Securitization of a president - the coup d'etat in Honduras analyzed through the securitization framework.

Julie Høj Thomsen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This investigation aims to explore the usability and shortcomings of Buzan and Wævers securitization theory in explaining the coup d’etat against Manuel Zelaya in Honduras in 2009.! With an outset in the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions report about the coup and an article from Honduran newspaper La Prensa, I investigate how and by whom the coup against Zelaya was sought legitimized. ! Using the concepts of the securitization theory I identify securitizing actors and securitizing speech acts performed against Zelaya. I further investigate internal and external facilitating conditions that might have helped the securitizing moved gain acceptance by an audience. Among these I find it an external facilitating condition that the primary securitizing actors are all representatives of different institutions of the Honduran state, namely the congress and the juridical institutions, and thereby hold a privileged power position.! Another external facilitating condition I find to be the nature of the alleged threat, which is that Zelaya will stay in power, and thereby threaten democracy. I find it a facilitating condition that Honduras has earlier experiences of dictatorships and that leftwing presidents in other Latin American countries has within the last decade changed constitutions and thereby gained to stay in power. These factors might have helped make the alleged threat appear realistic and thereby gaining acceptance from some audience. ! Investigating the level of acceptance by different groups of audiences, I find that large parts of the Honduran population did not accept the securitizing moves against Zelaya, as well as the first reactions of the international society was to condemn the coup. Nevertheless a critical amount of countries ended up recognizing the November 2009 elections and thereby admitting some kind of legitimacy to the post coup de facto government, which ended up staying in power until the elections.! I end up concluding that the securitization theory offers important tools for understanding how the coup in Honduras could come about, by identifying securitizing actors, securitizing speech acts and facilitating conditions. I find though that an importing shortcoming of the theory is its lack of analytical tools to investigate the power positions held by different groups of audiences, and the importance of these power positions for weather or not the securitizing move will become a successful securitization.

UddannelserBasis - Samfundsvidenskabelig Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato18 jun. 2015
VejledereJohan Fischer


  • Coup d'état
  • Honduras