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Chapter

28. After the Return to Theory:  

The Past, Present, and Future of Security Studies

Ole Wæver and Barry Buzan

This chapter reflects on the past and present of Security Studies, with a particular focus on the changing periods of theory production and practical problem solving. It begins by tracing the origins and institutional structure of Security Studies, noting that it started out as an American, think-tank based, interdisciplinary field and then became institutionalized as a part of a single discipline, International Relations (IR). Since the 1990s, the field has enjoyed a new period of high theory productivity, but largely in two separate clusters with the United States and Europe as centres of each. Among important developments during the so-called Golden Age of Security Studies were game theory and deterrence theory. The chapter proceeds by examining the stagnation of Security Studies before concluding with an assessment of future prospects and challenges facing the field, citing debates over issues such as human security and Islamic approaches to IR.

Chapter

This chapter reflects on the past and present of Security Studies, with a particular focus on the changing periods of theory production and practical problem solving. It begins by tracing the origins and institutional structure of Security Studies, noting that it started out as an American, think-tank based, interdisciplinary field and then became institutionalized as a part of a single discipline, International Relations (IR). Since the 1990s, the field has enjoyed a new period of high theory productivity, but largely in two separate clusters with the United States and Europe as centres of each. Among important developments during the so-called Golden Age of Security Studies were game theory and deterrence theory. The chapter proceeds by examining the stagnation of Security Studies before concluding with an assessment of future prospects and challenges facing the field, citing debates over issues such as human security and emerging non-Western approaches to IR.

Chapter

John Garnett and John Baylis

This chapter examines theories that explain the causes of war. It considers ideas advanced by political scientists, sociologists, biologists and philosophers, showing that different explanations of war give rise to different requirements or conditions for peace. After highlighting the difficulties in studying war, the chapter discusses human nature explanations of war, citing such factors as frustration, misperception, misunderstanding, miscalculation, and errors of judgement as well as the role of human collectives including factions, tribes, nations and states. It then describes the bargaining model of war before turning to inter-state wars, intra-state conflicts, and ethnic conflicts. It also explores the debate over whether ‘greed’ or ‘grievance’ are the main causes of civil wars. The chapter concludes that identifying a single cause appropriate to all wars is an exercise in futility and that a worldwide ‘just’ peace is unattainable.

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John Garnett and John Baylis

Introduction 67 The Study of War 68 Human Nature Explanations of War 72 Wars ‘Within’ and ‘Beyond’ States 78 Conclusion 81 Scholarship dealing with the causes of war is voluminous and multidisciplinary. This chapter describes and explains theories that have been advanced by biologists, philosophers, political scientists, and sociologists about why wars occur. It groups their ideas into categories and shows how different explanations of war give rise to different requirements or conditions for peace. It is argued that it is useful to make distinctions between immediate and underlying causes of war. The chapter pays particular attention to explanations of war based on human nature and instinct, but it also considers those psychological theories that emphasize misperception and frustration as causes of aggression. The ideas of those who find the causes of war in human collectives—states, tribes, and ethnic groups—and those who favour ‘systemic’ rather than ‘unit’ explanations are also described. The chapter also looks at the debate between ‘greed’ and ‘grievance’ as a cause of civil wars....

Chapter

19. Coercive Diplomacy:  

Countering War-Threatening Crises and Armed Conflicts

Peter Viggo Jakobsen

This chapter examines how coercive diplomacy has emerged as a strategy for states in dealing with the opponent without resorting to full-scale war. Coercive diplomacy involves the use of military threats and/or limited force (sticks) coupled with inducements and assurances (carrots) in order to influence the opponent to do something it would prefer not to. This chapter first explains what coercive diplomacy is and considers its requirements for success. It then shows how states have employed coercive diplomacy to manage crises and conflicts during the three strategic eras that followed the end of the Cold War. It also discusses the importance of the strategic context in shaping the use of coercive diplomacy by presenting two case studies, one relating to the United States’s conflict with Libya due to the latter’s weapons of mass destruction, and the other relating to Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine.

Chapter

This chapter examines how coercive diplomacy has emerged as a strategy for states in dealing with the opponent without resorting to full-scale war. Coercive diplomacy involves the use of military threats and/or limited force (sticks) coupled with inducements and assurances (carrots) in order to influence the opponent to do something it would prefer not to. This chapter first explains what coercive diplomacy is and considers its requirements for success. It then shows how states have employed coercive diplomacy to manage crises and conflicts during the three strategic eras that followed the end of the Cold War. It also discusses the importance of the strategic context in shaping the use of coercive diplomacy by presenting two case studies, one relating to Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and the other relating to Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine.

