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Chapter 4 explores how the Haskell Free Library and Opera House, a theatre and library built directly on the US-Canada border and opened in 1904, has become both an exceptional and exemplary civic institution in a time of increased securitisation. This chapter considers the Haskell as a local institution that promises to ameliorate geopolitical and geoeconomic antagonisms, but from a position within these realms rather than outside them. The Haskell’s civic promise is an is an effect of political economy and historical geography, and is the result of more than a century-long process of securitisation. Its civic appeal depends not so much on its equidistance from the state and the market but on a deeply embedded relationship with them. Seen this way, the Haskell becomes a distinctively theatrical – and distinctively social – technology of political economic governance: it localises social bonds that state-secured marketisation threatens to disperse and, in doing so, it retrieves social exchange from its wholesale appropriation by the state and the market.
This chapter opens the book by critically interrogating the framing of the situation in the Mediterranean during 2015–2016 as a ‘migration crisis’. It creates distance from a politics of crisis by exploring the articulation of the situation as such along various lines: as a crisis of the Schengen Area, as a crisis of solidarity, as a crisis of sovereignty, as a crisis of values or social cohesion, as a crisis of security, as a humanitarian crisis, and as a crisis of international protection. In so doing, the chapter draws attention to the multiple ways in which the crisis has been constituted in such terms, highlighting how each articulation reflects distinctive political concerns and diverse governing authorities rather than representing an uncontestable reality. By contrast to an approach that questions the specific way by which crisis is framed, the chapter goes on to question a politics of crisis and its effects more fundamentally. It draws on scholarship that interrogates the framing of crisis narratives as well as a form of governing through crisis, to highlight the ways in which crisis politics detract from an understanding of the foreseeable and preventable dimensions of the situation in the Mediterranean in 2015–2016. In so doing, the chapter concludes that the framing of the ‘Mediterranean migration crisis’ in such terms reflects a situation in which death and vulnerability are produced through policies that cut across both security and humanitarian domains and whereby people on the move are abandoned in the face of concerns to maintain the security of home. This, it suggests, can be understood as nothing less than a continued attempt to re/colonise the Mediterranean in a context marked by longer European histories of colonial violence.
Chapter 10 examines the housing bubble which occurred in Ireland, Spain, the UK and the United States in the 2000s. House prices in many parts of these countries more than doubled in the years leading up to 2007. They then crashed with terrible consequences for the global financial system, which imploded in September 2008 when Lehman Brothers entered bankruptcy. The chapter then discusses how the bubble triangle explains this episode. Financial alchemy meant that mortgage finance could be provided to a wider range of people, thus making the family home much more marketable and an object of speculation. The spark which ignited the subprime bubble was a policy decision taken in the late 1990s that attempted to use loose mortgage lending standards as a substitute for government-provided social housing. The chapter concludes by examining the economic, social and political consequences of the bubble. The housing bubble of the 2000s is a perfect example of an economically and socially destructive bubble, despite extraordinary measures taken by governments and central bankers to save the system. The chapter concludes by drawing a line from the housing bubble and its collapse to the rise of populism.
This chapter discusses the causes and consequences of financial innovation. Financial innovation involves creating and popularising new financial instruments, as well as new financial technologies, institutions, and markets. There has been a recent increase in financial technology (FinTech), which combines changes in customer contact, for instance using mobile apps, with big data and new methodologies for handling the data. Competition, regulation and deregulation, and technological advances are important drivers of financial innovation. Competition stimulates financial institutions to develop new products and processes. Since regulation may forbid or otherwise restrain financial innovation, deregulation may spur innovation. Indeed, several innovations have been the result of attempts to circumvent regulation. And technological advances have made new instruments possible. While innovation can help foster growth and economic prosperity, some innovative financial instruments have been blamed for their role in the global financial crisis.
