Introduction to 2018 special issue: Ontological (in)security in the European Union

Catarina Kinnvall, Ian Manners, Jennifer Mitzen

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial Issue (editor)peer-review


The European Union (EU) faces many crises and risks to its security and existence. While few of them threaten the lives of EU citizens, they all create a sense of anxiety and insecurity about the future for many ordinary Europeans. Amongst these crises are the more obvious challenges of sovereign debt and fiscal austerity; refugees from conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria; and the rise of populist far-right parties across Europe. But behind these challenges lie less visible insecurities about economic prospects, social wellbeing, and a widespread expectation that the EU is unable to answer the challenges of twenty-first century global politics. In other words, the greatest security challenge facing people across Europe is not physical, despite the threats of Putin and ISIS, but is a sense of fear and anxiety over their daily lives.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1
Pages (from-to)249-265
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Security
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Aug 13

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Political Science

Free keywords

  • Ontological Security
  • Ontological Insecurity
  • European Union
  • European Integration


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