Reconstructing Leviathan: emerging contours of the security state

Simon Hallsworth, John Lea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article develops an account of the current emergence of the security state as successor to the liberal welfare state. It is argued that the security state heralds a new type of authoritarianism which, beginning at the periphery and pre-occupied with the management of the marginalized and socially excluded, is gradually infecting the core social institutions, the criminal justice system in particular. The article considers three areas in which the security state is emerging—the transition from welfare to workfare and risk management; new measures to combat terrorism and organized crime; and the blurring of warfare and crime control. The article concludes by stressing the mutually reinforcing effect of these developments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-157
Number of pages17
JournalTheoretical Criminology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • risk
  • security
  • state
  • war
  • welfare


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