Ethics of Security

Christopher Ankersen*, Scott Romaniuk

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionarypeer-review


Security is an essentially contested term with an even broader and heated debate (Gallie 1956). Security, in terms of conception and practice, is inherently a normative activity. The pursuit of security is often regarded as a priority task for supranational, national, and subnational actors within the international system, and portrayed as being driven by structural aspects or actor imperatives (Mearsheimer 2019). However, there is nothing automatic or natural about security. That is, security is bound up with the (perceived) need to make choices as one looks to secure a particular object against a particular threat or set of threats. It is within these adoptions – themselves up for debate but often made implicitly – that the ethics of security are revealed. Ignoring these choices, and neglecting their consequences, does not make security any less ethics bound; rather, it merely means that one is dealing with it in an inattentive fashion.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Security Studies
EditorsScott Romaniuk, Péter Marton
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-74336-3
Publication statusPublished - 24 May 2022


  • Abuses of fundamental rights
  • anthropocene
  • Democracy
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Securitization
  • Threat Perceptions


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