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How to be Critical of Security Today? Life in Motion, Untimeliness and the Critique of End-Thinking

In: Political Anthropological Research on International Social Sciences (PARISS)
Author:
Jef Huysmans School of Politics and International Relations, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

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Abstract

This article starts from the observation of intense political mobilisations of existential endings. One of the defining challenges for critical engagements with such mobilisations remains how to take war, environmental degradation and pandemics seriously without making existential end-times the conditions that define the present. The article proposes to move beyond critical knowledge that makes security contingent and engage with the conception of life inscribed in the mobilisations of existential endings. It puts forward a concept of life that emphasises continuous movement rather than defining it from the perspective of its inevitable end in death. This point of view challenges traditional existential notions of life and death, highlighting instead the dynamic and transformative nature of life itself.

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