chapter  1
27 Pages

Aporias of security: From the Leviathan to the security state

What does it mean to be secure? Surely we know. We know that security is one of the most fundamental

human needs: an irrefutable guarantee of safety and well-being, economic assurance and possibility, sociability and order; of a life lived freely without fear or hardship. That security is a universal good available to all, and a solemn pledge between citizens and their political leaders, to whom their people’s security is ‘the first duty’, the overriding goal of domestic and international policy-making. As such it has been able to trace a powerful path between subject and world, state and citizen, to promise simultaneously a solution to the inchoate fears and insecurities of everyday life and the enormous spatial, cultural, economic and geopolitical complexities of government. In short, security remains one of modernity’s most stubborn and enduring dreams.