/11/2022)

10 Hongyuan, p.56. 11 Paterson, p.76. 12 Paterson, p.76.


The historic unwillingness of the global North to cooperate with the global South 13 to reduce carbon emissions can be further explained by the factors that

determined states’ responses to climate change. Paterson suggests that states

adopted their positions to climate change based on three factors: their

relationship to energy resources, their position within the global economy and their vulnerability to potential climate impacts 14 . When states within the global

North use these criteria to determine their position, it is unlikely that they would

respond strongly to calls to curb their production of carbon emissions.

Firstly, states like the US in the global North are heavily invested in fossil

fuel extraction, refinement and exportation, not just within their borders but also overseas 15 . The multinational corporations (MNCs) that are involved in the

energy sector hold significant influence and are integral to the economies of

many states within the global North and as a result can powerfully lobby against partaking in international climate agreements 16 . The influence of the fossil fuel lobbyists can be seen with the Canadian government’s subsidisation of MNC’s exploiting Canada’s vast oil sand reserves 17 . Between 1996 and 2002, the Canadian government spent $1.19 billion in tax breaks, research and development for the oil sands industry alone 18 . This level of funding from the

Canadian government was despite Canada’s environmental commitments to

reduce emissions made under the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. This shows the historic

strength of the energy lobby over governments even in one of the more

13 Joshua P. Howe, Behind the Curve : Science and the Politics of Global Warming , (Washington: University of Washington Press, 2014) p.177. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/swanseaebooks/detail.action?docID=3444576 [accessed 12/11/2022] 14 Paterson, p.160.

15 Weart, p.211. 16 Paterson, p.13.

17 Amy Taylor et al., Government Spending on Canada’s Oil and Gas Industry: Undermining Canada’s Kyoto Commitment . (Calgary: Pembina Institute, 2005) p.53. http://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep00157 [Accessed 13/11/2022] 18 Taylor et al., pg.53.


emission-conscious states in the world as well as the role of MNC’s in inhibiting

states from pursuing carbon-conscious policies.

Next, the position within the global economy translates to the capabilities

with which a state can respond to the effects of climate change. For example,

New Zealand -in the global North- would be better equipped to deal with rising

sea levels than Sri Lanka -in the global South- due to the differences in their

economic strength. This results in discrepancies in the prioritisation of

addressing climate change as a country in the global South would not be able to

recover as easily from the effects of climate change as a nation from the global North 19 . The result of this discrepancy in prioritisation is that some states will

not have the same incentives as other states to agree on cutting carbon

emissions, leading to stalemates in interstate negotiations.

Finally, the extent to which a state is vulnerable to the effects of climate

change will also affect its perception of whether it should prioritise and invest in

countering it. For some nations in the global South like Kiribati, climate change is an existential threat 20 . This is in comparison to a country in the global North

like Canada, where the physical effects of climate change will not be as dramatic.

States in the global South are also more likely to be more dramatically affected

by climate change. This difference in the perception of the dangers of climate

change also affect states’ responses to attempts to foster international

agreements on climate change.

It is not only the divide between the global North and South that has

historically inhibited international agreements on the reduction of carbon emissions, there has also been a historic intra-North conflict 21 . This debate was

19 Paterson, p.172. 20 Paterson, p.85. 21 Paterson, p.73.


between ‘the US and virtually all other industrialised states’ 22 . This is significant

due to the US’s position as the unipolar global authority in the early stages

(1990’s-mid 2000’s) of climate cooperation. During UNCED, the US initially opposed ‘quantified targets and timetables’ 23 in relation to carbon emissions

whilst other industrialised nations proposed quantified targets. Since UNCED,

the US’s climate policy has fluctuated with each election, with environmentally

conscious leaders like Obama contrasted with climate deniers like Trump. Such

instability on the issue of carbon emissions in the US has created problems for

the wider global North. This infighting between the leader of the global North

and other countries in the global North has undermined the strength and

cohesion of the North, creating further difficulties in implementing global

climate reforms.

Despite these historical struggles to agree on targets for carbon emissions,

recently there has been more cause for optimism and increasing cases of

successes of international cooperation to reduce carbon emissions. Evidence of

recent successes can be seen with the increasingly important yearly Conference

of the Parties (COP) summits. The agreements made by states at the more recent

COP summits have been much more effective in moving towards the reduction

of global carbon emissions than the initial rounds of COPs. The progress made

over the annual COP summits make COP a good case study to follow the positive

correlations in states’ attitudes and actions towards global climate cooperation.

