Engaging Adorno: Critical security studies after emancipation (2013)
in: Security dialogue, Volume 44, Issue 1, p. 37-51
Even though its focus on emancipation purposefully intends to build upon the intellectual legacy of the Frankfurt School, critical security studies has thus far only interpreted the Frankfurt tradition in a circumscribed manner. That is to say, it selectively drew on some concepts from critical theory that are most associated with Jürgen Habermas and Axel Honneth. However, as a result of this emphasis, Booth and Wyn Jones – the original proponents of critical security studies – give too little attention to thinkers such as Theodor W. Adorno. This article demonstrates that a re-engagement with Adorno's work not only provides a more complete appraisal of the Frankfurt School's thought, but also might reinvigorate critical security studies as a 'critical' approach to security. It proposes that such a result can be achieved by employing Adorno's ethics of resistance and through the development of the philosophical construct of a constellation of security.