(Seizure; 03-03; p.4)
The securitisation of politics?
Political scientists always focus on forms of
power projection and their legitimisation. Different methods are
applied to that end. Especially the so called Copenhagen school's
way is rather helpful to explain the current differences in developments
in the USA and at least Germany (cf. for the following: Buzan,
B, Wæver, O and de Wilde, J: Security: a new framework for analysis.
Boulder (Colorado) and London 1998).
The main achievement of this method is to differentiate
between topics that are processed "politically" and
topics that are processed "securitised"; such, it is
about processes of communication in the field of security politics.
"Securitisation" therefore can be
defined as a special process of communication:
• a topic is presented as an existential threat that allows to
break agreed rules in regard to another actor in a security complex;
• a significant audience accepts the topic as existential threat
and extraordinary measures to overcome it;
• thereby the topic is lifted out of the usual political process
- characterised by rule-abiding, choices-allowing and argument-debating
processing - and into the sphere of "security" (cf.
ibid., p. 25f.).
An analysis of this kind thus does not that
much examine realist's power balances but the formulation and
acceptance of perceptions in the field of security politics (cf.
Applying this to the processes of communication
in Germany in respect to the Iraq war, one finds clearly that
neither foreign nor German - if they ever intended to do so -
politicians or media-makers succeeded in transforming the topic
into a "security issue".
The contrary has to be feared in regard to the
USA: the presidential war declaration as well as the pre-war statements
of the Bush-supporters presented the topic as threat to national
security that allows even the breaking of international agreements,
treaties and a breech - according to the argumentation of respected
specialists in international law - of the binding regulations
of the United Nations Charta.
The activities of some media-makers were at least not in the way
of the Bush-supporters, even if it must be stated that an analysis
from a distance cannot but provide hints and no full-scale picture.
One may nevertheless hope that the Bush-supporters do no longer
succeed in presenting political as security issues.
(end of article)