Barry Buzan’s Securitization Theory and the Case of Iraqi Kurdish Military Action Against ISIS in 2014
Volume 8, Issue 3 (2019), pp. 295–306
Pub. online: 30 March 2019 Type: Article Open Access
30 March 2019
30 March 2019
Barry Buzan’s thought has shaped constructivism and International Security Studies since the 1990s. In this paper, it is argued that ISS does insufficient justice to the case of the Iraqi Kurdish military counterattacks and wider societal mobilization against ISIS. The paper introduces the concepts of spontaneous and semi-spontaneous securitization, where the referent object of securitization is not the nation state or even the Kurdistan Region but the more traditionally defined community and its individual members, plus religiously or ethnically defined groups that are under the protection of the regionally dominant identity community. Worryingly, in Sunni Arab areas such as Mosul, insurrection and semi-spontaneous securitization has been an aspect to how ISIS captured that city. Further theoretical problems such as the securitization of immigration in Buzan’s theoretical framework, are exposed and applied to the case of ISIS and Iraqi Kurdistan. Research for this article took place during on the field visits to Erbil and the KRI in 2016 by the author and his team of HDF General Staff Scientific Research Centre.