Energy securitization and desecuritization in the New Middle East

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19 Citations (Scopus)


This article uses the theoretical framework of securitization in order to analyse the concurrent developments of, on the one hand, the Arab Spring and the resulting ascendance of a New Middle East and North Africa and, on the other, the discovery of natural gas resources by a number of states in the region. Furthermore, we use these developments as tests of the theory, in the process highlighting a number of criticisms that have been levelled against securitization and that are exemplified by these recent empirical events. We examine the outcomes of the Arab Spring as a process of contestation and as an avenue for the promotion of alternative discourses through the emergence of new political actors, institutions and state relations in the region. At the same time, we identify the underexploration of energy securitization in the literature and the need for a cross-sectoral approach for the referent object of energy in the widened security agenda. Ultimately, the article presents the argument that each of the two sets of developments affects the other, thereby transforming the environment within which securitization and desecuritization may result.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-522
Number of pages16
JournalSecurity Dialogue
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


  • Arab Spring
  • energy security
  • natural gas
  • sectors
  • securitization


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