CIVILIZING SECURITY, Cambridge University Press, 2007
Posted: 17 Sep 2007
Security has become a defining feature of contemporary public discourse, permeating the so-called 'war on terror', problems of everyday crime and disorder, the reconstruction of 'weak' or 'failed' states, and the dramatic renaissance of the private security industry. But what does it mean for individuals to be secure, and what is the relationship between security and the practices of the modern state? In this timely and important book, Ian Loader and Neil Walker outline and defend the view that security remains a valuable public good, a platform for and education in political society, and argue that the democratic state has a necessary and virtuous role to play in its realization. While the state may no longer be suited to or capable of sustaining the monopoly position suggested by the classic Westphalian understanding of national and international society, it remains, Loader and Walker argue, indispensable to the task of fostering liveable political communities in the contemporary world - pivotal to the project of civilizing security and releasing security's civilizing potential. This major intervention by two leading scholars in the field will be of interest to anyone wishing to deepen their understanding of one the most significant and pressing issues of our times.
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