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Contemporary Security Studies

Sixth Edition

Edited by Alan Collins

Publication Date - May 2022

ISBN: 9780198862192

584 pages
9.7 x 7.4 inches

In Stock


With unrivalled coverage of a wide range of issues - from terrorism, inter-state conflict and nuclear deterrence, to environmental security, health, and transnational crime - Contemporary Security Studies is the definitive introduction to Security Studies. Bringing together contributions from leading scholars, it provides a student-friendly guide to traditional and critical theoretical approaches, as well as the most important contemporary issues that dominate the modern security field.

The sixth edition has been substantially updated, with significantly revised chapters on Securitization and Transnational Crime, and coverage of recent developments - including the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and forced migration - incorporated throughout. A brand-new chapter on popular culture and security provides an innovative overview and cutting-edge analysis of the role that popular culture plays in shaping and understanding security-related processes, as well as its place in the study of international relations, with examples ranging from Star Trek and Game of Thrones, to Disney cartoons and K-pop.

Students are encouraged throughout to question their own preconceptions of Security Studies, and to use their own judgement to critically evaluate key approaches and ideas. To help them achieve this, each chapter contains 'key ideas' boxes, 'think point' boxes, and case studies, the latter of which demonstrate the real-world applications, relevance, and implications of each theory.

Digital formats and resources
The sixth edition is available for students and institutions to purchase in a variety of formats.

The e-book offers a mobile experience and convenient access, along with functionality tools, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support: www.oxfordtextbooks.co.uk/ebooks

In addition to helpful learning features within the book, the text is accompanied by online resources designed to help students to take their learning further.

For students:
- Explore relevant security issues in greater depth with additional online case studies
- Test your understanding of the key ideas and themes in each chapter with self-marking multiple-choice questions
- Expand your knowledge of the subject with web links to additional reliable sources
- Test your knowledge of key terminology using the flashcard glossary

For registered lecturers:
- Use the adaptable PowerPoint slides as the basis for lecture presentations, or as hand-outs in class

New to this Edition

  • A new Chapter 13 on popular culture introduces students to this innovative approach to Security Studies, exploring the role that it plays in shaping and understanding security-related processes, including managing conflicts, supporting transitions to peace, and its uses and limitations as a source of soft power
  • A revised Chapter 12 on securitization theory traces its emergence and evolution as a framework for analysis, covering the main concepts and criticisms, and helping students to develop their understanding of constructivist approaches to security
  • Chapter 27 on transnational crime has been reworked to include coverage of the 'crime-terror nexus', the relationship between organized crime and the state, and a case study focusing on Mexico, helping students to apply theory to the real world
  • Every chapter has been thoroughly updated to reflect current political issues and developments in world affairs, such as the initial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, and forced migration


  • Offers broad, easy-to-digest coverage of all of the key theories and concepts in Security Studies
  • Brings together carefully edited contributions from international experts in the field, giving students insights from a range of leading scholars
  • 'Think point' boxes challenge students to question their own assumptions, and help to develop critical thinking skills
  • Case study boxes encourage students to connect theory and practice by demonstrating the real-world manifestations of political issues
  • Includes coverage of critical Security Studies perspectives, including poststructuralism and postcolonialism
  • Considers a broad range of traditional and non-traditional security issues, from inter-state armed conflict and nuclear weapons, to security issues centring on the environment, crime and cyber-attacks
  • Also available as an e-book with functionality, navigation features, and links that offer extra learning support

About the Author(s)

Alan Collins, Swansea University

Alan Collins is a Professor in International Relations at Swansea University

Table of Contents

    1. Introduction, Alan Collins
    Part 1: Approaches to Security
    2. Realism, Charles L. Glaser
    3. Liberalism and Liberal Internationalism, Patrick Morgan, with Alan Collins
    4. Historical Materialism, Eric Herring
    5. Peace Studies, Paul Rogers
    6. Social Constructivism, Christine Agius
    7. Critical Security Studies: A Schismatic History, David Mutimer, with Derek Verbakel
    8. Critical Security Studies II - Narratives of Security: Other Stories, Other Actors, Marshall Beier
    9. Postcolonialism, Mark Laffey and Suthaharan Nadarajah
    10. Human Security, Randolph B. Persaud
    11. Gender, Caroline Kennedy and Sophia Dingli
    12. Securitization, Catarina Thomson and Stephane Baele
    13. Popular Culture, Galia Press-Barnathan
    Part 2: Deepening and Broadening Security
    14. Military Security, Mike Sheehan
    15. Regime Security, Andreas Krieg
    16. Societal Security, Paul Roe
    17. Environmental Security, Geoffrey Dabelko
    18. Economic Security, Gary Shiffman
    19. Development and Security, Nana K. Poku and Jacqueline Therkelsen
    Part 3: Traditional and Non-Traditional Security
    20. Coercive Diplomacy: Countering War-Threatening Crimes and Armed Conflicts, Peter Viggo Jakobsen
    21. Weapons of Mass Destruction and Proliferation, James J. Wirtz
    22. Terrorism, James Lutz and Brenda Lutz
    23. Humanitarian Intervention, Alex Bellamy and Stephen McLoughlin
    24. Energy Security, Doug Stokes and Sam Raphael
    25. The Weapons Trade, Suzette Grillot
    26. Health, Stefan Elbe and Eva Hilberg
    27. Transnational Crime, Nathan Jones
    28. Cyber-security, Myriam Dunn Cavelty
    29. Security Studies Past, Present & Future, Barry Buzan and Ole Wæver