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A General Theory of Pacification

George S. Rigakos

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A radical social theory of the security-industrial complex, showing how pacification underpins the global economic system

What is security, and what is its relationship to capitalism? George S. Rigakos' powerful sociological treatise charts the rise of the security-industrial complex. Starting from a critical appraisal of ‘productive labour’ in the works of Karl Marx and Adam Smith, Rigakos builds a conceptual model of pacification based on practices of dispossession, exploitation and the fetish of security commodities.

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Introduction: Security Under Capitalism
1. Productive Labour
2. Dispossession
3. Exploitation
4. The Security Commodity
5. Security is Hegemony
6. The Productivity of Security
Conclusions: Security After Capitalism

About the Author

George S. Rigakos is Professor of the Political Economy of Policing at Carleton University. He has researched and published on policing and security for over a dozen years. Rigakos is also the Editor of Red Quill Books and is one of the founding members of the Anti-security Studies Group. Most recently he has acted as a policy consultant with Syriza and Transform Europe.


In an age when capital wins time and again and everyone from politicians to academics insist that we must all bow down in the name of security, this book challenges the power of both. The outcome is a radical deployment of the concept of pacification which will transform our understanding of the wars carried out in the name of security/capital. 

Mark Neocleous, Professor of the Critique of Political Economy, Brunel University, UK.


In this powerful interrogation, Rigakos clarifies and extends pacification theory by showing the intimate connection between capitalism and (in)security, historically and here today. His passionate message is that no vision of a post-capitalist future can afford not to take security seriously.

Georgios Papanicolaou, Teesside University, UK

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