Publication details

Combining methods: connections and zooms in analysing hybrids. In: Christopher Daase, Julian Junk und Gabi Schlag (Hg.): Dialogues on Security. Identity and Diversity in Security Studies: Routledge, S. 225–241.

Book chapter

Author(s): Junk, Julian; Rauer, Valentin
Year of publication: 2016

Abstract: The main premise of this volume is that security studies is expanding both in terms of the scope of research objects and across disciplinary boundaries. Former dividing lines such as micro versus macro, subject versus object and military versus civil have become increasingly blurred while corresponding methodological boxes have opened. As the contribution by Hegre and Kristiansen in this volume demonstrates, even well-established research fi elds such as confl ict studies stand to benefi t from integrating the insights provided by qualitative and quantitative methods. However, the challenge faced by existing research strategies becomes even more pressing when one considers the impacts of technological and digital advancements in security studies (Rauer 2012 ). One of the most prominent – though, from a social science perspective, yet to be completely understood – developments are drones, or ‘unmanned area vehicles’ (UAVs). These robotic systems are increasingly capable of autonomous action, challenging well-established patterns of assigning agency, responsibility and geographical distance. As such, drones do not represent actors in the sense of human beings but combine characteristics of humans and machines: they constitute ‘hybrids’ or ‘actants’ capable, at least in part, of intentional and autonomous decision-making (Müller and Schörnig 2010 ; Sharkey and Suchman 2013 ; Strawser 2013 ). Scholars have argued that the social sciences have not yet developed research methods suited to these partially overlapping and fragmented phenomena (Latour 2005 ). Research on phenomena such as hybridity demands the combination of methods in a controlled and systematic way, forcing researchers to abandon their own methodological camps and engage in dialogue with other areas of security studies and their research tools.

Keywords: Security Methods

Research area: Research Area 3: The Plurality of Normative Orders: Competition, Overlapping, Interconnection
Research project:

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