Securitization: Turning an approach into a framework for research on EU justice and home affairs

Christian Kaunert, Ikrom Yakubov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Since its emergence as an alternative approach to traditional security studies, securitization has become an attractive concept for researchers of EU justice and home affairs, and European studies and international relations more broadly. It has helped to more systematically determine, present and explain how mundane occurrences are transformed into security issues (Stefan 2006; Donnelly 2013; Floyd 2008; Trombetta 2008; Balzacq and Léonard 2013; Diez and Squire 2008; Huysmans 2006; Emmers 2003; Loader 2002; Salter 2011; Sjostedt 2008). This approach was first proposed by the so-called Copenhagen School to underpin the ‘widening’ remit of security studies. Its devisers, Buzan, Waever and Wilde, defined securitization as ‘the move that takes politics beyond the established rules of the game and frames the issue either as a special kind of politics or as above politics’ (Buzan et al. 1998: 23). In other words, securitization was presented as

an intersubjective process that is the most extreme or the highest level of politicisation in which the issue is presented as an existential threat to the referent object by a securitising actor through so-called ‘speech acts’ and requiring emergency measures and justifying actions outside the normal bounds of political procedure.

(Buzan et al. 1998: 23) The Copenhagen School places a premium on ‘speech acts’, stressing that the very utterance of ‘security’ is more than just saying or describing something, but also the performing of an action (Kaunert and Léonard 2011; Stritzel 2007; Balzacq 2011; Roe 2008; Waever 1995).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Justice and Home Affairs Research
EditorsAriadna Ripoll Servent, Florian Trauner
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages11
Edition1st Edition
ISBN (Electronic)978-1315645629
ISBN (Print)978-1138183759
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2017


  • Securitisation
  • EU Justice
  • EU Home Affairs
  • European Union


Dive into the research topics of 'Securitization: Turning an approach into a framework for research on EU justice and home affairs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this