One recent COP summit, COP 26, showed that climate cooperation is

becoming increasingly palatable for states. During COP 26, all the participating 196 parties 24 signed an agreement intending to ‘phase down coal power’ and

22 Paterson, p.73. 23 Paterson, p.73. 24 UNCC, The Paris Agreement. https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris-agreement/the- parisagreement#:~:text=The%20Paris%20Agreement%20is%20a,compared%20to%20pre%2Dindustrial%20lev els. [accessed 14/11/2022] para. 1 of 15.


‘phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies’ 25 . This is significant because at previous international climate talks, such multilateral propositions had ‘never been explicitly mentioned’ 26 , never mind agreed upon. Furthermore, the expectations of states participating in COP summits has been raised by their citizens 27 , and thus states have been more receptive to cooperation than in

previous summits.

This trend of states being increasingly receptive to their responsibilities is

demonstrated by the increasing willingness of developed states in the global

North to help fund carbon emission reducing activities in developing countries.

This contemporary position is in contrast with the historical position. At COP 3 in

1997, which produced the Kyoto Protocol, developed countries struggled to

agree on creating the Multilateral Fund which only committed $1 billion of funding to developing countries 28 . This lack of funding was compounded by the statement from a Chinese-Indian led coalition of developing countries in which they ‘refused to accept (any) limits on emissions’ 29 for developing countries.

Eighteen years after COP 3 at COP 21, states’ attitudes towards international

climate cooperation had shifted completely towards greater cooperation. This is

exemplified by the resulting Paris Agreement at COP 21 in which the Green

Climate Fund (GCF) was created with the goal to collect $100 billion every year to fund developing nations’ switch away from carbon emissions 30 , a significant

improvement on the cumulative $1 billion raised at COP 3. Another

25 United Nations , COP26: Together for our planet (2021), https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/cop26 [accessed 13/11/2022] para. 7 of 21. 26 United Nations, para. 7. 27 Howe, p.208. 28 David G. Victor, The Collapse of the Kyoto Protocol and the Struggle to Slow Global Warming (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004) p. 37. https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/swanseaebooks/detail.action?docID=3030297 [accessed 13/11/2022] 29 Victor, p.34. 30 Ross J. Salawitch, Timothy P. Canty, Austin P. Hope, Walter R. Tribett, and Brian F. Bennett, Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope , 1st ed. 2017. (Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2017) p.161. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-3-319-46939-3.pdf [accessed 13/11/2022]


representation of the major shift towards international cooperation was the

bilateral agreement to reduce carbon emissions between the leaders of the two largest contributors to global carbon emissions 31 , China and the US. Both nations agreed to reduce their use of fossil fuels by approximately twenty percent each by 2030 32 . The significant progress made between COP 3 and COP 21 in fostering

inclusive talks between major carbon emitters and setting specific goals for

limiting future global warming shows that the trajectory of international

discourse on limiting carbon emissions is positive and shows that states have

become increasingly willing to work cooperatively to reduce global emissions.

Despite historic struggles of states to cooperate on reducing their carbon

emissions, especially between the global North and global South, this essay has

shown that interstate cooperation on this issue is becoming increasingly

common. This is not only demonstrated by the increasing attention that climate

issues receive in agendas of states’ foreign policy, but also within empirical data.

Increases in funding to research, development and technology in both the global

North and South are evidence of the increasing cooperation within the

international community on the issue of carbon emissions. In conclusion,

comparing the rate of state interaction over global carbon emissions at the

beginning of the recognition of the global warming issue, compared to today,

shows that it is no longer as difficult for nation states to agree on targets for

carbon emissions.

31 Our World In Data, Ann ual CO₂ emissions (2022), https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/co2?facet=none&country=CHN~USA~IND~GBR~OWID_WRL&Gas=CO%E 2%82%82&Accounting=Production- based&Fuel+or+Land+Use+Change=All+fossil+emissions&Count=Per+country [accessed 14/11/2022) 32 Salawitch et al., p. 118.



