The evolution of international security studies and the everyday: Suggestions from the Buffyverse

Christina Rowley, Jutta Weldes*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

68 Citations (Scopus)


Security studies is again reflecting on its origins and debating how best to study in/security. In this article, we interrogate the contemporary evolutionary narrative about (international) security studies. We unpack the myth's components and argue that it restricts the empirical focus of (international) security studies, limits its analytical insights, and constrains the sorts of interlocutors with whom it engages. We then argue that these limitations can at least partially be remedied by examining the performance of identities and in/securities in everyday life. In order initially to establish the important similarities between (international) security studies and the everyday, we trace elements of the evolutionary myth in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel - which both stand in for, and are, the everyday in our analysis. We then argue that the Buffyverse offers a complex understanding of (identities and) in/security as a terrain of everyday theorizing, negotiation and contestation - what we call the 'entanglement' of in/security discourses - that overcomes the shortcomings of (international) security studies and its myth, providing insights fruitful for the study of in/security. In conclusion, we briefly draw out the implications of our analysis for potential directions in (international) security studies scholarship and pedagogy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)513-530
Number of pages18
JournalSecurity Dialogue
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2012


  • international security studies
  • insecurity
  • identity
  • social construction
  • everyday
  • popular culture
  • Buffy
  • Angel


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