The Moral Economy of Security

(2014) 18:3 Theoretical Criminology

Posted: 19 Jun 2014

See all articles by Ian Loader

Ian Loader

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law

Benjamin J. Goold

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law

Angélica Thumala

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile

Date Written: April 24, 2014

Abstract

The authors draw upon their recent research into security consumption to answer two questions: 1) under what conditions do people experience the buying and selling of security goods and services as morally troubling? 2) what are the theoretical implications of understanding private security as, in certain respects, tainted trade?

The authors begin by drawing on two bodies of work on morality and markets (one found in political theory, the other in cultural sociology) in order to develop what they call a moral economy of security.

They then use this theoretical resource to conduct an anatomy of the modes of ambivalence and unease that the trade in security generates. Three categories organize the analysis: blocked exchange; corrosive exchange; and intangible exchange. In conclusion, the authors briefly spell out the wider significance of their claim that the buying and selling of security is a morally charged and contested practice of governance.

Keywords: Security, Commodification, Economy, Markets, Morality

Suggested Citation

Loader, Ian and Goold, Benjamin J. and Thumala, Angélica, The Moral Economy of Security (April 24, 2014). (2014) 18:3 Theoretical Criminology. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2431339

Ian Loader (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Faculty of Law ( email )

St. Cross Building
St. Cross Road
Oxford, OX1 3UJ
United Kingdom

Benjamin J. Goold

University of British Columbia - Faculty of Law ( email )

1822 East Mall
Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z1
Canada
(604) 822-3752 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bjgoold.net/

Angélica Thumala

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile ( email )

Av Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins 340
Santiago, Región Metropolitana 8331150
Chile

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