A New Paradigm on the Identity-Security Nexus in International Relations: Ontological Security Theory - Bahar RUMELILI and Umut Can ADISONMEZ



Bahar RUMELILI* and Umut Can ADISONMEZ**

Recently, Ontological Security Theory (OST) has found itself a significant place in the International Relations (IR) literature. The theory has provided scholars with a novel analytical framework to explain state behavior and to understand the socio-psychological dynamics underlying the production of a state’s self-image and self-narratives. Particularly, the OST has unsettled disciplinary assumptions regarding the primacy of physical security, and offered a framework to analyze the dialectical relationship between state and society in the making, (re)making and protecting of the state’s subjective sense of self. The primary aim of this article is to introduce the main arguments and research areas to Turkey’s IR community. Additionally, the drawbacks that emanate from the OST’s insufficient engagement with critical approaches to security and the extant literature on identity in IR are assessed.

Keywords: Ontological Security Theory, Self-image, Self-Narratives, Identity, State Behaviour


* Prof. Dr., Department of International Relations, Koc University

** Ph.D. Candidate, University of Kent