Hirst, David. The history of global climate change negotiations (2020), https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/the-history-of-global-climate- change-negotiations/ Howe, Joshua P. Behind the Curve : Science and the Politics of Global Warming , (Washington: University of Washington Press, 2014) https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/swanseaebooks/detail.action?do cID=344457 6

Gergis, Joëlle. Sunburnt Country : The History and Future of Climate Change in Australia (Melbourne: MUP, 2018)

Our World In Data, Annual CO₂ emissions (2022) https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/co2?facet=none&country=CHN~U SA~IND~GBR~OWID_WRL&Gas=CO%E2%82%82&Accounting=Productio nbased&Fuel+or+Land+Use+Change=All+fossil+emissions&Count=Per+c ountry Our World in Data (OWD), Cumulative CO₂ emissions (2022), https://ourworldindata.org/explorers/co2?facet=none&country=CHN~U SA~IND~GBR~OWID_WRL&Gas=CO%E2%82%82&Accounting=Productio n- based&Fuel+or+Land+Use+Change=All+fossil+emissions&Count=Cumula tive Paterson, Matthew. Global Warming and Global Politics (Oxford: Taylor & Francis Group, 1996) https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/swansea- ebooks/detail.action?docID=166891 Salawitch, Ross J. et al., Paris Climate Agreement: Beacon of Hope , 1st ed. 2017. (Cham: Springer International Publishing, 2017) https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-3-319-46939-3.pdf


Taylor, Amy et al., Government Spending on Canada’s Oil and Gas Industry: Undermining Canada’s Kyoto Commitment . (Calgary: Pembina Institute, 2005) http://www.jstor.org/stable/resrep00157

United Nations , COP26: Together for our planet (2021), https://www.un.org/en/climatechange/cop26

UNCC, The Paris Agreement.

https://unfccc.int/process-and-meetings/the-paris- agreement/theparisagreement#:~:text=The%20Paris%20Agreement%20i s%20a,com pared%20to%20pre%2Dindustrial%20levels.

Victor, David G. The Collapse of the Kyoto Protocol and the Struggle to Slow Global Warming (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004) https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/swanseaebooks/detail.action?do cID=303029 7 Weart, Spencer. The Discovery of Global Warming : Revised and Expanded Edition (Cambridge: HUP, 2008) https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/swansea Yu, Hongyuan. Global Warming and China's Environmental Diplomacy , (New York: Nova Science Publishers, 2008), https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/swansea- ebooks/detail.action?docID=3019945


Evaluate the Strengths and Weaknesses of the Copenhagen School’s Concept of Securitization. - PO-248 - Louis Brookes

The Copenhagen school’s (CS) main contribution to the analysis of

security is the model of securitisation which is built from a constructivist

framework that the world is socially constructed. Born out of end of cold war, it

resembles a more reflective approach than the traditional state centric ones

within mainstream IR. Originally emerged from Ole Wæver (1995) and later Barry

Buzan who made important developments to the model. Securitisation theory is

a complex but vulnerable framework which widens the agenda by taking ‘politics beyond the established rules of the game.’ 33 After explaining the core concepts

of the CS analysis of security, a critique of the analysis will follow. This critique

will be split into three main parts which brings in criticism from the alternative

security paradigms of the PARIS School and Welsh school, as well as the

analytical shortcomings of societal security. The final section of the essay will

address these shortcomings by applying the analytical framework of

securitisation to other theoretical approaches, all constructivist in nature, to

offer a more conclusive account of securitisation.

Successful implementation of the securitisation approach developed

by Wæver rests on a concept of security that is constructed in discourse. And

three discursive preconditions are needed in order for this to happen. There

must first be an existential threat to a referent object, this threat then comes

into existence through a speech act, whereby a securitising actor convinces their

audience that an issue is an existential threat which ‘enables emergency

33 Barry Buzan, Ole Wæver and Jaap de Wilde, Security: A New Framework For Analysis (Boulder, Colo.: Lynne Rienner, 1998), p. 23.


measures and the suspension of normal politics in dealing with the issue.’ 34 In order for this to happen, the securitising actor must possess the means to be able to apply the emergency responses. 35 This securitisation process can have

different 'referent objects', depending on whether they belong to the military,

political, environmental, economic, or societal sector. The main strength of this

security paradigm is that by broadening the agenda to encompass the different

sectors, it deconstructs the reified meaning of power politics that epitomises

traditional approaches, by giving individuals, social groups, and even the environment ‘a legitimate claim to survival.’ 36 A large part of the CS security

analysis involves the societal sector, which they define as ‘the sustainability,

within acceptable conditions for evolution, of traditional patterns of language, culture, association, and religious and national identity.’ 37 This is a significant

development in security studies, as it separates the state from that of its

population and recognises that existential threats do not always come by

violence or force.

