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Critique of Security$
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Mark Neocleous

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748633289

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633289.001.0001

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‘The Supreme Concept of Bourgeois Society’: Liberalism and the Technique of Security

‘The Supreme Concept of Bourgeois Society’: Liberalism and the Technique of Security

Chapter:
(p.11) Chapter 1 ‘The Supreme Concept of Bourgeois Society’: Liberalism and the Technique of Security
Source:
Critique of Security
Author(s):

Mark Neocleous

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633289.003.0002

This chapter challenges the liberal treatment of security and liberty. Rather than a mythical liberal ‘balance’ between security and liberty, the chapter argues that liberalism has in fact always prioritised security over liberty. It has done so through the logic of ‘emergency’ and ‘prerogative’, which allow for liberties which are supposedly fundamental to be suspended in the name of security. The chapter thus offers a critique of the liberal tradition, by arguing that liberalism's driving principle is security, and that security has been central to liberal order-building.

Keywords:   Liberty and security, liberal order-building, emergency powers, prerogative

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