Failure and Critique in Critical Security Studies

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Debates imitates scholarship, which imitates debate. Using perspectives from both my policy debate career and my research career, this article argues that the enterprise of critique, whether in critical security studies or elsewhere, is always and already failing and failed. It proceeds in four sections. The first section sets up my entry into the problems of/with critique. The second section analyzes the types of dissonances inherent in the production of critical security studies scholarship. The third section theorizes those dissonances as failures – arguing that failure itself is a part of in and of critical security studies. The conclusion discusses where to go from, during, and in a world of failed critique in critical security studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-94
Number of pages18
JournalSecurity Dialogue
Issue number1
Early online date23 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • failure
  • critique
  • critical security
  • critical theory
  • international relations
  • international relations theory
  • security
  • security studies

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