- Cutting off the King's head: security and normative order beyond the state
- Conflict, Security & Development
- Volume | Issue number
- 16 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
Central to the ‘liberal political tradition’ is the legitimacy of violence enacted by the state. While, since the Cold War, the horizons of security have broadened beyond the national boundaries of states, the sovereign state acting as the principal security agent remains the central tenet of the modern world order. Yet in much of the contemporary world, if the provision of security were ever the sole preserve of states this is no longer the case. This article, and the others gathered here that it acts as a preamble to, argue that there is a pressing need for greater comprehension of the complexities and dynamics of power relations through which security and justice are enacted. It briefly considers other conceptual and theoretical
frameworks better suited to model these relations in ways that do not proceed simply from normative, global assumptions as to the forms that these relations should take. It concludes by stressing the necessity for grounded, empirical study of the everyday practices of security arrangements and actors in the contemporary world.
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