From Copenhagen to Uri and across the Line of Control : India's 'Surgical Strikes' as a Case of Securitisation in Two Acts

Kapur, Saloni (2018) From Copenhagen to Uri and across the Line of Control : India's 'Surgical Strikes' as a Case of Securitisation in Two Acts. Global Discourse, 8 (1). pp. 62-79. ISSN 2326-9995

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This article sets out to critique India’s security discourse surrounding the ‘surgical strikes’ of September 2016, using the theoretical framework provided by securitisation. It aims to answer two central questions: First, can securitisation theory provide fresh empirical insights on India’s conflict with Pakistan over Jammu and Kashmir that have been overlooked by more traditional approaches to security studies? Secondly, in what way can this case further our understanding of securitisation and thus contribute to the development of the theory? In this article, I have argued that, much like a two-act play, India’s securitisation of the Pakistani threat occurred in two distinct (speech) acts. The first illocutionary move preceded the extraordinary measure of Indian troops crossing the Line of Control separating Indian- and Pakistani-administered Jammu and Kashmir. The second speech act followed this action and occurred when the Indian state uttered the words ‘surgical strikes.’ This defies securitisation theory’s chronological structure, which posits that the speech act always precedes the implementation of an exceptional measure. Secondly, I suggest that the Copenhagen School’s emphasis on the subjective nature of security and on the normative preferability of de-securitisation offers valuable insights on the empirical stalemate that is the Kashmir conflict.

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Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Global Discourse
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Global Discourse on 15/02/2018, available online:
?? securitisationde-securitisationcopenhagen schoolnon-westernsouth asiaindiapakistankashmir ??
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20 Dec 2017 09:00
Last Modified:
15 Jul 2024 17:24