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date: 24 April 2017

Securitization Theory and Foreign Policy Analysis

This is an advance summary of a forthcoming article in the Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics. Please check back later for the full article.

Since it was launched in mid-1990s, the concept of securitization has consistently been in vogue—at least among European scholars of world politics and security studies. The idea of viewing security as subjective, where anyone or anything can be a threat if constructed as such, is both an appealing and useful conceptualization when wanting to analyze security issues beyond the traditional realist state-centric view of security being equal to military issues. However, the precise aspects that make securitization appealing also limit its broader impact on security studies or foreign policy analysis, as these fields often adhere to the assumption of threats being objective, actor-based, and external. Nevertheless, several studies demonstrate that both the theoretical assumptions of securitization theory and prior empirical applications of these assumptions are useful when analyzing different policy and security issues, and the concept can be applied to a broad range of issue areas, contexts, and actors.