Shocks, security, risks and resilience

The security dilemma is a critically important idea in understanding key challenges to global security in the twenty-first century. 

Contemporary debates about security and resilience, the fragility of co-operation and perceptions of trust and mistrust and the significance of these issues to world politics, are a key focus of our research and a global challenge for all societies.

The unifying term of ‘resilience’ and ‘resilience policy’ has become a powerful metaphor in security politics and its application within communities to counter extremism and radicalisation has become a focus of research. Following large-scale terrorist plots and activity targeting multicultural cities, ‘resilience’ has been developed as a widely generic set of best practises, largely inflexible in adapting to local culture, understanding and human concerns.

Spanning multiple disciplines, our research examines the concept of security and related themes to enhance our understanding of, and approach to, the rhetorical, operational, and practical power of this concept in organising, legitimising, and deploying state and international power and resources.

Projects available under this theme

Find out more about the project and apply directly to the scholarships via the listings below. You can also follow our guidance on how to apply to the Global Challenges PhD Scholarships.

'Security' as a legal concept

De Londras and Mavronica

‘Security’ is a powerful, rhetorical concept that can have acute impacts on law and legal systems. In the pursuit of security, states and international organisations pursue policies and introduce laws that can have deleterious impacts on human rights and the Rule of Law, while pursuing a ‘good’ that has the potential to improve baseline rights protection for all. Security is, thus, something that has a clear exogenous impact on law and legal analyses but which does not itself have meaningful content as a legal concept. This project will address that vital lacuna to develop a theoretically rich, practically applicable understanding of security from a legal perspective.

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Gendering resilient ways of life: religious communities in multicultural cities

Brown and Fregonese

The aim of this project is to explore how religious communities in multicultural cities build & experience resilience in a gendered manner. The PhD will focus on religious communities in 3 large multicultural cities: Paris, Birmingham & Beirut.  The first objective is to uncover the gendered resources that religious communities draw upon to build resilient ways of life in urban environments. The second, using the same cases, is to show how resilience is experienced in gendered terms. During the project, you will develop a framework to carry out a comparative assessment; conduct fieldwork in these cities; and as a result of your findings offer a critique of existing policies for building resilience. The research builds on the expertise of Dr Katherine E Brown in religious studies who focuses on radicalisation and gender, and of Dr Sara Fregonese whose work in geography specialises in urban resilience, especially Beirut. This project offers an opportunity to work in an interdisciplinary research team, advance our understanding of resilience, and to have an impact on a key area of security policy.

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