Book

Edited by Alan Collins

Contemporary Security Studies provides an introduction to Security Studies. It features a wide breadth and depth of coverage of the different theoretical approaches to the study of security and the ever-evolving range of issues that dominate the security agenda in the twenty-first century. In addition to covering a large range of topical security issues, from terrorism and inter-state armed conflict to cyber-security, health, and transnational crime, the fifth edition features updated coverage of the on-going Syrian crisis, the deepening crisis effecting Liberal Internationalism and, while early in his term of office, President Trump’s stamp on international security. Throughout, readers are encouraged to question their own preconceptions and assumptions, and to use their own judgement to critically evaluate key approaches and ideas. To help them achieve this, each chapter is punctuated with helpful learning features including ‘key ideas’, ‘think points’ and case studies, demonstrating the real world applications and implications of the theory.

Book

Edited by Alan Collins

Contemporary Security Studies provides an introduction to Security Studies. It features a wide breadth and depth of coverage of the different theoretical approaches to the study of security and the ever-evolving range of issues that dominate the security agenda in the twenty-first century. In addition to covering a large range of topical security issues, from terrorism and inter-state armed conflict to cyber-security, health, and transnational crime, the fourth edition features a new chapter on postcolonialism and expanded coverage of Critical Security Studies. Throughout, readers are encouraged to question their own preconceptions and assumptions, and to use their own judgement to critically evaluate key approaches and ideas. To help them achieve this, each chapter is punctuated with helpful learning features including ‘key ideas’, ‘think points’ and case studies, demonstrating the real world applications and implications of the theory.

Chapter

This chapter explores a variety of questions on how to control the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). It begins with a discussion of the shift that took place during the cold war from disarmament to arms control, as well as the shift in relative importance that occurred in the early post-cold war era from arms control to more forcible means to tackle nuclear proliferation. It then considers the emergence of new ideas, first in the Clinton administration, and then in the Bush administration, that focused less on arms control and more on counterproliferation. It also examines a host of problems and dilemmas associated with counterproliferation, the Obama administration's policy of engagement and ‘tough but direct diplomacy’, and the challenges presented by new geopolitical tensions. Finally, it reflects on future prospects for strategic nuclear arms control.

Chapter

This chapter examines issues regarding the control of weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and its implications for international security. It begins with a discussion of the shift that took place during the cold war from disarmament to arms control, and the shift in relative importance that occurred in the early post-cold war period from arms control to more forcible means to tackle proliferation. It then considers concerns that emerged in the 1980s and 1990s about the continuing utility of arms control as an effective means of dealing with WMDs. It also analyses new ideas that began to take shape, first during the presidency of Bill Clinton, and then under George W. Bush, about more militarily driven approaches, associated with counterproliferation. The chapter concludes with an assessment of ‘the return to arms control’ by the administration of Barack Obama and the challenges presented by new geopolitical tensions.

Chapter

This chapter examines how conventional power shapes warfare in the contemporary world. It considers the present and emerging state of conventional military power, how conventional forces function in areas such as distant strike and urban warfare, and how their role differs from that of other forms of force, including terrorism and weapons of mass destruction (WMDs). The chapter first provides a historical background to demonstrate the important role played by conventional power in war before discussing the rise of new world orders in 1945, 1989 and 2001. It then describes states possessing power and hyperpower, along with the revolution in military affairs and how developing countries may trump it through various strategies. It also shows how the distribution of conventional power is changing, noting that Western countries are in decline and new world powers are emerging, especially China and India.

Chapter

This chapter examines how — and the extent to which — conventional military power influences the contemporary world, whether by fighting wars or by backing policy in peace. It first reviews the history of how power affects warfare before discussing the emergence of new world orders in 1945, 1989, and 2001, noting that since 1945, the power of conventional force has been limited by weapons of mass destruction and guerrilla warfare. It then considers how conventional forces function in areas ranging from distant strike to urban warfare, and compares their role to that of other forms of force such as WMDs and terrorism. It also analyses the conventional strength of states in the world, along with trends in its development and distribution.

Chapter

8. Critical Interventions:  

Subjects, Objects, and Security

J. Marshall Beier

This chapter explores some unconventional questions about somewhat unconventional subjects for Security Studies, a field that has traditionally been more inclined to focus on states in its investigations. In particular, it examines concepts such as ‘acting subject(s)’, which concerns who or what is acting to produce security or insecurity; ‘agency’, which refers to the capacity to act; ‘subjecthood’, which suggests mastery of one’s own agency or the idea that actions are products of one’s autonomous choices; and referent object(s), which are whom or what we seek to make secure. The chapter also discusses ‘smart’ bombs and other advanced weapons of the so-called Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) that moved into popular consciousness beginning with the 1991 Gulf War. Finally, it considers the role of children and Indigenous peoples both in security discourse and actual security practices.

