Security: Concepts and Definitions

Research output: Chapter in Book / Report / Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionaryAcademic


The concept of security literally refers to “a state of being free from danger or threat” (Oxford Dictionary). This is a very broad definition, and the word security is therefore used in different ways in different contexts. It may refer to a state of being free from many kinds of dangers and threats (e.g., war, unemployment, illness, or accidents). Some commentators have identified the fact that when security is used in this broad way, what is actually meant is insecurity (see, e.g., Schuilenburg and Van Steden 2014). In this context, it is important to point out the difference between “security from” (shielding from harm) and “security to” (enabling people to pursue their goals) (Crawford and Hutchinson 2016).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Security and Emergency Management
EditorsLauren R. Shapiro, Marie-Helen Maras
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages3
ISBN (Electronic)9783319698915
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Security
  • Securitization
  • Public and private


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