This collection of essays is divided in two parts. In the first part, security is considered from a theoretical angle, as a phenomenon that has become an integral part of modern society and inevitably interacts with law in many ways. The aim of the authors’ analyses is to emphasise the ambiguity of the notion of security and its tendency to expand and affect simultaneously different fields of law.
Depending on the adopted approach, security can be understood in many different terms and through various concepts: inter alia through exceptionality, from a constructivist viewpoint, or as human security. Whereas for example, an ‘existential’ approach takes risk and danger as a fact of life and is based on the assumption of the fragility of the human condition, leading to traditional and military understandings of security, a constructivist approach regards security as a discursive speech act enabling criticism of security claims. Analysing security in connection with law highlights both tensions and contradictions. From classical analyses on states of emergency to new conceptualizations of security as a specific dimension within the process of European integration (‘the European Security Constitution’), legal approaches to security and law today are facing many paradoxes and challenges.
The second part of the book considers some of these security dilemmas in two specific areas of law: human rights and criminal law. Here, the authors address the militarisation of the fight against terrorism, the distinction between administrative and penal sanctions, the limits of intelligence activities and the scope of criminalisation.
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