Ontological security, circulations of affect, and the Arab Spring

Solomon, T. (2018) Ontological security, circulations of affect, and the Arab Spring. Journal of International Relations and Development, 21(4), pp. 934-958. (doi: 10.1057/s41268-017-0089-x)

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Ontological security research in International Relations (IR) generally argues that agents pursue both physical security and a secure sense of self. However, insofar as this work focuses on agents’ stabilising routines, this article asks what may be gained by shifting the focus to the wider settings within which this occurs. What analytical purchase may be gained by re-focusing the study of ontological security not strictly on subjects, but on agents’ broader affective environments? Drawing together insights from philosophy, cultural studies, and geography, the article contends that ‘circulations of affect’ can reinforce agents’ sense of security within cognitively unstable environments that are typically viewed as inducing insecurity. In this sense, tracing transpersonal circulations of affect positions ontological security within the broader social processes out of which security-seeking subjects are formed. The empirical purchase of these concepts is illustrated through an analysis of articulations of security and subjectivity in the Arab Spring uprisings.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Solomon, Dr Ty
Authors: Solomon, T.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JZ International relations
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Politics
Journal Name:Journal of International Relations and Development
Publisher:Palgrave MacMillan
ISSN (Online):1581-1980
Published Online:08 May 2017
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Ltd
First Published:First published in Journal of International Relations and Development 21(4):934-958
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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