Informit article: The delusions of security

While selected articles are available in full on this website, all Arena Quarterly, Arena Magazine and Arena Journal articles are available for purchase in PDF format from Informit.


There is no political value more corrosively deployed in democratic politics today than security. The allure of security, both global and domestic, has paved the way to war with no end in sight. Under its blandishments, we have entertained torture and rendition. In quest of its mercies, we incarcerate the innocent and victimise the vulnerable in regimes of detention that are deliberately hidden from public scrutiny. In its name, we have acquiesced in the transformation of citizenship, the foundation on which democratic government is supposed to rest, into a conditional gift from governments increasingly subservient to populist neuroses. The paradox at the heart of democratic politics today is that, as we recoil from the horrors of insecurity, we are driven ever closer to the terrors of security.

Details / PDF:

The full-text PDF of this article can be purchased from Informit.

Support Arena

Independent publications and critical thought are more important than ever. Arena has never relied on or received government funding. It has sustained its activities largely through the voluntary work and funding provided by editors and supporters. If Arena is to continue and to expand its readership, we need your support to do it.