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Adamson, Fiona (2020) 'Pushing the Boundaries: Can We “Decolonize” Security Studies?' Journal of Global Security Studies, 5 (1). pp. 129-135.

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This essay reflects on the approaches to inclusion and exclusion put forward in this special issue and suggests a more radical alternative: the project of “decolonizing” the field of security studies. Drawing on work in decolonial thought and critical security studies, I discuss systemic-level structures of inclusion and exclusion such as global racial hierarchies, imperial and colonial legacies, and North-South inequities. Such structures both shape the material reality of the global security order, and affect knowledge production in the field of security studies itself, including the definition of what is and is not viewed as a legitimate “security issue.” I conclude by asking what a “decolonized” security studies might look like.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: exclusion/inclusion, security, decolonial thought, race, empire, migration, sovereignty
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Department of Politics & International Studies
ISSN: 20573189
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) (2019). This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. For commercial re-use, please contact
DOI (Digital Object Identifier):
Date Deposited: 21 Jan 2020 14:08

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