The normative security dilemma in making sense of the Kremlin
Journal of international relations and development, 2023, OnlineFirst
BRATTVOLL, Joakim, The normative security dilemma in making sense of the Kremlin, Journal of international relations and development, 2023, OnlineFirst - https://hdl.handle.net/1814/76007
Retrieved from Cadmus, EUI Research Repository
Since Russia’s warfare against Ukraine began in 2014, there has been an increasing tendency within NATO-countries to pinpoint and bundle together internal ‘enemies’ with one external enemy: Russia. This confation of science and politics may confront scholars with what Huysmans (2002) calls the ‘normative security dilemma of writing security’: when scholars sensitive to how ‘security talk’ can have unfortune consequences themselves become part of the threat constructions they seek to tone down. This paper asks what epistemic consequences this ‘knowledge for war’ might have and the extent to which scholars can, and should, do anything to counter these tendencies. Drawing on illustrations from discussions between Norwegian scholars in the prelude and immediate aftermath of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the paper’s point of departure is a debate on what explanations were deemed as apologetic towards Putin. The paper then moves on to discuss the epistemic politics entailed in a ‘knowledge for war’ and argues that that the tendency to look for inner enemies can contribute to precluding certain scholarly explanations. Finally, the contribution considers how scholars may re-present Russian narratives in ways that avoids reproducing the Kremlin’s war propaganda.
Published online: 02 November 2023
Cadmus permanent link: https://hdl.handle.net/1814/76007
Full-text via DOI: 10.1057/s41268-023-00312-3
ISSN: 1408-6980; 1581-1980
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
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