Tue, Sep 22

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


  • Ch. 8, Poststructural Insights: Making Subjects and Objects of Security (Beier, 111-125)


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


  • indigenous people (112)
  • referent object (112)
  • smart bombs (112)
  • Vietnam War (116)



P. 123

  1. Who or what should we count as a subject in Security Studies and why?
  2. In what sense can we say that Security Studies is an important social force in its own right? If true, what is the significance of this?
  3. How might motherhood be identifiable as necessary to the production of military power? What are the implications of this?
  4. What does it mean to say "the Gulf War did not take place"?
  5. In what ways does talk about "smart" bombs affect how and where we see political subjecthood?
  6. What is at stake and for whom in the ways child soldiers tend to be portrayed?
  7. What is behind the apparent paradox of saying that dominant stories about security are actually about children, despite children's absence from those stories?
  8. How would you support the claim that traditional Security Studies is itself implicated in children's insecurity? What assumptions does this make about subjecthood, referent objects, and the substantive content of security?
  9. How do Indigenous peoples present a challenge to traditional Security Studies?
  10. To what extent is Critical Security Studies equipped to take the Great Law of Peace on its own terms? What are the limits of attempting to do so? Are there implications to be weighted in the choice not to?


  1. Why do poststructuralists refer to theories and approaches as "stories"?
  2. What does "denaturalizing" a concept or idea do? Is this a good idea?
  3. What is "common sense"? How do we get it (or where does it come from)?
  4. Is it good to know who or what is "behind" something? How so, or why not?
  5. What do "margin(alization)" and "privilege" have to do with security studies?
  6. What is "discursive framing" (117)? What does this have to do with "reality"?
  7. Is it a good idea for security studies to ally itself with the status quo? Why?
  8. Is it a good idea to "destabilize" how we study security? Why or why not?