Publics are an undertheorised and somewhat marginal presence in critical security studies. This article argues that a better understanding of publics can advance our understanding of the governance as well as the contestation of security regimes and practices. We develop this argument in three parts. First, we discuss the marginality of publics in critical security studies while highlighting those limited instances where publics have been engaged. Second, we direct attention to emerging research on publics in cognate disciplines, focusing in particular on the literature about material publics. We distil from this work some useful lessons for security studies. In a final section we suggest two research moves for promoting a stronger focus on publics within critical security studies. We conclude that a focus on material publics can furnish security studies with a better understanding of the phenomenon of politics.

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Millennium: Journal of International Studies
Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Walters, W, & D’Aoust, A.-M. (Anne-Marie). (2015). Bringing publics into critical security studies: Notes for a research strategy. Millennium: Journal of International Studies, 44(1), 45–68. doi:10.1177/0305829815594439