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Ontological security and conflict : the dynamics of crisis and the constitution of community

  • Catarina Kinnvall
  • Jennifer Mitzen
Publishing year: 2018-08-06
Language: English
Pages: 825-835
Publication/Series: Journal of International Relations and Development
Volume: 21
Issue: 4
Document type: Journal article
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan

Abstract english

In an era defined by insecurity, uncertainty, and increasing anxieties, ontological security has proven to be a fruitful lens for analyzing world politics. This Special Issue joins other recent compilations, contributing to the growing research agenda on ontological security and insecurity in world politics. The articles herein conceptualize and apply ontological security at the international, transnational, and state levels, oriented around the broad themes of conflict and community. Behravesh and Greve draw on ontological security to shed critical light on the well-established IR concepts of revisionist states and security communities. Ejdus focuses attention on critical situations and eruptions of ontological insecurity at the collective level. Krolikowski and Solomon home in on the individual, examining how the state and how transnational affective currents play roles in ontological (in)security. Stepping back and reflecting on the range of insights from these diverse contributions, a powerful unifying theme emerges, namely, the sense that the search for ontological security can never be fulfilled but is a constant quest for something that will always, at every level, from the personal to the world political, remain out of reach: the complete, whole Self.


  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
  • critical situation
  • emotion
  • Ontological security
  • revisionism
  • security community


  • ISSN: 1408-6980
Catarina Kinnvall
E-mail: catarina [dot] kinnvall [at] svet [dot] lu [dot] se


Department of Political Science

+46 46 222 80 94

+46 72 542 00 15



Department of Political Science
Lund University
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Telephone: +46 46-222 89 52

Faculty of Social Sciences