The Security imaginary: Explaining military isomorphism

30 Oct 2012

This article proposes the notion of a security imaginary as a heuristic tool for exploring military isomorphism (the phenomenon that weapons and military strategies begin to look the same across the world) at a time when the US model of defence transformation is being adopted by an increasing number of countries. Built on a critical constructivist foundation, the security-imaginary approach is contrasted with rationalist and neo-institutionalist ways of explaining military diffusion and emulation. Merging cultural and constructivist themes, the article offers a ‘strong cultural’ argument to explain why a country would emulate a foreign military model and how this model is constituted in and comes to constitute a society’s security imaginary.