“Securitization for Sustainability of People and Place:

A Call to Transdisciplinarity”

The Fifteenth Workshop on the Social Implications of National Security (SINS22)

Human Factors Series

An initiative of the IEEE SSIT Technical Committee on Emerging Technology

in cooperation with the Society Policy Engineering Collective (SPEC) at Arizona State University

Venue: Hong Kong (virtual)
Date: 10 November – USA/UK; 11 November – Australia/HK
Duration: approx. 15 hours of educational seminar presentations in four locations


  • Mariana Zafeirakopoulos, University of Technology, Sydney (mariana.zafeirakopoulos@student.uts.edu.au)* 
  • Roba Abbas, University of Wollongong (roba@uow.edu.au)* 
  • Kathleen Vogel, Arizona State University 
  • Jeremy Pitt, Imperial College London 
  • Katina Michael, Arizona State University (katina.michael@asu.edu)* 

* Corresponding 

Draft Program

  1. Securitization of the Person Arizona 9:00am AZ
  2. Securitization of Place London 9:00pm GMT
  3. Securitization through Transdisciplinarity Sydney 11:00am AEDT
  4. Socio-historical Origins of Securitization Hong Kong 12:00pm HKT

Tentative Schedule

An initiative of the IEEE SSIT Technical Committee on Emerging Technology
in cooperation with the Society Policy Engineering Collective (SPEC) at Arizona State University.



The term “national security” can be defined in numerous ways in the context of defense. When we refer to national security in the military context, it usually means the way in which a defense force will securitize its national borders. However, securitization, can also be considered from a different perspective, that of applying a broader view of “security,” beyond just military force and conflict.  Increasingly, an all-hazards approach to national security has been considered in the literature whereby we refer to economic, environmental and energy security (Romm 1993), among other non-military facets (e.g., food, health, demographic, informational and resource as per Paleri (2008), and other aspects falling within transnational crime).

The significance of this broader perspective largely emerged after the Cold War ended, where many scholars believed it necessary to expand the notion of “security” to include transnational crime matters, such as human trafficking. Buzan et al. (1998), listed five distinguishing sectors relevant to securitization: the military sector, the political sector, the societal sector, the economic sector, and the environmental sector. Thus, we can refer to military security, political security, societal security, economic security, and environmental security. Securitization, based on this view, implies “survival across a number of dimensions” (Castle 1997: 4).

While national security is often approached from the position of military/defense applications, non-military forms of securitization require additional attention and investigation from an integrated perspective, calling on many disciplines and the emergence of transdisciplinary frameworks in order to understand the social implications of national security technology, in particular, across a range of contexts. Thus, this workshop considers how transdisciplinarity may aid in a holistic approach to appreciating the interdependencies that exist between various sectors of security, to ensure the securitization of people and place toward sustainability. This may involve consideration of national innovation system (Nelson 1993) contexts through a socio-technical transitions lens (Elzen, Geels et al., 2004) that may aid in the design of complex socio-technical infrastructures and architectures, in addition to other approaches that promote an all-hazards and comprehensive view of securitization.

A primary objective of this workshop is to explore the role that technology can play in achieving security of people and place, focusing on non-military aspects and securitization from the perspective of sustainability, values, empathy, and human-centered and philosophical approaches to securitization, while incorporating the link with the various sectors of securitization.

Themes to be addressed include, but are not limited to

  • Definitions of securitization in the context of sustainability of people and place
  • Contexts and sectors of social securitization and new security policy
  • Non-military aspects of national security
  • All hazards approach to national security, with an emphasis on social implications of technology
  • The social implications of national security technologies in the context of sustainability
  • Challenging the concept of “national” in “national security”, to extend to other geographic areas and or the digital landscape
  • Role of values such as human rights, care, peace, trust, respect in non-military securitization practices
  • Engagement between a range of stakeholders (e.g., defense and community) regarding prevalent national security issues, e.g. biosecurity, peacekeeping, recycling, cybersecurity
  • Human-centered and empathetic design approaches for addressing securitization related challenges
  • Communication strategies for public engagement related to shared responsibility in tackling complex challenges
  • Bridging the gap between conceptual issues and real-world experiences in the context of securitization toward sustainability
  • Developing transdisciplinary language for addressing technology-related securitization challenges
  • Transdisciplinary design frameworks for large-scale innovation systems focused on securitization
  • Investing in prevention of major global challenges at the local level and understanding the long-term effects of non-participation in national security
  • Sustainability in urban areas and risks to urban dwellers
  • Integration of cultural values, belief systems, language, philosophical approaches, and practices in local (and especially remote) communities
  • Migration patterns, especially of workers, between nation states
  • Sustainable and secure supply chains
  • The role of technology in the securitization of global supply chains
  • Cyber-physical supply chain security
  • Transnational crime prevention strategies through new approaches to securitization


Buzan, B., Wæver, O., Wæver, O. and De Wilde, J., Security: A new framework for analysis. Lynne Rienner Publishers, 1998.
Castle, Allan. Transnational organized crime and international security. Vancouver: Institute of International Relations, University of British Columbia, 1997.
Elzen, Boelie, Frank W. Geels, and Kenneth Green, eds.System innovation and the transition to sustainability: theory, evidence and policy. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2004.
Nelson, R. R. (Ed.). National innovation systems: a comparative analysis. Oxford University Press on Demand, 1993.
Paleri, Prabhakaran (2008). National Security: Imperatives And Challenges. New Delhi: Tata McGraw-Hill. p. 521. ISBN 978-0-07-065686-4. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
Romm, Joseph J. Defining national security: the nonmilitary aspects. Council on Foreign Relations, 1993.