Toward a Securitization Theory of Deterrence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This note incorporates securitization scholarship into the study of deterrence. I argue that deterrence is a securitizing move, and it is embedded in and affected by a broader assemblage of securitizing moves performed by different actors. These include the deterrer, the putative challenger, and various third parties. Linking deterrence theory and securitization theory opens up promising directions for theory and research. Among other things, it provides a way for interpretative scholars to engage with debates within traditional deterrence scholarship - such as those regarding deterrence success, deterrence credibility, and the effects of the use of force on these dynamics. It also highlights often-overlooked issues in the study of deterrence. These include processes through which actors come to adopt this strategy. It also includes processes through which the threat to deterrence itself becomes a powerful political tool for mobilizing support to different strategic moves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-186
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Studies Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2019


Dive into the research topics of 'Toward a Securitization Theory of Deterrence'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this