Plots of Peril: Narratives of Vulnerability and the Imagination of (in)Security

Alan Klæbel Weisdorf

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article critically investigates the objectivist concept of 'security' whether in traditional or critical security studies. Starting from an Augustinian conception of human time, the article investigates the epistemological question of how people make sense of future being. This is a critical question in discussions of security. It is exactly future 'existence' that is presented as perilous in security discourses. This article argues that it is not some future realities that prompt insecurity, but rather the different narratives people internalise that present them with threats and solutions. In this perspective, security should be seen as embedded in a self-referential system of meaning, rather than as a function of some ontological condition. The narrative perspective on security provides a critical platform for ethical inquiry into the 'necessities' so often presented to shield security discourses from critique.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Human Security
Issue number1
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2008

Cite this