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The securitization of development debate within the global governance literature: a critique

Lazell, Melita (2011) The securitization of development debate within the global governance literature: a critique University of Southampton, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, Doctoral Thesis , 267pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)


Since the late1990s, theorists have attempted to understand an apparent securitization of development within the policies produced by global governance networks and institutions (Beall et al., 2005; Duffield, 2007; Woods, 2005). The key assumptions central to much of the securitization of development debate are that; significant areas of the South are excluded from formal global economic networks, but are reintegrating through parallel economic activity; the discourses of security and development are linked by global governance institutions, such that significant areas of the South are conceived as an international security threat; the major agencies of global governance are unified through a liberal consensus, and pursue liberal change through the distribution of aid and through development programmes.

This research is concerned with the ways in which this debate aids our understanding of contemporary global governance, and its limitations. This theoretical and empirical evaluation takes a number of forms including: an analysis of the policy discourse of key global governance institutions; an examination of world economic trends; a statistical project investigating the distribution of development aid; and a case study of development programming.

This thesis argues that the securitization of development debate aids our understanding of global governance through its identification of both liberal societal transformation as a key rationale of global governance and the security development nexus as a central framework for North-South relations. It further provides important insights into the productive power of liberal global governance networks and develops a fruitful application of post-structural analysis to the problematic of global development.

This research also identifies theoretical and empirical limitations within this debate. In light of these, an approach is proposed which takes greater account of firstly, the structural dynamics of the global economy and secondly, the internal contradictions and complexities inherent within the discourses of global governance. The former would involve greater engagement with the literature that demonstrates a complex and varied picture of global economic expansion and contraction. This research further suggests that the effect of the axiom that there can be no development without security is ambiguous. And also argues that the suggestion that global governance pursues liberal change through the distribution of aid needs qualification. Finally, further analysis to determine the utility of engaging with the governmentality literature is proposed.

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Published date: November 2011
Organisations: University of Southampton, Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences


Local EPrints ID: 342183
PURE UUID: 62f65609-34bf-49a9-b64a-b08b0ab25fc9

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Date deposited: 14 Nov 2012 11:31
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 05:30

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Author: Melita Lazell
Thesis advisor: John Glenn
Thesis advisor: Tony McGrew
Thesis advisor: Caroline Thomas

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