The following section will discuss the CS analysis in more detail by

focusing on its weaknesses and the criticism it receives from alternative security

theories. Although the inclusion of different sectors broadens the concept of

security, it does not actually deepen it beyond traditional conception as it works

within the same narrow definition of security, in that survival is linked to

existential threats, than previous paradigms. In line with this fixed definition, the

fixed framework of securitisation causes it to become a self-referential practice

due the nature of the intersubjective threats and how the only role the audience

34 Matt McDonald, "Securitization And The Construction Of Security", European Journal Of International Relations , 14.4 (2008), 567. 35 Barry Buzan and Lene Hansen, The Evolution Of International Security Studies (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2009), p. 213. 36 Buzan, Wæver, de Wilde, (1998), p. 36. 37 Ole Wæver, Identity, Migration, And The New Security Agenda In Europe (London: Pinter Publishers, 1993), p. 23.


plays in the successful implementation of the process is whether they accept the

securitising move. This critique is developed further by the PARIS School, they

focus on the narrow nature of the securitisation process as a whole in that it

does not acknowledge other significant lenses like sociological, psychological or

law. By only analysing the discursive element of speech acts, they also criticise

the CS for not recognising past or present situations that have allowed for

successful speech act, or the impact that speech acts have on external factors in the securitisation process. 38 According to Bigo, it is not just political elites making

speech acts that are the securitising actors, instead a range of security

professionals such as boarder control, police officers and even private

companies, all play a role in the securitisation process through the continuation of routines and practices that they employ to respond to the threat. 39

Matt McDonald’s supports this criticism by arguing how the CS exclude

the audience and outside factors from theoretical analysis, as securitisation

theory is only concerned with the exact ‘moment of intervention’ in the sense

that it does not appreciate the context of the act which facilitates it becoming a security issue. 40 Thus, with no knowledge of context in the framing of security

issue below the extraordinary measures, the distinction between the political

and security realms can easily become blurred. Many scholars highlight this

limitation and there is a common perception that the model is not equipped to

define the difference between serious politicisation and an act of securitisation. 41

Following on from the criticism surrounding the discursive approach of

speech acts, by engaging with Hansen’s criticism of the silencing that

38 K. Fierke, Critical Approaches To International Security (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2007), p. 174. 39 D Bigo, ‘ International Political Sociology ’ , in Security Studies: An Introduction (New York: Routledge, 2008), p. 126. 40 McDonald, (2008), p. 564. 41 Alan Collins, Contemporary Security Studies , 5th edn (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), p. 180.


securitisation theory produces for women’s insecurity, the process fails to give a

voice to marginalised sectors of society who cannot speak an existential threat

into existence. This is due to how attempts at doing so could pose a threat to

their survival, or they simply do not poses an audience; both are evident with Aradau’s case studies of trafficked women, prostitutes and asylum seekers. 42 43

In addition, the CS analytical framework of referent objects also silences any

ontological security issues, especially gender based ones, which highlights how

someone can feel great ontological insecurity whilst having physical security .

However, seeing how securitisation, according to Cox, is a problem-solving

theory it does not offer a solution to the silent voices because; at its core, the

model tries to make sense of security working within the existing social reality,

it is not a normative approach trying to change that social reality. To cement this,

the CS suggest they take an objective perspective in the securitisation process.

This is criticised immensely by the Welsh School, a critical theory pioneered by

the work of Booth and Jones; and influenced by the Frankfurt School. It is a

productivist paradigm that resembles Marxist ideology by focusing on

emancipatory discourses aimed at transforming the socially constructed world.

