Distance 1

Lara Montesinos Coleman, Hannah R. Hughes

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Citations (SciVal)


This chapter puts the practice of problematizing at the centre of methodological enquiry. In the first part of the chapter, we point to the force that particular problematics or objects of interest exert upon thinking within a disciplinary field, and how we have grappled with these forces in our own research trajectories. We suggest that ‘security’ can be particularly powerful in this regard because as a concept it is deployed both to identify an empirical field of practices and as a central category for the definition of problematics within a field of study. ‘Security’ is readily reified, an ‘obligatory grid of intelligibility’ (Foucault 2008: 3) which sets limits to what – and how much – we can call into question. Turning from the thinking tools of Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault to the sorts of scholarly ethos these thinkers embodied, we indicate how this may offer at least as much inspiration as the methods that have been appropriated from their work. Indeed, the way in which the concepts of Bourdieu and Foucault have been inserted within the discipline of security studies is often counter to such an ethos, in that they effectively serve to strengthen – rather than diminish – security’s hold on and over the problematization of politics.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Security Methods
Subtitle of host publicationNew Frameworks for Analysis
EditorsClaudia Aradau, Jef Huysmans, Andrew Neal, Nadine Voelkner
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9781134716197
ISBN (Print)9780415712941
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jan 2014


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