ABSTRACT

The detonation of the first nuclear weapon and, in particular, the time two superpowers obtained nuclear capabilities were two other such moments. In both debates, academic literature mirrored the political understanding that something fundamental had changed in the security landscape. Previous evaluations of insecurities were considered to be either no longer relevant or in need of adaptation in light of new insecurities. Exceptionalist securitising is a particular technique of enacting insecurities. It combines existentialising challenges as matters of survival, with intensifying the implementation and contest of exceptionalist political practice that transgresses instituted and habitual democratic modes of politics. If securitising exists in much more decentred, unbound relations, the democratic stakes in relation to security are changing. The political stake of security unbound is then not simply democratically reinstating limits to security practice but also reinventing what a democratic politics can be that can bear upon highly dispersed and low-intensity security practice.