Deconstructing the National Security State – Towards a New Framework of Analysis

Prerna Lal

Lal Legal

May 15, 2004

The concept of national security is merely an elite tool, which causes human insecurity at home and abroad. Our perception of what and from whom we need to be secured is not based on the actual threats that exist, but on the threats that we are told to perceive by the state. Thus, terrorists, drugs, illegal immigrants, “Third World” dictators, rogue states, blacks, non-Christians, and the Other, are considered as threats to the national security apparatus, and consequently, as threats to the individual American. This state construction of threats pervades our minds, causing a trickle-down effect that encourages a culture of fear, where the only limit to the coming danger is our imagination. Thus, national security and human security are contrary to one another, and we need a paradigm shift in our notions of security, which squarely places the individual and civil society at the center of the security framework.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 22

Keywords: national security, CSS, critical security studies, human security

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Date posted: February 16, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Lal, Prerna, Deconstructing the National Security State – Towards a New Framework of Analysis (May 15, 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2218669 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2218669

Contact Information

Prerna P Lal (Contact Author)
Lal Legal ( email )
1629 K Street NW Suite 300
Washington, DC 20036
United States
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