European Non-Traditional Security Theory

Item Reference: 
EU-GRASP Working Paper 1
Publication Date: 
Publication Place: 
Publication Language: 
Working Paper Type: 

Debate about the nature of security has flourished in many parts of the world since before the end of the Cold War. Throughout that time, Europe has proved to be a major focus for research in what has been termed non-traditional - in some ways, non-American - security studies. Ours is not an argument about ownership: one can find non-traditional security studies globally, yet there has been a consistency to the development of non-traditional theorising in Europe, often facilitated by research grants from bodies such as the European Union. With 'securitisation theory', 'emancipation theory' and 'insecuritisation theory' three theories have developed in particular. Whilst much has been written about the theoretical details of each of these theories their empirical application remains comparatively scant. Informed by the beliefs that a) only empirical applications will solve some of the theoretical dilemmas inherent to each theory, and b) that the utility of theory can ultimately only be assessed through practical utility, our aim in this essay is to animate scholars to apply these theories to empirical research.