International Conference “Historicizing Security”, 24-26 October 2020, Giessen
Since the beginning of pre-modern state building processes, security has been one of the most important ends of governance and the object of societal expectations towards politics. Today, the concept encompasses a vast variety of meanings. Security is conceived of as an ‘abstract programmatic concept’, as a ‘socio-cultural symbol of value’, or as a ‘catch-all-term for the modern world’. Since the dangers of the so-called ‘global risk society’ are being increasingly perceived as a threat, it is argued that the insecurity de nos jours, an ‘erosion of security’, rules the political discourse as well as the political agenda. Thus, it is beyond question that security is not only an individual and collective good, but that it has become a powerful topos in the course of history, being capable of legitimating a vast number of political actions. Hence, we do not adhere to any certain underlying, static definition of security: security has always been the object of competing interpretations and interests, a societal construct and a historically changeable, varying concept.
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