Toward a vernacular security studies: origins, interlocutors, contributions and challenges

Jarvis, Lee (2019) Toward a vernacular security studies: origins, interlocutors, contributions and challenges. International Studies Review, 21 (1). 107–126. ISSN 1521-9488

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This article seeks to situate, evaluate and advance the recent ‘turn’ toward the ‘vernacular’ within security studies. It argues that vernacular security studies has significant advantages over alternative ‘bottom up’ approaches. First, its conceptual emptiness allows for genuinely inductive research into public experiences, understandings, anxieties, and fears. Second, it offers engagement with a potentially far richer tapestry of everyday (in)securities by refusing to prioritise particular populations by virtue of their identity or socio-political position. And, third, such an approach avoids the universalism inherent within related, yet more explicitly cosmopolitan, approaches to security. The article begins by situating vernacular security studies within relevant intellectual and (geo-)political dynamics from the late twentieth century. A second section distinguishes this approach from six alternative traditions with a similar emphasis on individual human referents: human security; Critical Security Studies; postcolonialism; feminism; ontological security studies; and, everyday security studies. The article then elaborates on the significance and added value of vernacular approaches to security, before outlining core conceptual, methodological and ethical questions for future research.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Political, Social and International Studies
Depositing User: Pure Connector
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2017 06:05
Last Modified: 25 Jul 2019 00:30
DOI: 10.1093/isr/viy017

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