Governing Security, Governing Through Security

Posted: 11 Feb 2002

See all articles by Mariana Valverde

Mariana Valverde

University of Toronto - Centre of Criminology


Most discussions about antiterrorism laws assume that the relation between "security" and "freedom" is a zero-sum game. Drawing on the large literature on the democratic provision of security and its governance, this article suggests that heavy-handed draconian methods are not always the best means to achieve citizen security - here distinguished from state security. Many experiments in community-based security provision, internationally and in Canada, provide empirical evidence that it is possible to enhance a community's security while also furthering democracy and hence substantive freedoms. Such experiments have rarely been carried out at the level of nation-states; but it is very important for governments to consider that in some areas at least democratic security mechanisms may actually work better than Hobbesian ones.

Suggested Citation

Valverde, Mariana, Governing Security, Governing Through Security. Available at SSRN:

Mariana Valverde (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Centre of Criminology ( email )

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