The Centre for Critical Studies was incorporated in the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities in August 2015.

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Towards Global Security?

Thursday 7 August 2014, 5:30 - 6:30pm
The University of Queensland Art Museum (Building 11), St Lucia Campus [see map]

Click here for the audio recording


In international relations thought, security has traditionally been defined as the territorial preservation of the nation-state from (usually external) military threat. But such an understanding of security has been increasingly challenged on both normative and analytical grounds. On the former, the focus on states and their militaries has been criticized for its tendency to ignore the conditions of peoples’ welfare, justify militarization and encourage the moral exclusion of vulnerable outsiders. On the latter, this understanding appears increasingly inconsistent with changing patterns of warfare, while the most pressing contemporary security threats are increasingly transnational in scope, requiring transnational responses to them. From global climate change to WMD proliferation, disease to poverty, key existential threats in global politics demand new perspectives and practices. Dr McDonald will make a case for a cosmopolitan and genuinely global approach to security. He will outline what such an approach would look like in both theory and practice; ask whether such an approach is morally defensible in the context of particular forms of community and culturally-embedded values; and explore whether (and how) such an approach might find purchase in the practices and institutions of international security.


Matt McDonald is a Senior Lecturer in International Relations in the School of Political Science and International Studies at UQ. His research interests are primarily in the area of critical theoretical approaches to security and their application to environmental change, Australian foreign and security policy and Asia-Pacific security dynamics. He has published on these themes in a wide range of journals, and is the author of Security, the Environment and Emancipation (Routledge, 2012) and co-author (with Anthony Burke and Katrina Lee-Koo) of Ethics and Global Security (Routledge, 2014)

This lecture will be chaired by Professor Gay Hawkins
Members of the public are invited to attend this free seminar, after which light refreshments will be served.
Enquiries: Rebecca Ralph, Events Co-ordinator
P: (07) 3346 7407 | F: (07) 3365 7184 | E:
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