The concluding chapter summarises the main arguments of the study. In particular the conclusions explore the following aspect of piracy and colonisation in Southeast Asia: (1) the cross-cultural aspects of different aspects of piracy and its suppression; (2) the association, in the eyes of contemporary European observers, between piracy and racial or religious characteristics, particularly with regard to the coastal Malays and their adherence to Islam; (3) the historical and cultural explanations to piracy, including the indirect stimulus that the European expansion provided for maritime raiding; (4) the reasons for the different modus operandi for suppressing piracy by the five colonial powers, including the varying levels and types of violence deployed; (5) the securitisation of piracy and its usefulness for justifying colonial expansion; (6) the anti-imperial critique of attempts to securitise piracy; (7) the relation between piracy, its suppression and sovereignty; and (8) the association between the suppression of piracy and the civilising mission.
This article makes a case for incorporating the concept of ‘Critical Security History’ (CSH) into security studies. While history plays a powerful role in a cornucopia of security stories, we contend that it often goes unnoticed in scholarly research and teaching. Against this backdrop, we present a detailed guide to study how history is told and enacted in non-linear ways. To do this, the article outlines how CSH can contribute to securitisation and ontological security studies. As shown, this lens casts a new light on the legacies of (de)securitisation processes and how they are commemorated. It also illustrates that ontological security studies have only begun to call into question the concept of historicity. Working through these observations, the article marshals insights from Halvard Leira's notion of ‘engaged historical amateurism’ to entice scholars interested in ‘doing’ CSH. While acknowledging that this research agenda is hard to achieve, our study of the 2012 Sarajevo Red Line project helps to illustrate the added value of trying to ‘do’ CSH in theory and in practice. We end with some reflections for future research and continued conversations.
As a historical model of how to end an extended period of international conflict and to establish a stable and peaceful international order, the Vienna Congress has claimed the attention of academics and politicians ever since 1815. Against this background the chapter will deal with the question of how the Congress of Vienna and the Vienna system were regarded by various actors and under changing political circumstances. Rather than merely collecting views and interpretations of the Congress and the international system taking shape in 1814/15, the chapter will ask how the varying interpretations of Vienna and the Vienna system reflected changing ideas and visions of international order and what they can tell us about national and international security cultures in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The conflict between the Thai state and the Malay-Muslim insurgency in the country's Deep South is one of Southeast Asia's most persistent internal security challenges. The start of the current period of violence dates back to the early 2000s, and since then, a significant number of studies exploring the renewed escalation have been published. In this study, we argue that existing scholarship has not adequately accounted for the external environment in which political decisions were taken on how to deal with the southern insurgency. We seek to show how the internationally dominant, hegemonic security agenda of so-called non-traditional security (NTS) influenced the Thai government's approach to the conflict. Building upon the Copenhagen School's securitisation theory, we show how the insurgency became securitised under the dominant NTS narrative, leading to the adoption of harsh measures and alienating discourses that triggered the escalation of violence that continues today. The specific NTS frameworks that ‘distorted’ the Thai state's approach of one that had been informed solely by local facts and conditions were those of anti-narcotics and Islamist terrorism, albeit in different ways. Based on the findings from the case study, the article concludes with a reflection on the role of the hegemonic NTS agenda and its implications for Southeast Asian politics and scholarship.
Created in 1972, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has a normative mandate to promote the protection of the environment at the international level. However, since 1999, the organisation has been conducting field assessments in postconflict situations and addressing the role of natural resources in conflict, framing the environment as a security issue. To do so, the programme insists on its neutrality as a technical and ‘apolitical’ actor within the UN system. Considering depoliticisation as a political act, this article unpacks the concrete practices by which international organisations (IOs) enact depoliticisation. It further argues that IOs can perform securitising moves through practices and techniques presented as outside of the political realm. It draws upon the recent work on depoliticisation at the international level and reinforces studies considering the links between (de)politicisation and securitisation.