Through this lens, advocates of the Welsh School see the role of the political analyst to speak on behalf of the victims of human insecurity who are voiceless. 44

This line of critique is convincing, as paradoxically, the CS notion that they adopt

an objective securitisation perspective that removes themselves from being a

security actor is problematic; they seem to forget their responsibility for the

widening of security studies in the first place. In doing so, ‘by objectifying

42 See Hansen, L. ‘The Little Mermaid’s Silent Security Dilemma and the Absence of Gender in the Copenhagen School’, Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 29 (2000) pp. 285 -306. 43 Claudia Aradau, "Security And The Democratic Scene: Desecuritization And Emancipation", Journal Of International Relations And Development , 7.4 (2004), 398. 44 Wyn Jones, R. ‘Introduction: Locating Critical International Relations Theory’, in Critical Theory and World Politics, edited by Richard Wyn Jones (London, Lynne Rienner, 2001), pp. 5-10.


sectors, [they] are pushed into the role as securitisers’ capable of influencing political decision. 45

Overall, the silent security dilemmas are caused by the CS narrow

understanding of societal security, in that it often just focuses on national

identity and ethnic groups, which reinstates the role of the state as the

securitising actor dealing with the threats. And secondly, their definition of

security that promotes reactionary responses though a discourse of immediate

threats and survival. In antithesis, for CSS theorists, by only placing humans as

the referent and working within an emancipatory security-paradigm that defines

security as freedom from want or fear, they promote more preventive measures.

The silence of ontological issues is also partly due to the CS failure to

grasp a coherent understanding of identity that would open the door for

ontological security discussions, and this permeates into their analysis of societal

security. Due to the fragmented nature of society Buzan and Weaver argue that

the referent object is the identity, for example, threats like mass migration can

be seen as a security issue with national identity as the referent object. The most

notorious criticism here is that by making society and identity the referent,

proponents of CS have reified society. McSweeney, for instance, heavily criticises

CS scholars for describing society as a ‘social agent which has an independent reality.’ 46 In doing so, they treat both society and identity as objective realities

that are fixed and need to be secured. As Brubaker has argued, this type of

reification often leads to a ‘substantialist’ approach to nations and ethnic groups

that wrongly treats them as ‘categories of analysis’ rather than as mere

‘categories of practice.’ Theiler highlights how even Buzan and Waever

45 Eriksson, O. ‘Observers or Advocates? On the Political Role of Security Analysts’, Cooperation and Conflict, 34 (1999), p. 316. 46 Bill Mcsweeney, "Identity And Security: Buzan And The Copenhagen School", Review Of International Studies , 22.1 (1996), 83 <https://doi.org/10.1017/s0260210500118467>.


unintentionally evidence the limitations in their epistemology, by often

fluctuating between viewing society as real entities and mental representations; ‘never speaks, it is only there to be spoken for.’ 47 Another criticism of societal

security is that it rests on a weak definition of group identity, whilst also asserting

that people seek to defend it without showing any insight into the psychological

literature that is better equipped at defining the concept.

After evaluating the three different areas of critiques, the last section

will now strengthen the concept of securitisation by applying the analytical

framework to alternative theoretical approaches. The first criticism exposed the

weaknesses of a discursive approach that only focused on the ‘moment of

intervention’ as it untheorized the key role of the audience. If we take discourse

to mean ‘an interrelated set of texts, and the practices of their production,

dissemination, and reception, which brings an object into being’ then seen

through a post-structuralist conceptualisation through discourse analysis, it

strengthens the discursive methodology be recognising the role of the audience in the securitisation process. 48 If we take Neumann’s premise that ‘because

discourse maintains a degree of regularity in social relations, it produces

preconditions for action,’ then considering a crucial part of the whole

securitisation process without doubt happens in the ‘the debates, discourses

and deliberations’ then we can understand how the audience actively

contributes to the framing of the issue as their discourses are interconnected with discourses from the securitising actor. 49 50 For example, within the US in the

47 Wæver et al., Identity, Migration, p. 188. 48 Ian Parker, Discourse Dynamics: Critical Analysis For Social And Individual Psychology (London: Routledge, 1992), p. 3. 49 IB Neumann, "Discourse Analysis", in Qualitative Methods In International Relations: A Pluralist Guide (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), p. 62. 50 Leif C Jensen, "Seduced And Surrounded By Security: A Post-Structuralist Take On Norwegian High North Securitizing Discourses", Cooperation And Conflict , 48.1 (2012), 12 <https://doi.org/10.1177/0010836712461482>.


aftermath of 9/11 there was a collective public feeling of vulnerability, and they

sought a response from the state. The audience therefore played a significant

role in the shaping of the discourse surrounding ‘national security’ and ‘terror’

that were used by Bush in his speech acts to legitimise the ‘War on Terror;’ ‘such

Iraqi actions pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security.’ 51 Thus, a post-structural stance that incorporates discourse analysis, is

able to reconstruct the fixedness of the CS securitisation paradigm.

