Means of Advancing Militarism: Shock, Ideology and Ethos

Willem de Lint

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


‘Security creep’, alongside the not quite synonymous ‘securitisation’ and ‘militarisation’, is often used to denote the phenomenon by which norms and routines associated with the institution of the military colonise or occupy the public sphere of liberal democratic policy and practice. The mechanism by which militarism becomes relatively more prolific in the ethos, including the routines or practices and rationalities of liberal democracies, is not easy to pinpoint. Surges in militarism—and its sister concept, authoritarianism—may appear almost anywhere, arising and overtaking public and private space sometimes as if by magic, mostly only briefly as a perceived necessity arises and then falls away. But it is often associated with a surge in xenophobic sentiment and anxiety that swells and wanes with the relative specificity and perceived proximity of a ‘security’ threat. It is therefore the objective of this analysis to underline the importance to the swelling of militarism of that specificity. I argue that militarism arrives by means of a suitable event that can be connected to both a suitable narrative or ordering principle and cultural identification or affect...
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCriminologies of the Military
Subtitle of host publicationMilitarism, National Security and Justice
EditorsBen Wadham, Andrew Goldsmith
Place of PublicationOxford UK
Number of pages22
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5-0990-487-7, 978-1-5-0990-488-4
ISBN (Print)978-1-5-0990-486-0
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • militarism
  • militarisation
  • securitisation
  • geopolitics
  • liberal democracies
  • political ideologies


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