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Centre for Research on Security Practices

How do we define security? Does security mean increased surveillance and weaponization? Is it the feeling of home and belonging? Who deserves security, and how is this state of security realized at both local and national levels? And how may these definitions of security be at odds?

Security is a broad and often contested term, which nonetheless dominates both public discourse and the policy landscape. While this definition remains in flux in the face of emergent issues such as health pandemics, migration, war, homelessness, income disparity, and other forms of marginalization, it is nonetheless critical to understand security as a means to generate connections between practices and experiences of security and securitization.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) provides a framework for defining “human security” as a freedom from fear, want, poverty and despair, and the work of the Centre for Research on Security Practices (CRSP) both engages and extends this definition. We do so by thinking through global and state-level practices of security and securitization that uphold structural forms of power and which, somewhat paradoxically, leaves particular populations vulnerable. CRSP takes this tension as the heart of its work and the place through which a more fulsome and productive notion of security may be generated. We do so not only through traditional academic methods, but also through the use of innovative and applied methodologies.

Man escaping over fence

Research Themes

CRSP is comprised of four substantive research themes that are connected by the practices and experiences of security: 

  • technology
  • spaces
  • populations
  • brokers

We recognize that security must:

  • be culturally relevant and defined at the local level;
  • include an understanding of the technologies and activities used in the pursuit of security;
  • requires an understanding of the perceptions and experiences of security practices;
  • involve developing a local, intimate understanding of technologies, individuals, and groups in a range of contexts and activities.

CRSP is committed to enhancing scholarly research as well as influencing policy, practice, and social change. CRSP works with researchers across multiple disciplines and institutions, as well as government, industry, and community stakeholders.


Contact Us:

Carrie Sanders, Director

Bree Akesson, Associate Director

Samantha Henderson, Project Coordinator

T: 519.756.8228 x5376