Failed Securitization: Why It Matters

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The puzzle motivating this article is the nearly unanimous focus in the literature on successful cases of securitization. The article examines this case selection bias and asks about its consequences for the study of security. Three arguments are offered. First, there is no a priori reason to give preference to successful cases; rather, a full range of outcomes should be explored. Second, paying attention to failed cases of securitization might yield important insights for the processes of securitization as well as desecuritization. Third, taking failed cases seriously can put into broader perspective actors’ abilities to use claims about security to accrue power and advance their political agendas. In short, moving away from the fixation on successful cases of securitization will make possible a fuller understanding of what security is and what it does
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)365-377
Number of pages13
Issue number2
Early online date20 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2019


  • Case selection bias
  • Failed securitization
  • Frequency illusion
  • Process
  • Security


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