Although proponents of the Welsh School represent one of the fierce

critics to securitisation theory, I will make the case for a critical securitisation

theory by expanding the sectors of security to include humanitarianism; whilst

working within the original framework of the process of securitisation. Although

proponents of CS are resistant to incorporate a normative approach, Waever

actually incorporates some emancipatory thinking with the desecuritisation process, as the concept itself represents progressive changes to the status quo. 52

He also demonstrates similar methods of analysis during this process of knowing

whether to securitise or desecuritise an issue, in the same way humanitarianism

provides the analyst with a sense of agency in assessing whether the response

will have the intended positive outcome. It this shared assumption between the

CS and CSS, which allows for a normative framework of securitisation.

By working within this framework, Watson convincingly outlines the three

components of humanitarianism securitisation: 1) issues that become an

existential threat can vary greatly depending on the securitizing actor making the

claim; 2) vast amounts of different means for implementing emergency

measures; 3) ‘Securitization can refer to a range of practices situated along a

51 George W. Bush stated the following in a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate, (2002).

52 Buzan et al., Security, p 34.


spectrum of exceptional/institutionalized.’ 53 The third point is the most

important, it is exactly this that allows for a clearer definition between ordinary

and extraordinary measures, by suggesting that ‘Institutionalised security

responses still operate on the threat-urgency modality, but often take the form

of gradual and incremental intensification and often do not violate normal operating rules understood in a domestic, democratic context.’ 54 This framework

applies the exact same logic already seen on a domestic level, for example the

urgent responses of armed police.

Humanitarian securitisation also offers another solution to one of the

Welsh School’s most powerful criticisms of the CS securitisation, in that it

provides a voice to those who were previously voiceless as a result of the

restrictive nature of the sectors and definition of security. By taking on a

normative approach, and conforming to a more emancipatory understanding of

security in line with that of Booth, Watson applies this revised securitisation

theory to the West’s provision of aid to the ‘2004 Indian Ocean tsunami’ to

demonstrate how ‘emergency assistance allows the advantaged to address

symptoms of vast global inequality without addressing underlying structural

causes, or in some cases by extending the very economic practices that contribute to poverty and human vulnerability.’ 55 Thus, broadening the CS

securitisation theory alongside humanitarian discourse offers an innovative and

productive area of research for future security studies.

There are still significant gaps in the research of CS in relation to societal

security that this essay has not addresses yet, however an understanding of the

socio-psychological literature of social identity theory (SIT) builds upon and

53 Scott Watson, "The ‘Human’ As Referent Object?", Security Dialogue , 42.1 (2011), 3-20, p.6. <https://doi.org/10.1177/0967010610393549>.

54 Watson, p. 12. 55 Watson, p. 16.


strengthens the CS analysis. Born out of the minimal group experiment, SIT

better describes groupness due to humans internalised (self)categorisations

which comes to mark the boundaries between different groups. Social identity

theory postulates, group belonging satisfies our basic cognitive and emotional

needs thus once we have conformed to a group, we start to a simultaneous

process of internalisation and externalization of the group behaviours which

continues as part of a cycle until it becomes part of our self. In this light, societies

become intersubjectively real due to this collective identity that is formed; individuals want to protect this identity as it has become part of their self. 56

With a knowledge of this psychological analysis, whereas the CS fall into

the trap of treating groups as independent social actors, SIT strengthens this

theory by treating groups as both dependent and independent variables. Hereof,

SIT convincingly allows us to de-reify societies without thereby theorising them

out of existence, to treat them as independent variables but not as independent


The key advantage therefore that SIT brings to the CS analysis is that it

more clearly defines what identity is and thus offers to the scholar of societal

security a referent object that is just as a robust and verifiable as the nation state

seen within traditional approaches. At the same time as offering a more solid

referent object, it clearly shows the importance of identity to us as individuals

and human beings and thus it validates identity as an area worthy of academic

study. This also adds valuable theoretical insight to the analytical limitations of

the CS sectors of security in silencing any ontological based issue, like gender.

