The Little Mermaid’s Silent Security Dilemma and the Absence of Gender in the Copenhagen School

Citation:

Hansen, Lene. 2000. “The Little Mermaid’s Silent Security Dilemma and the Absence of Gender in the Copenhagen School.” Millennium: Journal of International Studies 29 (2): 285–306.

Author: Lene Hansen

Annotation:

Summary:
"The article proceeds in three parts, the first introduces the Copenhagen School’s theory of securitization and security as a speech act in more detail. The second part argues the importance of the ‘security as silence’ and ‘subsuming security’ problems. It confronts the common response to calls for the inclusion of gender in security analysis: that it falls under the category of social security, not ‘proper’ national security, and that it concerns individual, not collective security. Through a discussion of the case of honour killings in Pakistan, both of these claims are countered, and it is shown that gender insecurity concerns not only social redistribution but fundamental questions of survival, and that the security of particular individuals is deeply embedded in collective constructions of subjectivity and security. Drawing on the work of Judith Butler, the third part suggests that a theory of gender and security should consider the importance of the body within the speech act. Second, that the focus on whether to expand the concept of security should be supplemented with a theory of what conditions the construction of ‘security problems’. This involves an approach to security which foregrounds the role of practice, in particular how political practices depend upon and reinforce subjectivity, and how practices of security might strive to individualise security problems thereby taking them out of the public and political domain" (Hansen 2000, 287).

Topics: Gender, Women, Men, Gender-Based Violence, Security, Sexual Violence Regions: Asia, South Asia Countries: Pakistan

Year: 2000

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