An underlying change in public policy and political discourse has been reinforced by rapid growth in security agents, including large numbers of private contractors, pundits and experts, and this has been mirrored by a growth in academic interest since the end of the Cold War. At the core of the security studies literature, therefore, are a set of fundamental tensions between ‘normal’ and ‘security’ politics; who labels what and when; the nature of security boundaries; the positive and negative effects of labelling existential threats. The expansion of interest in security has not really clarified the core subject of security itself. The wide variety of approaches used, each applying a different conceptual lens, has produced a vast literature that has as its only real consistency an inability to define what ‘security’ actually means. The widening of security and its political implications has been accompanied by a deepening of security that refers to changes in the referent object of security itself.