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Seminar: Repost and Like: Securitization Theory in the Digital Age

Seminar: Repost and Like: Securitization Theory in the Digital Age - Natalia Umansky (UCD)

Venue: Due to recent events, we will be holding the seminars online. Please join the seminar at https://zoom.us/j/534189674?pwd=RHJPaWx5Y0JmOVl1MjNLTVNudVFlQT09

Date: 15 April 2020

14:00-15:00 - Connected_Politics Seminar: Network-arranged securitization

Abstract: Securitization scholarship has overly focused on the political elites and the institutional realm. To counter this neglect, this article addresses the need to integrate non-elite actors and the everyday 'little security nothings' (Huysmans 2011) into the analysis by offering a reconceptualization of securitization in network terms. To gain insight into this framework, the study provides a first excavation of securitization on social media. Contenting that securitization can also develop in non-institutional spheres, the article argues that platforms like Twitter present unique opportunities to explore securitization as a network process. Thus, the study contributes to the literature by developing conceptual and methodological approaches that allow the identification of securitization processes online, making visible the security practices that were not previously detectable. Drawing from the critical tradition, the study first conceives securitization as a network-arranged process. It then employs quantitative text analysis (QTA) techniques to produce fine-grained content analyses of the Twitter messages shared by politicians and governmental institutions, advocates, the media, and citizens on Twitter in the months leading up to the 45th G7 summit. The results demonstrate that securitization can develop in non-institutional spheres like social media as a network of repeated, mundane, routinized, and banal securitizing acts, which are generated by elite and non-elite actors. Moreover, the study reveals that QTA tools, such as sentiment analysis and topic modelling, can produce reliable indicators to operationalize securitization.

Speaker: Natalia Umansky is a PhD candidate in the School of Politics and International Relations at UCD. She is also Lab Manager at the Connected_Politics Lab. Broadly, her research focuses on international relations, international security, social media, and quantitative text analysis.