White Supremacy as an Existential Threat: A Response to Rita Floyd’s 'The Morality of Security: A Theory of Just Securitization'

European Journal of International Security 1:9-18 (2022)
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Rita Floyd’s "The Morality of Security: A Theory of Just Securitization" is an important and insightful book that delineates a theory of just securitization (modified from the jus ad bellum and jus in bello criteria in just war theory) involving three sets of principles governing the just initiation of securitization, just conduct of securitization, and just desecuritization. This book is a much-needed addition to the security studies and just war scholarship. Here, I explore the potential of Floyd’s just securitization theory (JST) to provide insights into the moral justifiability of non-state groups that are not political entities engaging in resistance against forms of structural violence that pose an existential threat to those groups. Using the case study of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the threat of white supremacy to African Americans as an illustrative example, I argue that structural forms of violence can meet Floyd’s definition of an objective existential threat, justifying the resort to securitization by groups such as BLM

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Jessica Wolfendale
Case Western Reserve University


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