Thu, Sep 17

POL 389-800, Security Studies
SUNY Oswego | Fall 2020
Dr. Craig Warkentin


  • Ch. 7, Critical Security Studies: A Schismatic History (Agius, 74-90)


  • Articulate the main assumptions of CSS
  • Explain how CSS conceptualizes security
  • Describe CSS's prescription(s) for security
  • Contrast CSS to other covered approaches


  • biopolitics (105)
  • Critical Security Studies (92)
  • emancipation (99)
  • epitemological (95)
  • gender (100)
  • ontology (99)
  • poststructuralism (96)
  • power (92)
  • referent object (92)
  • security dilemma (101)
  • speech act (97)
  • traditional security (93)


Questions (109)

  1. If you were to become a critical security scholar, which sign would you follow and why?
  2. Why did Krause and Williams aim to create a "broad church" of Critical Security Studies? What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a conception? Who does it favor, and who does it marginalize?
  3. What are the various understandings of the term "critical" that are found in the literature on Critical Security Studies? Which one do you find the most convincing?
  4. Should the Critical Security Studies label apply to the Copenhagen School?
  5. The Welsh School suggests that Critical Security Studies should be guided by Critical Theory, which is the theory developed by the Frankfurt School. This suggestion makes intuitive sense; do you agree with it?
  6. What is the difference between "constructivism" and "poststructuralism"in security studies? Does it make a difference?
  7. Do an ethos of critique and an ethos of democracy provide sufficient guidance for a progressive politics of security in the contemporary world?
  8. Have we reached the end of Critical Security Studies?
  9. How does the rendition of a "partial history of a label" differ from other ways of presenting approaches to security studies? What difference does it make?