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Critical security studies is an academic discipline that advocates a social constructionist approach rather than a realist approach to security studies. In security studies, realism is a central school of thought that argues that individuals are self-centered beings whose behaviors must be kept in check by a security-focused state. Realism also holds that states are competitive and self-interested and must keep one another in check (e.g., the North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Alternatively, constructionists believe that reality is socially constructed; thus, security is formed through persuasion, culture, shared values, and social identities. There are three main schools of critical security studies: (1) the Critical Security Studies of the Welsh School (CSSWS), (2) the Paris School (CSSPS), and (3) the Copenhagen School (CSSCS). This entry compares and ...

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