This book brings together a range of diverse discussions about security in order to sustain a genuine critique of the subject. It is unique in its examination of the historical and political links between social security and national security and in its assessment of the way that emergency powers (as the most intense realisation of the rhetoric of ''national security'') have been synthesised with ''normal'' law. Among other ideas and concepts, Mark Neocleous discusses the place of security in the liberal tradition of political theory. Building on insights from Foucault and Marx, he argues that liberalism''s central category is not liberty, but security. He also deals with the role of security in justifying the introduction and continuation of emergency powers through a historical excavation of the state of emergency, a political reading of the way emergency powers are only tangentially concerned with warfare, and a theoretical reading of the debate between Schmitt and Benjamin.