Skip to content

Toggle service links

CCIG Lecture series: Jef Huysmans on Security and Democracy

Thursday, 8 May 2014, 18:00 - 20:00

The Open University in London, 1-11 Hawley Crescent, Camden Town, London, NW1 8NP, Rooms 2b&2c

This keynote is part of the CCIG Lecture series on 'Being on the line: citizenship, identities and governance in times of crises'.

We are living on the line. Ours is a time of intensified disruption of the familiar. Rights depletions, loss of public and community life, identity crises, pervasive insecurities, and lack of imaginative governance seem to rule the day. Yet, living on the line is also living in sites of contestation and reinvention where new possibilities for citizenship, identities and governance are competed over and mediated. The now is never just new but neither can it be reduced to old frameworks, to instituted traditional conceptions.

In this lecture series, leading CCIG researchers put social sciences on the line. We examine its limits, rework old concepts and develop new ideas and methods to draw out possibilities for critique, social justice and positive social change in times of crises. The lecture series brings research at the cutting edge of the social sciences to bear on contemporary predicaments and in particular on our understanding of how transformative processes work by challenging divisions, intolerance and discriminations.

Security and Democracy

This lecture will be given by Prof Jef Huysmans (CCIG Director and Professor of Security Studies).

In this lecture Jef Huysmans will revisit the relation between democracy and security against the background of recent revelation of global surveillance practices. He will argue for embracing a democratic curiosity when evaluating contemporary security practice. Democratic curiosity displaces attention from familiar often elite conceptions of power relations to the extremely ordinary ways in which the powers of security but also of democracy work. Rethinking the relation between democracy and security is particularly pertinent today when traditional democratic institutions are severely limited in the power they are exercising upon an increasingly diffuse organisation of security practice.

Jef Huysmans holds a Chair in Security Studies. He is also director of the Centre for Citizenship, Identities, Governance (CCIG) at the Faculty of Social Sciences. Jef has published widely on security theory, the securitization of migration, asylum and refugees, and international political theory. Currently he focuses on the diffusion of insecurities and implications for democracy, political theories of the everyday and critical methodologies in security studies. He recently published:

Guillaume, Xavier and Huysmans, Jef eds. (2013). Citizenship and Security: The Constitution of Political Being. PRIO New Security Studies. Abingdon: Routledge

Aradau, Claudia and Huysmans, Jef (2013). Critical methods in international relations: the politics of techniques, devices and acts. European Journal of International Relations

The discussants for the lecture will be: Claudia Aradau (King's College London) and Marieke de Goede (University of Amsterdam)

The event will be chaired by Paul Stenner (The Open University, CCIG member)


To register please click on 'Register' below and complete the fields. Any queries e-mail