Kinnvall, Catarina and Nesbitt-Larking, Paul (2009) Security, subjectivity and space in postcolonial Europe: Muslims in the diaspora. European Security, 18 (3). pp. 305-325. ISSN 0966-2839

In this article, we call into question the assumptions that undergird conceptions of boundary, territory, community and ethno-cultural belonging in the constitution of European security. Both the term ‘human security’ as defined by development and human rights scholars and ‘securitisation’ as conceptualised by critical security studies concern the socio-psychological aspects of security. Yet, few attempts have been made to seriously discuss the psychological effects of securitisation on subjectivity and space. There is, as we will argue, a tendency in much literature to use concepts of ‘existential security’, ‘fear’, ‘needs’ and the ‘politics of belonging’ – obviously connected to the human mind and individual emotionality – without much space being devoted to the investigation of these concepts in terms of socio-psychological processes. We intend to fill this gap by discussing security and securitisation in terms of the psychology of subjectivity and space among young Muslims in Europe. Our principal argument is that through openness to the political psychology of subjectivity and space, and the (de)securitisation of both, we are able to develop more adequate maps of the European experience of danger and opportunity.

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