• Richard J. KilroyJr.
Living reference work entry


The term securitization in international relations refers to the process by which states determine threats to national security based on subjective rather than objective assessments of perceived danger. Originally identified with the Copenhagen School and international relations scholars such as Ole Waever, Barry Buzan, Jaap de Wilde, and others, securitization occurs across five sectors: military, political, economic, societal, and environmental. According to securitization theory, states which perceive threats to national security will “securitize” those sectors by taking measures to enhance their security, often without public debate and democratic process. This chapter discusses securitization as originally developed by the Copenhagen School, the sectoral analysis as initially constructed, other variables which impact securitization, Regional Security Complex Theory, and finally how securitization theory provides explanatory value in international relations today.


Securitization Security sectors Copenhagen school Regional security complex theory (RSCT) International relations theory Constructivism Realism Liberalism Identity Institutions Interests 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PoliticsCoastal Carolina UniversityConwayUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Alexander Siedschlag
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Public AffairsThe Pennsylvania State University – Penn State HarrisburgMiddletownUSA

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