Securitization and Science: Objectivation, the authority of the speaker and mobilization of scientific facts

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The interface between science and securitization has not been systematically addressed. This article argues from a Bourdieusian viewpoint that scientific arguments and ‘facts’ are at work in at least three distinct mechanisms within and around securitization. First, science communities/explanations can come to objectify an issue to the extent where securitization – and even politicization – becomes next to impossible. Second, science co-determines the status of a securitizing actor and thus influences the authority of the speaker in specific fields. Third, scientific facts can be mobilized in securitization claims by securitizing actors in attempts to seek back-up in the objective, disinterested aura of the scientific vocation. The RAND Corporation’s objectivation of the issue of nuclear deterrence is taken as an example of the first mechanism, while climate change and democratic peace illustrate the other two mechanisms. The article questions whether securitization theory has adequately addressed the issue of context, points to a new research agenda and carves out practical reflexivity for security experts.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSecurity Dialogue
Issue number4-5
Pages (from-to)385-397
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ID: 33742360