Accepted Paper:

Responses to insecurity: cultural identity as a key dimension of human security  
Edien Bartels (Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam)

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores questions of operationalising the concept of human security with the notion of cultural identity. Native inhabitants of the Netherlands and Muslim immigrants each use core values in defining themselves vis-à-vis the 'other'.

Paper long abstract:

<b>Co-authors: Kim Knibbe, Martijn de Koning, and Oscar Salemink</b></br>

This paper explores questions of operationalizing concepts as human security, securitisation in connection with the notion of cultural identity.

The new ethno-religious beliefs and practices rising in Western Europe, can be interpreted as attempts to reinvent community against the backdrop of the fragmentation and atomisation on the one side and the process of extensive immigration of the last forty years on the other side. Those processes are threatening social cohesion in western European. This is not to say that West European society now is necessarily more insecure than before, but that the process of creation of 'modern life' in a globalizing world with extensive immigration, create necessarily more insecurity than earlier life forms in the past. This can be said for native habitants as well as immigrants. It is in such conditions of flux and mobility, of settling new cultural groups, that attempts to create new collective forms of 'community security' can produce ethnic or religious conflicts. The central question in this paper is: how to operationalize the concept of security in relation to cultural identity.

Panel W021
Responses to insecurity: securitisation and its discontents