Redefining ‘security’ has recently become something of a cottage industry.E.g. Lester Brown, Redefining National Security, Worldwatch Paper No. 14 (Washington, DC, 1977); Jessica Tuchman Matthews, ‘Redefining Security’, Foreign Affairs, 68 (1989), pp. 162-77; Richard H. Ullman, ‘Redefining Security’, International Security, 8 (1983), pp. 129-53; Joseph J. Romm, Defining National Security (New York, 1993); J. Ann Tickner, ‘Re-visioning Security’, in Ken Booth and Steve Smith (eds.), International Relations Theory Today (Oxford, 1995), pp. 175-97; Ken Booth, ‘Security and Emancipation’, Review of International Studies, 17 (1991), pp. 313-26; Martin Shaw, ‘There Is No Such Thing as Society: Beyond Individualism and Statism in International Security Studies’, Review of International Studies, 19 (1993), pp. 159-75; John Peterson and Hugh Ward, ‘Coalitional Instability and the New Multidimensional Politics of Security: A Rational Choice Argument for US-EU Cooperation’, European Journal of International Relations, 1 (1995), pp. 131-56; ten articles on security and security studies in Arms Control, 13, (1992), pp. 463-544; and Graham Allison and Gregory F. Treverton (eds.), Rethinking America's Security: Beyond Cold War to New World Order (New York, 1992). Most such efforts, however, are more concerned with redefining the policy agendas of nation-states than with the concept of security itself. Often, this takes the form of proposals for giving high priority to such issues as human rights, economics, the environment, drug traffic, epidemics, crime, or social injustice, in addition to the traditional concern with security from external military threats. Such proposals are usually buttressed with a mixture of normative arguments about which values of which people or groups of people should be protected, and empirical arguments as to the nature and magnitude of threats to those values. Relatively little attention is devoted to conceptual issues as such. This article seeks to disentangle the concept of security from these normative and empirical concerns, however legitimate they may be.