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Positieve veiligheid. Een theoretische analyse van een omstreden begrip

Tijdschrift Tijdschrift voor Veiligheid, Aflevering 2 2015
Trefwoorden Positieve veiligheid, geschiedenis, begripsanalyse, kritiek, ethiek
Auteurs Gerben Bakker
SamenvattingAuteursinformatie

    The concept of positive security appears more and more often in academic and public discussions. It presents a normative agenda for a non-repressive approach of security. In the article, it is claimed that the concept and its implications lack fundamental clarity. First of all, it is illustrated that the meaning of positive security primarily develops on the renouncement of negative security. Second, a historical comparison between the discipline of international relations and criminology discloses that different meanings have been assigned to positive security that seem at times at odds with each other. These frictions substantiate the view that it is problematic to accept positive security as an unequivocal recipe for change. Finally, the consequences of the disseminated structure of meaning are discussed in relation to the ambition of reform that positive security represents. For example, advocates of positive security do not seem eager to commit themselves to very clear normative views. This makes it difficult to really pin down what the suggested changes underlying positive security, are truly implying. Moreover, positive security invites us to extend the horizon of security politics to include various kinds of positive needs and values. But doesn’t this take us back to the initial criticism that the reach of the security concept has extended too much, covering virtually every aspect of life?


Gerben Bakker
Gerben Bakker is docent Integrale Veiligheidskunde aan de Haagse Hogeschool en promovendus aan de Erasmus Universiteit (vakgroep Filosofie van Mens en Cultuur).

    Preventive interventions against terrorist attacks can be justified on legal and moral grounds. The Dutch broad-based approach against terrorism also addresses radicalizations processes. It is, however, hard to justify why a government in a liberal democracy should be allowed to intervene in processes of radicalization where danger to society is not obvious. A reason to justify intervention is when a (former) radical asks for help. Theories based on the ideas of Kant and Rawls also allow for intervention if an individual’s autonomy is diminished because he is member of a sect or under the spell of a charismatic leader. Other interventions with regard to (prevention of) radicalization cannot be justified by deontological theories such as Kant’s and Rawls’. Virtue ethics or teleology would, however, allow interventions but only if they are geared towards helping the individual in their quest to the good life. This justification allows for interventions that are, for example, focused on supporting individuals to critically reflect, reason and discuss about the good life and a just society. Based on the teleological justification constraints can be derived for preventive interventions with regard to radicalization or even deradicalisation. Notice that individuals cannot be forced to join these programs because there is no legal basis.


Anke van Gorp
Dr. ir. Anke van Gorp is onderzoeker en hogeschooldocent Ethiek en Veiligheid aan de Hogeschool Utrecht, Integrale Veiligheidskunde, Faculteit FMR. E-mail: anke.vangorp@hu.nl

Arnold Roosendaal
Mr. Arnold Roosendaal is onderzoeker bij TNO, afdeling Strategy and Policy for the Information Society.

Ron van Wonderen
Drs. Ron van Wonderen is sociaal psycholoog en senior onderzoeker bij het Verwey-Jonker Instituut. E-mail: rvanwonderen@verwey-jonker.nl
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