International-Security-front“Security studies” is among the central research and teaching areas of the Institute of Conflict, Cooperation and Security (ICCS). Here at the Institute we conceive of “security studies” very broadly.

Within this cluster we define it as the study of threats (objective and/or perceived) to a range of actors and entities (including states, orders, individuals and the biosphere), that result from a large variety of issues including climate/environmental change, nuclear proliferation, pandemic disease, migration and conventional warfare. We believe that the study of security or “security studies” is, or should ideally include research on the practice of security (securitization), work on the concept, representation and interpretation of security, as well as reflexive research into the role of the security analyst vis-à-vis practitioners of security. In particular we are interested in fostering outreach between scholars and the policymaking community .

We hold that the study of security should ideally be interdisciplinary. In addition to analysis framed by International Relations and security theory, work carried out by researchers at the Institute draws, on analytical political philosophy, moral philosophy, continental political theory, comparative politics, development economics, peace research and environmental economics to name but a few areas of interest. This strong emphasis on interdisciplinarity means that researchers at the Institute use and are interested in a wide variety of research methods including discourse analysis, historical case study analysis, ethnographic research and hermeneutics.

Security studies is not only a priority area, but also growing area within the Institute. At the present time this cluster includes Birmingham Fellow Dr. Rita Floyd, an expert in securitization studies and environmental security studies, who currently works on the ethics of securitization.Her recent project within the cluster is entitled Value, Ethics, and Securitization. Dr. Cerwyn Moore is an academic who works on interpretive approaches to security (especially narrative studies and hermeneutics), with a particular interest in post-Soviet security in the North Caucasus. Dr Moore currently works on a project entitled The Changing Dynamics of Contemporary Conflict and War.