The Concept Of Security Criminology Essay

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The concept of security has been a subjected to significant debate in recent decades. These has taken multiple directions, which have broadened and deepened the security debate by involving economic, political and social aspects of security policies and management procedures. Security discourses have caused problems on governmental and non-governmental levels for years. The end of the Cold War has transformed the understanding of security radically. This has generated numerous reflections and discussions on the nature of threat/security due to the change of the global power balance. Security is not a fixed concept. It has been diversified extensively as it has changed from being seen as a distinct defence mechanism to obtain a central position in everyday life. This shift has challenged the dominate understanding of security in International Relations and Security Studies. The development into the current risk-based security paradigm marks yet another shift. This development has caused trouble in the security-debate as a wide number of academics seem to be trapped in the traditional perception of threat rather than using the concept of risk. This asymmetry between theory and reality into the security discussion stalls the development of a comprehensive security framework, which can over-take the threat-security based theories developed in the Post-Cold War era.

In the current security paradigm, risk-management has obtained a central position. Alternative forms of governance have been introduced and developed to manage security risks in a wider context than seen before. Security risks are constantly transforming. Due to their uncertain nature, risks cannot be eliminated, only managed. [1] Hence, risk-security strategies are imposed to reduce the opportunities for risks to mutate into actual threats. The recent security paradigm involves the concept of risk as the key parameter. This involves proactive and reactive strategies with an early action point, and an extended use of prevention, precaution and pre-emption is the preferred management tools. This is a result of the transformation from the Post-Cold War security-policies to the global risk-security governance-structure, where security has changed from being a defence-mechanism to a constant risk-management concern on every level in society (discussed in part one). Non-military and military risks have an equal position in this paradigm, and the managements are based on risk-perception and risk-assessment.

The tendency in security policy-making and governance-structures goes towards a strong risk-management structure on a case-by-case basis. These security formations require a high level of transformability and reflexivity to cover the constant changing processes. This creates a reflexive-nodal structure where knowledge and techniques can be exchanged, and a variety of preventive/precautionary actions and strategies can be designated on multiple levels. Cyber space crimes (cybercrime, cyberwarfare, and cyberterrorism) are clear examples of transnational risks that require new forms of security management as they target the public and private sector as well as, groups and individuals (discussed in part three). To manage unlawful cyber space crimes, a heterarchical system is developed to organization completed with a number of overlapping, and/or divergent-but-coexistent nodes are established to minimize risks and maximize resilience towards cyber-attacks. This calls for dialogue between sectors. The security framework for this thesis is created upon nodal-reflexive structures that involve multiple actors on different levels. I have investigated security from a different perspective to capture the core elements of the concept in order to create an analytical framework that mirrors the security threats in the 21st century.

The Aim and Scope

This thesis examines the evolution of security in order to introduce a security-framework useful to the current research agenda. Moreover, it develops analytical tools for managing global risks in the years to come. The overall aim is to introduce risk-management to Security Studies and describe the mechanism involved in networked security structures and measures. The security agenda is created upon an increasingly complex architecture of international actors and procedures engaging in global security governance. Security-management includes different types of cooperation, and network-based security nodes, which involves a strong interactive structure of security actors needs to be established. These cooperative networks' primary aim is to create a framework for developing rules, practices and processes based on the concept of risk. This involves security actors from the global level down to the local level with the key focus on the regional dimension. This is central to the arguments brought forward throughout this research, and the need for creating a comprehensive analytical framework that updates the security discussions by mirror reality on the tactical and operational level. The changes in security policy and governance structures in an international context are essential to this thesis, as globalization has strongly influenced the increased use of risk and security on behalf of the traditional threat-security tandem. Moreover, globalization has generated the shift in security management, as a huge number of risks requires cooperation across borders and sectors. The aim is to establish the risk-security paradigm and to develop and prove the usefulness of the flexible risk-security framework. The purpose is to investigate and discuss security interdisciplinary in order to outline security structures in the current security paradigm using risk as the main concept. I have used the theoretical foundation of this research (Part I) to identify the important mechanisms used in contemporary security policies, processes and practices to develop analytical tools (Part II). This analytical approach is being applied to cyber space crimes in a substantive analysis (Part III).

The scope of this thesis is to develop an analytical framework workable in a wide context. I have focused on security structures in the 21st century based on risk-management. Autonomy of the national state in relation to security threats/risks is no longer possible. The threat/risk has a transboundary nature. This calls for an enhanced form of cooperation as the management procedures are entwined beyond the national state. Additional, the state is no longer the sole provider of security as the threats/ risks are omnipotent on multiple levels, which concern governmental and non-governmental security actors. Hence, it is important to discuss security from a transnational and cross-sectored perspective. I have discussed the risk-security framework in a regional context, i.e. the European Union with an outreach to other key actors and international organisations (transnational and cross-sectored).

