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.
Edited by Alan Collins
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.
Mark Laffey and Suthaharan Nadarajah
This chapter examines postcolonialism, a recent and increasingly influential set of positions and perspectives within the wider discipline of International Relations, and its implications for Security Studies. It first considers the genealogies of postcolonialism, tracing its emergence in a set of transnational debates about the mutually constitutive relations between knowledge and imperialism. It then discusses the standard account of world history as organized around Westphalian sovereignty which informs Security Studies and shows how postcolonialism puts it in question. It also explores the relationship between culture and imperialism according to postcolonialism; Subaltern Studies and its significance to postcolonialism; the concepts of Orientalism and Occidentalism; and how contrapuntal analysis enables a postcolonial critique of Security Studies. The chapter concludes by asking what it might mean to decolonize Security Studies and whether there can be a postcolonial Security Studies.
This chapter examines historical materialism and its approach to understanding what constitutes security. It begins with an overview of of the social scientific, philosophical, and political dimensions of historical materialism and what it involves, including its diversity, value, and potential but avoidable pitfalls. It then describes key concepts of historical materialism and uses them to show how capitalism generally and in its recent neoliberal form aim to generate insecurity for labour and security for capital. It also discusses the relationships between historical materialism and approaches to security in a wider context (realism, liberalism, social constructivism, and gender) and to various perspectives on security (securitization and the sectoral approach, peace studies, Critical Security Studies, and human security). The chapter concludes with an overall assessment of the contribution of historical materialism to the scholarship and politics of security and insecurity.
John Baylis and James J. Wirtz
This book examines strategy in the contemporary world. Part I considers the enduring issues that animate the study of strategy and tackles topics ranging from the causes of war to questions about culture, morality, and war. Part II deals with issues that fuel strategic debates, with chapters on terrorism and irregular warfare, nuclear weapons, arms control, weapons of mass destruction, conventional military power, peacekeeping and humanitarian intervention, and cyberwar. Part III discusses critical and non-Western approaches to the study of strategy and security that have emerged in recent years and concludes by reflecting on future prospects for strategic studies. This introduction provides an overview of strategic studies, criticisms that are made of strategic studies, and how strategic studies relates to security studies.
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.
This chapter examines the impact of social constructivism on Security Studies as well as its critique of the assumed orthodoxy of rationalist approaches to security and the international system. In particular, it considers the manner that social constructivists address the question of how security and security threats are ‘socially constructed’. The chapter first provides an overview of definitions and key concepts relating to constructivism, such as its emphasis on the importance of ideas, identity, and interaction, along with its alternative approach to thinking about security. It then explores Alexander Wendt’s three cultures of anarchy and compares conventional constructivism with critical constructivism. Finally, it analyses rationalist and poststructuralist critiques of constructivism.
This text provides an introduction to Security Studies, the sub-discipline of International Relations that deals with the study of security. War and the threat to use force are part of the security equation, but the prevalence of threats is far-reaching for Security Studies. They encompass dangers ranging from pandemic and environmental degradation to terrorism and inter-state armed conflict. The latter is actually a sub-field of Security Studies and is known as Strategic Studies. This edition examines differing approaches to the study of security such as realism, liberalism, social constructivism, and postcolonialism. It also investigates the deepening and broadening of security to include military security, regime security, societal security, environmental security, and economic security. Finally, it discusses a range of traditional and non-traditional issues that have emerged on the security agenda, including weapons of mass destruction, terrorism, energy security, and health.
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 emerging non-Western approaches to IR.
Brian C. Schmidt
This chapter focuses on national security, a central concept in foreign policy analysis. A core objective of foreign policy is to achieve national security. However, there is a great deal of ambiguity about the meaning of the concept. Although the traditional meaning of national security is often associated with protecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, and security of the nation state, this does not exhaust all of the possible meanings. The chapter examines some of the competing conceptions of national security, beginning with the three main assumptions of realism that together help to account for the primacy of national security: statism, survival, and self-help. It then considers the field of security studies before concluding with an assessment of the theoretical controversy about the meaning of national security and how it relates to three American grand strategies: neo-isolationism, liberal internationalism, and primacy.
Edited by John Baylis, James Wirtz, and Colin Gray
Strategy in the Contemporary World provides a critical overview of both enduring and contemporary issues that dominate strategy. This text explores key debates and alternative perspectives, considers key controversies and presents opposing arguments, helping readers to build critical thinking skills and reflect upon a wide range of perspectives. The new edition has been updated to incorporate the latest developments in the field of strategic studies. A new chapter on ‘The West and the Rest’ examines the limitations and problems strategic studies face when dealing with security challenges in the global South, stressing the importance of diversity in the field and the important contributions the non-Western world has made to international relations theories and concepts. Another chapter on ‘Geography and Strategy’ focuses on important developments in air power, maritime strategy and the rapid expansion of space and cyberwar.
Peter Ferdinand, Robert Garner, and Stephanie Lawson
Politics offers an introduction to political studies. It combines accessibility and an analytical approach, encouraging critical study and engaged debate. Alongside coverage of concepts, approaches, and ideologies, the text features chapters on all crucial elements of political studies, from institutions and states to security, political economy, civil society and the media, making it an ideal text for a broad range of modules. Current debates and key developments in contemporary politics are taken into account, with coverage of the rise of populism, Brexit, and the presidency of Donald Trump, as well as a broad range of international case studies and examples.
This chapter discusses the origins and development of the field of peace studies after World War II, initially in relation to the East-West confrontation and the nuclear arms race. It examines how peace studies responded to the issues of socio-economic disparities and environmental constraints, such as climate change and poverty, that emerged in the 1970s. It also considers the evolution of peace studies as an interdisciplinary and problem-oriented field of study, often in the midst of controversy. In particular, it looks at a number of developments within peace studies, including a major interest in conflict prevention, conflict resolution, and peacekeeping. Finally, the chapter analyses the state of peace studies now and how it is relevant to the new security challenges facing the world.
Amitav Acharya and Jiajie He
This chapter examines the limitations and problems of strategic studies with respect to security challenges in the global South. It first considers the ethnocentrism that bedevils strategic studies and international relations before discussing mainstream strategic studies during the cold war. It then looks at whether strategic studies kept up with the changing pattern of conflict, where the main theatre is the non-Western world, with particular emphasis on the decline in armed conflicts after the end of the cold war, along with the problem of human security and how it has been impacted by technology. It also explores the issue of whether to take into account non-military threats in strategic studies and the debates over strategic culture and grand strategy in China and India. It concludes by proposing Global International Relations as a new approach to strategic studies that seeks to adapt to the strategic challenges and responses of non-Western countries.
J. Marshall Beier
This poststructuralist 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.