Åhäll, L (2016) The dance of militarisation: a feminist security studies take on the political. Critical Studies on Security, 4 (2). pp. 154-168.

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Abstract

Intrigued about a political puzzle of militarisation, the argument presented here is built on three anchoring concepts that, combined, demonstrate what a feminist security studies take on ‘the political’ can offer: it involves a focus on the everyday as the site where the political puzzle is found; ‘dance’ is used as a methodological metaphor to explain what the political puzzle of militarisation is; and ‘family’ is the gendered analytical concept used to show how Remembrance events are normalising militarisation as the character of society. More specifically, the first section disentangles ‘the political’ theoretically by negotiating ontological tensions between ‘emancipation’ and poststructuralist epistemology. It ends with a poststructuralist feminist analytical focus on ‘the political’ as bodies in the everyday. The second section explores ‘the political’ methodologically through the idea of militarisation as a choreographed security practice in the mediatised every day. A nuanced way to explore the normalising process of militarisation is presented, conceptualised as dance due to the centrality of subtle movements, bodies and emotions. The third section illustrates the dance of militarisation empirically with an analysis of a choreographed political performance of a 2013 Remembrance event in the United Kingdom. Here, the notion of ‘family’ is used to unmake common sense and to make feminist sense of the hidden politics of militarisation. The article argues that feminist security studies ‘enter’ the political differently and, thus, performs critical security studies in a way that opens up a space to move beyond the dominant narrative of our discipline. It concludes with a call for letting our political puzzles, rather than the academic field, guide our research design as a way to ensure a more creative engagement with our disciplinary future.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Critical Studies on Security on 19 April 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21624887.2016.1153933
Uncontrolled Keywords: feminist security studies, militarisation, remembrance, militarism, everyday politics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Politics, Philosophy, International Relations and Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 12:17
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2019 08:49
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/1777

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