Europe has for centuries been in the centre of armed conflicts and wars. Therefore, security measures have been essential. However, the region has been relative stabile since the end of WWII - and in particular, since the end of the Cold War. Therefore, the European region has been able to create substantial security structures on multiple levels, which makes this area useful to develop a new analytical framework. However, in the current security paradigm, security risks can have both a governmental and non-governmental foundation. Sectors, organisations, individuals are no longer separated, as traditionally boundaries are eliminated in society, which are reflected in security structures and nodes. I have limited the research of the case-studies by focusing mostly on the regional dimension. Thereby, I leave out a broad investigation of the national and local dimension, as national-security structures cannot act independently in relation to cyber crime. To counter cyber crime a strong from of cooperation is required, as these unlawful activities are not limited to one jurisdiction alone; cyber space knows no fixed boundaries as those in reality. It is created virtual in a parallel world where traditional rules and governance structures does not apply. However, it is still important to make a strong link between international, regional, national and local security nodes in the risk-security framework, as the security threats has an significant impact on the local/national community when they occur locally, i.e. the 9/11 terrorism attacks in New York and Washington D.C. have a serious impact locally, but it also has the wider impact on the global scale, as it changed the security paradigm to involve exceptional measures and precautionary strategies. The Madrid and London Bombings had equally important an outreach outside the local/ national framework, as the security level was strengthened, and a large number of security measures were introduced to manage the risks - in particular in the European region. Other examples are to be found in transnational crimes, or/ and in relation to political, societal or economical areas, where the risk, danger, disaster have serious local impacts, but where proactions or reactions involve multiple actors in a spatial context. In the European region, national security is entwined with the security framework of the European Union, the Council of Europe and NATO, etc. This makes domestic security indirect a product of a broader security structure.

This research contains a comparison between securitization and risk-management. Although, there are other influential security concepts', i.e. military studies, peace theory, gender theory, and Critical Security Studies, which all have important elements useful for specific discussions, related to key security concepts. I have used securitization as is share some of the same parameters as the risk-based framework. Moreover, they both have a broad approach. Therefore, they are applicable to a wide range of key security areas in an interdisciplinary context. Other security theories and studies have a specific application, which would have limited the research. A narrow application of security will be insufficient to establish the current security paradigm where transnational and cross-sectored elements are central. In the new analytical framework, it is not the subject which is important, but how the risk of a particular issue is managed through processes and practices. In addition, the development of a new security framework originates from the previous security paradigm, where securitization is the main theory due to the extended use of exceptional measures that circumvent democratic processes. Risk-security brings security processes back to the politicized area.

There are a huge number of contemporary challenges to security, which I could have involved in my case-studies. I could have discussed international arms trade, nuclear and biometric threats, health threats, environmental threats, counter-terrorism, peace-operations and humanitarian interventions, transnational organized crimes, paedophilia and child-pornography, trafficking, illegal immigration drugs, private security, economic and societal threats, etc. The list is endless involving security issues to which the analytical risk-security framework is applicable. However, I have chosen to focus on two interlinked areas; Cyber space crimes and cyberterrorism, as these areas are rapidly developing and constitute a growing risk on multiple levels. Moreover, they are global security challenges on both governmental and non-governmental levels, as traditional security measures are not applicable in the virtual world. This requires a new analytical framework as the current framework is insufficient to counter the risks.

Importance of this Research

The central aim of this thesis is to add a new perspective to existing knowledge about the recent security paradigm and the extended use of risk. This thesis makes two original contributions, which significant improves the understanding by establish and describe the current security paradigm based on risk. Therefore, this research is unique in two main areas. Firstly, it provides originality through a theoretical analysis by developing a risk-security framework. Secondly, it contributes to the novelty through a substantial analysis of cyber security focusing on an emerging and underdeveloped area in the two case-studies, i.e. cyber space crime and cyber terrorism.

From that observation, this thesis is created upon the innovative development of a new analytical security structure that goes beyond established security theories based on the threat-security tandem. Firstly, throughout the thesis, I will critically examine the development of security and the previous use of securitization to establish the security paradigm based on risk-management. This research has a wider reach than to analyses and describes the current security paradigm. As mentioned above, the thesis is also innovative in its development of a new security framework based on interactions between security actors in a transnational and cross-sectored context. This analytical framework opens up for a completely new interpretation of the current security paradigm. This makes this research useful and highly topical. The new and groundbreaking approach lies in the development of an analytical framework, which includes three identified areas. These are: transnational and cross-sectored cooperation, security agents, and the development of rules, practices and processes. The latter part includes governmental rules, technical regulation, education and awareness raising and self-defence/ self-regulation. This is illustrated through figures and drawings throughout the thesis. The framework fills out a gap in International Relations and Security Studies, where the theoretical development has failed to move beyond the threat-security tandem. The analytical framework of the present is inadequate to cover the security threats in the 21st century. New measures are needed to create a sustainable framework. The extended use of risk in management strategies and measures creates a challenge which theories so far have failed to accommodate. Risk-management is essential to everyday life as risk is constantly perceived and assessed on multiple levels. What is ground-breaking in this thesis is to discuss risk as a central plank for security by analyzing risk-management as a security mechanism.

