Security and Governance

A fortified aid compound in Sudan

Security concerns now intrude on all aspects of our existence and behaviour, from environmental scares through to defensive urban design and measures to promote societal resilience.

In terms of precautionary behaviour, lifestyle choices and legal and insurance requirements, this new security terrain now shapes how life is governed and, importantly, how people are expected to live.

With the publication of the UK’s first National Security Policy in 2008, the idea that governments need to secure against risks originating from within societies and societal processes, as opposed to enemy states, has come of age. With the ending of the Cold War, traditional military-based ideas of security have broadened to include dangers emanating from a range of sub-national actors, economic dependencies and global environmental threats. As well as terrorism, this new security terrain includes the breakdown of territorial states and challenges to human security in the global South through to climate change and the sustainability of consumption patterns in the global North. In terms of precautionary behaviour, lifestyle choices and legal and insurance requirements, this new security terrain now shapes how life is governed and, importantly, how people are expected to live.

The Security and Governance theme brings together researchers and academics from across the social sciences to examine indicative security and governance concerns, including:

  • global risks and methodologies for their study
  • human security and sustainable development
  • security and the built environment
  • the resilience of critical public infrastructures and utilities
  • food security
  • fragile states
  • asymmetric warfare and counterinsurgency
  • disasters and humanitarian emergencies
  • insurance as regulation
  • the politics of climate change.

The theme provides an interdisciplinary network to share interests, look for synergies, provide an outlet for news and ideas, and support joint research on the new security terrain.