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Security as Politics

Beyond the State of Exception

Andrew W. Neal

Hardback (Pre-order)

Uses the perspective of parliamentarians to reassess the relationship between security and politics

Andrew W. Neal argues that while ‘security’ was once an anti-political ‘exception’ in liberal democracies – a black box of secret intelligence and military decision-making at the dark heart of the state – it has now become normalised in professional political life. This represents a direct challenge to critical security studies debates and their core assumption that security is a kind of illiberal and undemocratic ‘anti-politics’.

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1. In Defence of Politics Against Security
2. How Do We Know Security When We See It? Problematisation as Method
3. Securitisation and Politicisation
4. Politicians, Security Politics and the Political Game
5. Can One Person Make A Difference? Fearless Speech vs. Security Politics
6. Security as Normal Politics: The Rise of Security in Parliamentary Committees
7. Security as a Whole Government Project: Risk, Economy, Politics
Conclusion: More Security, More Politics

About the Author

Andrew W. Neal is a Director of the Centre for Security Research (CeSeR) and Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Edinburgh. He is the author of Exceptionalism and the Politics of Counter-Terrorism: Liberty, Security, and the War on Terror (Routledge, 2010) . He the editor of Security in a Small Nation: Scotland, Democracy, Politics (Open Book Publishers, 2017); co-editor with Claudia Aradau, Jef Huysmans and Nadine Voelkner of Critical Security Methods (Routledge, 2014); and co-editor with Michael Dillon of Foucault on Politics, Security and War (Palgrave, 2008 and 2011).


This is a very engaging book that raises a number of important, intriguing and incisive questions about the relationship between security and politics. It is a scholarly, detailed and rigorous analysis, making potentially complicated ideas and theoretical constructs intelligible. This volume is a valuable contribution and a must read for those interested in security studies.

- Alistair J.K. Shepherd, Aberystwyth University

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