Chapter

7. Critical Security Studies:  

A Schismatic History

David Mutimer

This chapter provides a partial history of the label ‘Critical Security Studies’ and the way it has developed and fragmented since the early 1990s. It considers the primary claims of the major divisions that have emerged within the literatures to which the label has been applied: constructivism, critical theory, and poststructuralism. It looks at the 1994 conference held at York University in Toronto entitled Strategies in Conflict: Critical Approaches to Security Studies, which spawned a book called Critical Security Studies: Concepts and Cases (1997b), and Security: A New Framework for Analysis (1998), which was published to serve as a relatively comprehensive statement of ‘securitization studies’, or the Copenhagen School. The chapter argues that Critical Security Studies needs to foster an ‘ethos of critique’ in either the study or refusal of security. Finally, it examines Ken Booth’s views on poststructuralism as part of a broad Critical Security Studies.

Chapter

This chapter provides a partial history of the label ‘Critical Security Studies’ and the way it has developed and fragmented since the early 1990s. It considers the primary claims of the major divisions that have emerged within the literatures to which the label has been applied: constructivism, critical theory, and poststructuralism. It looks at the 1994 conference held at York University in Toronto entitled Strategies in Conflict: Critical Approaches to Security Studies, which spawned a book called Critical Security Studies: Concepts and Cases (1997b), and Security: A New Framework for Analysis (1998), which was published to serve as a relatively comprehensive statement of ‘securitization studies’, or the Copenhagen School. The chapter argues that Critical Security Studies needs to foster an ‘ethos of critique’ in either the study or refusal of security. Finally, it examines Ken Booth’s views on poststructuralism as part of a broad Critical Security Studies.

Chapter

Myriam Dunn Cavelty

This chapter examines the implications of cyber-security for national security. It first provides the necessary technical background on why the information infrastructure is inherently insecure, how computer vulnerabilities are conceptualized, who can exploit them, and how. In particular, it considers definitions and concepts relevant to information security, such as cyberspace, Big Data, and hacking. It then describes three interconnected cyber-security discourses: the first is about computer viruses and worms; the second deals with the interrelationship between cyber-crime and cyber-espionage; the third is concerned with the double-edged sword of fighting wars in the information domain and the need for critical infrastructure protection. Based on this, the chapter evaluates a range of protection measures from each of the three discourses. It concludes by suggesting that the level of cyber-risk is generally exaggerated.

Chapter

Myriam Dunn Cavelty

This chapter examines the implications of cyber-security for national security. It first provides the necessary technical background on why the information infrastructure is inherently insecure, how computer vulnerabilities are conceptualized, who can exploit them, and how. In particular, it considers definitions and concepts relevant to information security, such as cyberspace, Big Data, and hacking. It then describes three interconnected cyber-security discourses: the first is about computer viruses and worms; the second deals with the interrelationship between cyber-crime and cyber-espionage; the third is concerned with the double-edged sword of fighting wars in the information domain and the need for critical infrastructure protection. Based on this, the chapter evaluates a range of protection measures from each of the three discourses. It concludes by suggesting that the level of cyber-risk is generally exaggerated.

Chapter

This chapter considers whether the field of strategic studies has a future, first by tracing its development in universities and think tanks as traditional military patterns of thought and how it has evolved into a broad field of enquiry by the end of the cold war. It then describes the ‘golden age’ of strategic studies that created a market for professionally trained civilian strategists and examines how strategic studies had become more diffuse as the political context of international relations changed. It also explains how the study of strategy posed a particular challenge to the social sciences, and how ethical and practical difficulties created tensions between academics and policymakers. The chapter goes on to discuss elements of realism that are useful in the study of strategy, strategic studies' focus on the role of armed force both in peacetime and in war, and future prospects for strategic studies.

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This chapter reflects on the question of whether strategic studies has a future as a field of academic study. It first considers the early development of strategic studies and how it became a broad enquiry by the end of the cold war. It then examines how the study of strategy posed a challenge to the social sciences and goes on to discuss the tensions that exist between the academic and policy worlds with respect to strategic studies. It also explores elements of realism that remain very useful in the study of strategy, particularly when it comes to the issue of armed force. The chapter concludes by explaining why strategic studies should be revived as a subject in the universities and how this might be achieved.

Chapter

Gary M. Shiffman

This chapter examines the concept of economic security as a framework for analysing and countering organized violence. It first provides a brief historical overview of the economic science of security and applies economic theory to Security Studies. Through various case studies, this approach allows the reader to understand how states leverage traditional economic tools to influence, alter, and deter another actor’s behaviour. The chapter considers three categories of organized violence: warfare, crime, and insurgency. It shows that the various decision makers involved in combating organized violence have different goals and face different constraints. It also describes five vectors of economic incentives: goals, resource constraints, institutional constraints, information, and time. Finally, it discusses four economic tools of security policy: sanctions, trade, finance, and aid.