This article joins the nascent debate on the causal status of securitisation theory. Relying on critical realist’s efforts to deepen and broaden the concept of cause – defined as ‘causal complex’ – and its insights to integrate discourse and constitutive relations into a non-positivist framework for causal explanation, the article aims to explore the explanatory status of securitisation theory, without downgrading its discursive core. To illustrate this argument, the article uses the securitisation of Somali piracy as an example of how the causal analysis of securitisation can contribute to explain some of the dynamics involved in security governance. From this perspective, securitisation works within a broader empirical framework of security, significantly implicated in causal relations, going beyond the Copenhagen School’s conception of securitisation as a non-causal constitutive theory merely defined as a formal framework for analysis. The article discusses, finally, the relevance and implications of introducing causal analysis in the study of securitisation.
This article theorises the simultaneous enaction of securitising and desecuritising moves. It argues that the frequent simultaneity of these two processes, which are normally considered mutually exclusive within Securitisation Theory (ST), has previously gone unnoticed given a set of methodological, temporal, and ontological biases that have developed within ST. Demonstrating how these biases can be overcome – and even reconciled with the seminal texts of ST – by drawing on work from within social theory and elsewhere, we argue that the frequent simultaneity of (de)securitising moves most urgently requires us to reconsider the normative status of desecuritisation within ST. Although desecuritisation has traditionally been viewed as normatively positive, we argue that its temporally immanent enaction alongside securitising moves might introduce more violence into security politics and, in fact, exacerbate protracted conflicts. Ultimately, we make the normative ambitions of some within ST more opaque. Desecuritisation is not a shortcut to the ethical-political good within ST.
This article argues that public expressions of Islamophobia are best understood as securitising requests (that is, calls on powerful figures/bodies to treat an issue in security mode so that extraordinary measures can be used to combat it), especially in those cases where Muslims are feared and disliked because of the perception that Islamic people are prone to terrorism. This article argues that harmful and derogatory securitising requests targeting racial, ethnic, or religious minorities are on par with hate speech and it highlights the fact that many contemporary societies are now seeking legal protections against such security speech (expressed most notably in the desire to ban Islamophobia). It is from this perspective that this article poses an important research question: With a view to protecting those adversely affected, are legal protections against harmful and offensive securitising requests justified? The research question can be answered by drawing parallels to the existing hate speech debate in legal and political theory. The research reveals that, although the case against legal protections of harmful and defamatory security speech is ultimately more convincing, security speech alone can be so damaging that it should be informed by a number of ethical considerations. This article goes on to suggest three criteria for governing the ethics of requesting securitisation. As such this article fills a lacuna in the ‘positive/negative debate’ on the ethics of security that has engaged with securitisation, but that has failed to consider the ethics of speaking security.
Fears about the security of supplies have been central to debates about the development of an integrated EU energy policy over the past decade, leading to claims that energy has been ‘securitised’. Previous analyses have found, however, that although shared security concerns are frequently used as justification for further integration, they can also serve as a rationale for Member States to resist sharing sovereignty. Transcending this apparent paradox would require not just agreement about whether energy supplies are security concerns, but also agreement about what kind of security concern they are. In this article, we examine whether such an agreement could emerge through a comparative analysis of constructions of gas security in the UK and Poland. Utilising a framework that draws from both the philosophical and sociological wings of Securitisation Studies, we demonstrate that although gas has been elevated on the security agendas of both states, the specific logic of insecurity – securitisation or riskification – underpinning these constructions differs substantially, and is conditioned by distinct modes of governance in each Member State. This, we contend, limits the potential for further integration of EU energy policies in the context of the European Commission’s proposals for an ‘Energy Union’.
The recent crisis has underlined the importance of the interaction of financial innovations and the housing market. We consider five major innovations relevant to housing finance. These are (i) mortgages; (ii) specialised housing finance institutions; (iii) government interventions in housing finance in the US during the Great Depression; (iv) covered bonds; and (v) securitised mortgages. The history of these innovations and their positive and negative aspects are discussed. Future innovations to help the stability of the housing market are also suggested.