The substantial analysis is based on an area which constitutes a growing concern world-wide. Cyber space crime and cyber terrorism is largely an under-researched area - especially in a regional context. The research is innovative as it concerns cyber space crimes in the European Region. I have discussed cyber crime in relation to major organizations in the region, such as the European Union, Council of Europe, and NATO. I have specified my research in the second case-study, where I discuss cyberterrorism, which can develop into a major challenge for security institutions in both a governmental and non-governmental context. Moreover, the research critically discusses two new European security agencies i.e. such as the European Network and Information Security Agency, and the European Public-Private Partnership for Resilience. These two areas have not attracted much attention from scholars. Yet, it has caught attention on the political level. Additional, it constitutes a growing tactical and operational concern, which needs to be addressed, as the previous security framework is incompatible with this type of security risks. Therefore, it is a useful area to investigate in order to develop a security framework in line with the requirements of the 21st century. Moreover, it has to be applicable in both the public and private domain as both sectors are equally at risk. Yet, this research subject provides an important opportunity for applying the theoretical framework to a substantive analysis, which makes this research innovative.

Research Question

The research question is divided into two parts. There is one primary question (general research question), which has an overall purpose to frame the research by investigate security problems and analysis in the 21st century. To support this question, I have developed three questions (specific research questions) that are used to direct the research through its three parts. The first question aims to establish to what extents existing security theories and analytical frameworks are useful in the current security paradigm. The second question accommodates the theoretical analysis to develop the new risk-security framework. Then third question is directed towards the substantial analysis where the risk-security framework is applied to a specific security area, i.e. cyber space crime and cyberterrorism. To create a natural flow throughout the thesis, these questions need to be addressed and answered in succession to create an ongoing and topical discussion on the concept of risk in Security Studies, which progresses from a historical perspective to the development of an analytical framework for the recent security paradigm. The main emphasis in this research is on the European region. This region has a long tradition of cooperation between countries and different organisations. This creates a framework with multiple layers of cooperation (transnational and cross-sectored), which are important in the security paradigm developed in the 21st century. This is one area, where the recent security framework is distinct from previous paradigms, and where the European region has been in the forefront of the development due to the historical position (see chapter two).

Primary Research Question

How is security managed in the 21st century?

Sub Question

Specific Research Question


What defines security in the 21st century?


What is involved in the analytical framework of risk-security?


Is the risk-security framework applicable to current security risks i.e. cyber space crimes and cyber terrorism?


The methodology in this research derives from various academic sources, as I will examine risk and security through an interdisciplinary approach. The recent security paradigm goes beyond the securitization theory by focus on an enhanced use of risk on behalf of threats. To do so, a number of different techniques and managing forms are being involved and developed to face the challenge of future risks. This involves a reflexive form of governance based on cooperation in an international, regional, national and local context. The focus is on security cooperation, where the different security partners can share relevant information about; technical developments, threats, vulnerabilities and security. This perspective involves a number of academic disciplines, sources and approaches.

The theoretical framework in this thesis crosses disciplinary boundaries, and the use of interdisciplinary research techniques seeks to deepen the understanding of the topic by involving political, sociological, and legal research areas. By having a broad approach, I open up to multiple research areas in the future that originates from this discussion instead of narrow it down to one discipline with limited application. The arguments used and the development of a flexible risk-security framework are directed towards socio-legal research and policy analysis based on the interpretation of practical and policy-oriented areas of security. It is content-based, which broaden up the research agenda by involving a wide range of knowledge coming from various sources. Due to the fact that I describe the current risk-security paradigm, different security events has obtained a prominent position in the discussion, which also has sharpened the outline of this thesis i.e. from terrorism to the risk of cyber space. Yet, the model used is so broad it is applicable to other cross-border security problems i.e. money laundering, trafficking, child pornography/paedophilia rings, drugs, smuggling.