The combination of psychological theories and societal security can have a

profound effect on the future of the current highly contested security issues. For

example, by drawing upon Theiler’s conclusion that, something is ‘an identity

56 Tobias Theiler, ‘Societal security and social psychology’, Review of International Studies, (2003), Vol.29 (2).


threat if it is perceived to threaten something that signifies group boundaries.

[…] But once the thing in question no longer signifies group boundaries a threat

to it no longer threatens these boundaries,’ is an extremely fascinating model for de-securitising threats. 57 By applying this to current societal security issues like

immigration, if being a ‘white country’ ceases to be a defining aspect of ‘who we

are’, then ‘non-white’ immigrants stop threatening ‘our identity.’ Thus, opening

the door for a future security agenda that shifts the focus away from racial

matters and into more civic ones.

The importance of the contribution of CS theory of securitisation cannot

be underestimated within security studies due to how it offered a new security

paradigm that was the first shift away from the restricted nature of the

traditionalist approaches which always reinstated the power of the state. By

broadening the agenda, it offers the theoretical framework to explore

securitisation discourses and practices of non-state actors and referent objects.

Although, as articulated throughout, as a stand-alone theory the CS

securitisation would gets swallowed in criticism due to its gaps in analytical

frameworks of the social world. However, this essay concludes that biggest

overall strength of the CS theory, is that it provides solid foundations to allow

other theoretical approaches, all constructivist in nature, to develop the

securitisation discourses and practices that is better equipped to deal with future

matters of security than any a vast amount of other security theories, especially

traditionalist ones. Thus, through the constructivist combining of a post-

structuralist lens that this entwined with discourse analysis, the merging of CS

and CSS in creating a humanitarianism security agenda, and the incorporation of

socio-psychological literature, it becomes possible to revise the CS approach to

security provide a unified critical security studies.

57 Theiler, 267.



Aradau, Claudia, "Security And The Democratic Scene: Desecuritization And Emancipation", Journal Of International Relations And Development , 7 (2004), 398 https://doi.org/10.1057/palgrave.jird.1800030

Bigo, D, "International Political Sociology", in Security Studies: An Introduction (New York: Routledge, 2008), p. 126

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McDonald, Matt, "Securitization And The Construction Of Security", European Journal Of International Relations , 14 (2008), 567

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Neumann, IB, "Discourse Analysis", in Qualitative Methods In International Relations: A Pluralist Guide (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, 2022), p. 62

Parker, Ian, Discourse Dynamics: Critical Analysis For Social And Individual Psychology (London: Routledge, 1992), p. 3


Wæver, Ole, Identity, Migration, And The New Security Agenda In Europe (London: Pinter Publishers, 1993), p. 23

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Is Globalisation Best Understood as a Temporary Era or as an Inevitable Process? - PO-222 - Creux Léa

"We prefer to speak of globalism as a phenomenon with ancient roots and

of globalization as the process of increasing globalism, now or in the past"

(Keohane ; Nye 2000). As this quotation from Keohane and Nye explains, the

roots of globalisation are ancient and the links forged by globalism help shape

our contemporary globalisation. Globalisation can be explained in 'waves' and

can be distinguished in several sectors throughout history, but nowadays

globalisation represents above all 'an unprecedented contraction of space and

time, the digital challenge, or the generalisation of free trade and the policies of

deregulation of exchanges carried out by international institutions' (Tannous ;

Pacreau 2020). Contemporary globalisation is imposed on all countries, but

some countries are more involved in this process than others.

Moreover, 'global' problems that are both the cause and consequence of

globalisation require urgent cooperation and give rise to a reflection on the

temporalities of globalisation. The temporary aspect of globalisation is rejected

by researchers who present globalisation as a long process, albeit with periods

of accentuation (Tannous ; Pacreau 2020).

The process of globalisation therefore seems essential for all countries

and even necessary for those countries that are already lagging behind the

countries of the North. However, although globalisation is inevitably imposed

on all countries, it does not guarantee equitable development and integration

into the world economic market. Thus, we will study how taking globalisation

into account as a long process allows the countries of the North to impose


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