The Canadian system of housing finance proved to be resilient and efficient during the global financial crisis and its aftermath. The system's effectiveness is the result of a rigorous prudential regulatory and supervisory regime coupled with targeted government guarantees of mortgage insurance and securitisation products. In the post-crisis period, household debt levels and house prices have risen, owing, in part, to accommodative monetary conditions necessary to support the economic recovery. These vulnerabilities were mitigated by tightening macroprudential policy, specifically mortgage insurance rules, and strengthening mortgage-underwriting standards. Looking ahead, the housing finance framework needs to be adjusted and strengthened by rebalancing the risk exposures away from the government towards the private sector participants in the housing finance market. Although some measures have already been taken for this purpose, more adjustments may be needed to create the right incentives and achieve a sustainable rebalancing in risk exposures. Measures should also be considered to promote a liquid private-label mortgage securitisation market in Canada.
Home equity release products have been promoted as a potential solution to residential long-term care costs for the elderly. Lower than expected utilisation of home equity release loans has prompted efforts to better model and price the no-negative-equity-guarantee (NNEG) built into the contracts, but loan rates are still widely perceived by homeowners as being unattractive. We propose the introduction of a new adjustable rate loan based on a regional house price index, with the NNEG being borne by a specially created intermediary. The proposed approach allows us to directly address and separately price the basis risk between individual house price returns and index returns. In addition, it offers the opportunity to create securities based on residential real estate that would be attractive to a wider class of investors. The alternative risk-sharing mechanism creates a more transparent and simple pricing structure for the loans. We then use house sales data to demonstrate the approach. We find in our sample that it would be possible to make higher loans than seen in previous literature using standard roll-up contracts. In the most favourable scenario for our simulations, the maximum loan is 89% of the appraised home value if the loan is advanced as a lump sum and 95% if the loan is advanced in instalments.
This article analyses the gang policies of the first years of the Funes administration in El Salvador, from June 2009 until July 2012. Using securitisation theory, it explains why the administration returned to an emphasis on extraordinary measures, most of them repressive, to deal with gangs. It argues that these measures were the product of an ongoing and dynamic process in which the government was but one of the players in a complex field constituted by numerous actors. The return to repressive measures as well as the support and facilitation of a ‘gang truce’ were not the result of a rational design or a predetermined agenda, but should be seen as a series of moves in a political conjuncture, in which the Salvadorean government needed to communicate to different audiences messages of being in control.
After the world food crisis of the early 1970s, food policies became a ‘national priority’ for Colombian development. Colombia was the first country to implement the multi-sectoral approach proposed by international organisations. However, in the past 30 years Colombian governments have presented nutrition as a minor health issue. During the recent world food crisis, the government insisted that Colombia was one of the most food-secure countries in the world. In seemingly similar circumstances, why was food policy made a priority in the 1970s and not in the new millennium? We address this question with the help of securitisation theory. We argue that in the 1970s, the government successfully securitised the food issue in the context of a reduction of external food aid and a failed land reform. Recent national governments (as opposed to some local governments) have had little interest in a securitising move since the related food sovereignty discourses threaten their free market policies.
Securitisation is an important financing technique. Following the financial crisis, reform activities in relation to pitfalls of securitisation have been underway. In particular, following the financial crisis, a significant debate has raged globally about whether risk retention mechanisms before the crisis were effective. The idea is to align the incentives of originators/securitisers and investors in order to prevent the negative impact caused by the originate-to-distribute model. If the effective risk retention and due diligence goals are achieved, securitisation may continue to deliver its benefits to investors, and the full implementation of the reforms in the EU and the USA will act as a deterrent and inject confidence in the markets.
A methodology for pricing of reinsurance contracts in the presence of a catastrophe bond is developed. An important advantage of this approach is that it allows for the pricing of reinsurance contracts consistent with the observed market prices of catastrophe bonds on the same underlying risk process.
Within the proposed methodology, an appropriate financial pricing formula is derived, under a market implied risk neutral probability measure for both a catastrophe bond and an aggregate excess of loss reinsurance contract, using a generalised Fourier transform. Efficient numerical methods for the evaluation of this formula, such as the Fast Fourier transform and Fractional Fast Fourier transform, are considered.
The methodology is illustrated on several examples including Pareto and Gamma claim severities.