Without any doubt, the C.S's groundbreaking theory on security/ securitization has a prominent position in this research (this theory will be discussed throughout this thesis). [2] Their work within Security Studies has been essential to the security debate as it was innovative and widened up the security agenda by involve non-military security issues. Moreover, it describes the security strategies in the previous security paradigm dealing with exceptional measures outside the normal democratic processes. Yet, the extended use of risk in the current security paradigm involves a wide number of proactive measures, which calls for a new security framework. A wide number of academics have developed the concept of risk i.e. Douglas and Wildavsky, Lupton, Beck, Garland, O'Malley. What is new is the involvement of risk on behalf of threat in the security-tandem. Risk-management as a concept has undergone a transformation during the last decade, but is yet to be recognized as a security theory. It is significant, that the risk-management has not yet been conceptualized similar to the securitization theory [3] and brought into an analytical framework. However, there are movements among academics to do so, i.e. Vedby Rasmussen, [4] Neal, [5] Van Munster and Aradau, [6] Corry, [7] and Coker. [8] These have, so far, done important research on this in relation to security and risk-management, which lay out the foundation for this research and my development of the flexible risk-security framework. The new direction of this thesis aims to implement the concept of risk in the recent security paradigm, and thereby give risk-management the position it deserves in the security debate. The findings in the case-studies back up the discussion about the security paradigm shift, and the conclusion outlines further research areas.


The primary research question is the main guideline for this research. However, the PhD thesis is divided into three parts, which each is linked to the sub-research questions. The first part outlines the development of security since World War I until now. Then I have focused on the theoretical framework to ground the development of the flexible risk-security framework. In part two, I discuss and compare the securitization theory and the extended focus on risk-management as a governance form. The analytical framework is developed from this discussion. Moreover, I have identified three major areas, which is essential for the framework i.e. cooperation, security actors and rules, practices and processes. These areas are tested in third part of the thesis as the framework is being applied to two case-studies. These case-studies are: cyber space crime and cyberterrorism. I have chosen these areas, as they are interlinked, they have a transnational and cross-sectored dimension, and they belong to an emerging security area, which makes them highly topical. Although, this area is considered very important, it is an underestimated and underdeveloped research area. By discussion cyber crime and cyberterrorism, this reseach contributes to the originality of this thesis.

The overall structure and the three parts follow this outline:





The Concept of Security. The Theoretical Framework

This part grounds the theoretical analysis by outlining important elements for the security discussion:

A historical summary of the development in security.

A discussion concerning the two schools on security.

A discussion concerning the concept of risk, and the use of preventive measures.


Beyond the Securitization Theory.

Conceptualize the Flexible Risk-Security Framework.

This part is dedicated to the original analytical framework. It examine and develop:

A comparison between the use of securitization and risk-management.

A flexible risk-security framework.



Applying the Analytical Framework.

This part concerns the substantive element of the thesis. This part contains the application of the flexible risk-security framework to:

Cyber space crime.


The individual chapters follow this structure:

Parts/ Chapters



Chapter 1


Introducing the topic and the research.

Part I

The Concept of Security. The Theoretical Framework.

Research Question One.

Chapter 2

Security. The Development of the Security Agenda.

This chapter involves:

A brief discussion about International Relations and Security Studies.

The definitions of threat and security.

A historical examination of the development of security. This discussion is divided into six security paradigms.

Chapter 3

Conceptualizing Security. The Past and the Present Security Paradigm.

This chapter establishes the theoretical framework.

The Copenhagen School on Peace and Conflict, and its focus on securitization.

The Paris School on Security, and its focus on governmentality.

Discussion about nodal governance and reflexivity: Nodal-reflexivity.

Chapter 4

The Concept of Risk.

The chapter outlines the concept of risk:

The definition of risk.

Risk-theories and perspectives.

The extended use of proaction and reaction.

Risk-management techniques.

Preventive measures: prevention, precaution and pre-emption.

Part II

Beyond the Securitization Theory.

Conceptualize the Flexible Risk-Security Framework.

Research Question Two.

The original theoretical analysis.

Chapter 5

Beyond the Securitization Theory.

Introducing Risk-Management in the Security Paradigm.

This chapter compares securitization and risk-management:

Securitization and risk-security in the security spectrum.

Differences and similarities between the two concepts.

Chapter 6

The Flexible Risk-Security Framework.

This chapter develops the framework based on:



Security actors.

Rules, practices and processes.

Part III


Applying the Analytical Framework to Cyber Space Crime and Cyber Terrorism.

Research Question Three.

The original substantive analysis.

Chapter 7

Cyber Space Crime and the Flexible Risk-Security Framework.

This chapter investigates:

Cyber space crimes.

European region as a model.

International cooperation.

Proactive and reactive measures.


Security actors.

Rules, practices and processes.

Chapter 8

Cyber-Attacks and Cyberterrorism; an Emerging Security Risk.

This chapter investigates:

A special area within cyber space crimes i.e. cyberterrorism:

The European region.

Critical infrastructure and computer technologies.

Cooperation. the main focus: transnational cooperation and cross-sectored cooperation in the European Union.

Security actors.

Rules, practices and processes.

Chapter 9


This chapter involves:

Outline of the research.

Concludes on the findings and outline recommendations.

Outline future research areas.