Savoir-faire des études critiques de sécurité

Guittet, Emmanuel-Pierre (dir.), Questions de Méthodes : savoir-faire des études critiques de sécurité, Harmattan, Paris, 2016, ISBN : 978-2-343-10075-3, 200 pages

It is otiose to say that writing and teaching about security requires coming to terms with and incredibly diverse and large amount of literature. It is also no exaggeration to say that security studies has undergone a remarkable boom over the last twenty years. Security is the lingua franca of our times, a pervasive yet contested central element of national, international and transnational politics.  Since their appearance in the early 1990s, critical security studies have been gaining ground inexorably. Steadily chipping away at the traditional concepts of International Relations, they have helped bring into question some of that discipline’s received ideas and contributed to widening the study of security into areas beyond its purely military aspects. By shining a light upon the diverse nature of the actors who claim to both talk about and bring about security, critical security studies have destabilised the state-centric framework of International Relations and underlined the true fluidity not only of the term ‘security’ but also, consequently, of its political uses and social effects, thus breaking down the barriers that had hitherto held this object of study within the sole confines of International Relations.

The aim of this volume is not to provide a general account of the methods available to researchers but rather to approach these methods not only from the perspective of existing theoretical structures but also, and more importantly, from that of the research, materials and areas of investigation which put theory and method alike to the test. The method cannot precede its object, insofar as the object of study, the method and the sources deployed are all intrinsically linked. By resolutely eschewing any form of methodological idolatry, this volume aims to open up a space for dialogue on how methods are put into practice, how methodological practices confront reality and on ‘methodological bricolage’ as a source, an obstacle and a space for the development of a refined, confident and committed mode of criticism in security studies (read more)