Evolution of Security Studies and the Resulting Perspectives of an Asteroid Threat

  • Nikola SchmidtEmail author
Part of the Space and Society book series (SPSO)


This chapter is meant for those who have never read about the theory of security studies in the international relations discipline. The author introduces the basic concepts of critical security studies, such as the extreme politicization of security threats, known as the securitization process. Securitization is discussed in the light of disciplinary evolution, to show the reader that we can clearly discern between various ways of thinking, contemplating how perceptions of the social reality have been influencing our decisions in political life. The author later argues that the right decision is not necessarily the most effective one and explains in detail how ethics influence our perceptions of security. In order to apply this theory to planetary defense, the chapter in its third part introduces the most recent move within the study of security studies theory—the pragmatist turn—influenced by the new wave of ethical security studies. Key explanations of the distinction between negative and positive security apply to many other chapters and form the core of our argument within this volume. In the case of planetary defense, they clearly show that defining security as the mere absence of the threat is not in our interests.


Security studies Securitization Positive security Human flourishing Pragmatism Ethical security studies 



This study was supported by the grant awarded by the Technological Agency of the Czech Republic, project TL01000181: “A multidisciplinary analysis of planetary defense from asteroids as the key national policy ensuring further flourishing and prosperity of humankind both on Earth and in Space,” and co-funded by the Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University in Prague.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political Science, Institute of Political Studies, Faculty of Social SciencesCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic

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