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Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

4. Political violence  

This chapter presents a conceptual framework that identifies different forms of violence, their relation to security, and their political dimensions. It focuses on four types of violence: physical, psychological, material, and symbolic. To determine the potential political dimensions of violence, the chapter explores actors, intentions, structures, and its presence within socio-political orders. Security seeks to address something that an authority has determined to be a threat or under threat. In this context, violence can be deemed political when it is legitimized and authorized from a security claim, as well as when it is an effect of a security mobilization that has emerged from a security claim. Two key questions then arise. Firstly, when is violence legitimate? Secondly, who has the authority to exercise violence legitimately within a given socio-political order? The chapter concludes that understanding how violence emerges from security mobilizations is important to understanding security.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

5. Violence  

This chapter expounds on the pervasiveness of violence in global politics despite the rise of institutions and legal systems designed for its prevention. It lists three interrelated types of violence in global politics: physical, structural, and immanent. The chapter then turns to the question of justifying violence, exploring why people often assume in global politics that violence conducted by states is legitimate, while nonstate violence is illegitimate. It also examines nonviolence tactics in global politics, such as abandoning the fatalistic view that violence is inevitable in the field. Finally, the chapter studies the ideas of Jacques Derrida and Frantz Fanon which challenge the myth about violence in global politics. It also highlights the power of individuals and grassroots groups in reducing violence and challenging existing power relations.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

8. Terrorism and asymmetric conflicts  

Christian Olsson

This chapter assesses the question of ‘security for what purpose?’ in asymmetric conflicts where rival political-military organizations, typically a government and a clandestine group, compete to institute and enforce a socio-political order. Terrorism and the asymmetric use of violence are often understood to pose specific kinds of security challenges that distinguish them from other forms of political violence like war. The chapter highlights why parties to these conflicts often come to threaten individuals—be it through indiscriminate repression or clandestine political violence. It also shows that the protagonists of such conflicts generally seek to define security in terms of the stability of their own socio-political order, thus potentially increasing levels of violence. It is in the context of such conflicts that the chapter discusses the concepts of terrorism and counterterrorism.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

10. Gender and sexuality  

Jennifer Hobbs and Laura McLeod

This chapter assesses the relevance of gender and sexuality for understanding how security/insecurity are distributed in the world. Our ideas about gender and sexuality—that men and women are the only genders, and that each gender has particular bodies, characteristics, and abilities—have been used for centuries to enact and justify the oppression of women and those who do not fit into this gender binary. As such, gender and sexuality form part of the unequal distribution of insecurity and violence we see in the world. The chapter looks at this topic bearing in mind specifically the following critical questions: security for whom, where, how, and at whose expense? To do so, it utilizes three key feminist concepts: intersectionality, the everyday, and transformation. The chapter argues that gender and sexuality help us gain a critical perspective of security/insecurity by revealing new areas of study, and helping us to see traditional security topics in a new light.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

17. Weapons-systems  

Mike Bourne

This chapter highlights weapons-systems as a central aspect of the question: ‘Security how?’ Weapons are a central and pervasive aspect of the material, institutional, and discursive mobilizations of security. As such, weapons have long been both a tool and a measure of power. Weapons-politics reveals what we might think of as lethal legitimations: the legitimation of killing, the preparation for killing, and the distinctions (racial, colonial, gendered, religious, class, civilizational) that allow us to take for granted that killing is inherent to security. The chapter poses three questions about security and violence that arise through weapons-politics: Does the manner of violence matter? How are weapons controlled? How is weapons-politics entangled with other forms of violence and security? These questions show that weapons-systems are the materialization of violence of all types.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

7. Money  

This chapter focuses on the origins and function of money within the field of global politics. It covers the myth that money developed in a politically neutral way as the most functional mode of exchange. Instead, money’s emergence and function has been deeply intertwined with the power and violence of the empire, including its conquests and enslavements. Thus, the influence of politics and economics on one another is impossible to detach in terms of contemporary global politics. The chapter then expounds on the historically strong connection between money and state power. Additionally, it also tackles the possible future of money which involves cyptocurrencies and local currencies.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

27. Disengagement and Deradicalization Programmes  

Sarah Marsden

This chapter explores the increasing significance of disengagement and de-radicalization programmes in countering terrorism. It looks at initiatives supporting a transition away from militancy. Deradicalization can be defined as the psychological and sociological attitude change wherein an individual no longer feels personally responsible for progressing a political agenda through violence. Meanwhile, disengagement is the behavioural process that sees an individual cease involvement in political violence. The chapter discusses the history and evolution of deradicalization interventions before tackling the empirical evidence on deradicalization. Deradicalization programmes have become an important part of many states' counter-terrorism efforts. Examples here include Norway and Sweden.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

18. Environment  

Madeleine Fagan

This chapter reflects on the implications of treating the environmental crisis as a security issue. It engages directly with the questions: Security for whom, where, and at whose expense? By exploring these questions, the chapter demonstrates how claims about the environment and security make visible, and securable, particular worlds while obscuring others, and rendering them insecure. It then considers three approaches to environment and security: early links between the environment and security which focused on how environmental issues impacted on the traditional concerns of security such as violent conflict, the state, and national security; the human security perspective; and the ecological security approach. Ultimately, we can see how attempts to secure the environment are connected to symbolic violence that generates other forms of political violence.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

25. Nigeria  

Consolidating Democracy and Human Rights

Stephen Wright

This chapter examines the consolidation of democracy and human rights in Nigeria. With regard to the relationship between development and human rights, Nigeria presents an interesting puzzle. It is rich in oil, but has not been able to translate its immense natural resources into sustainable economic development and respect for human rights. Ethnic and religious tensions, a result of colonialism, have been exacerbated by disastrous economic development, which has in turn led to a deteriorating human rights situation and intense violence. The chapter first considers the political economy of Nigerian oil before discussing the country’s political and economic development, with particular emphasis on critical aspects of human security and civil society. It concludes with an assessment of the progress that has been made as well as ongoing development challenges Nigeria faces.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

12. Securing development; developing security?  

Maria Stern

This chapter addresses the politics of development and its relation to security. It highlights how the mobilization of security via development may aim to address forms of political violence but can also (re)produce them. The chapter specifically poses the questions: ‘Security for whom and from what?’ and ‘Security when and where?’ By posing these questions, it draws attention to how security is mobilized in the crafting and enactment of development policies, or security-development/peacebuilding initiatives, and the security logics that underpin them. This helps render visible the hierarchies these logics reproduce, the forms of violence they enable, and the forms of knowledge that they privilege.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

14. Property, extraction, and accumulation  

Caitlin Ryan

This chapter explores the political violence steeped in the relations between property, extraction, and accumulation by considering the questions: ‘Security for what purpose?’ and ‘Security at whose expense?’ Security is often related to property as a claim to the ‘right’ of states, companies, and individuals to have security of property. The purpose of security is thus assumed to ensure a right to maintain property, and in particular, to extract or accumulate value from it. In this sense, security is often mobilized to protect existing property rights and/or the security of some form of property itself. Through examples of plantations and mines, the chapter demonstrates how property shows how security is mobilized, and how capital has historically depended on the protection of ‘property rights’ not only through appeals to a ‘rule of law’ but also through violence.

Book

Cover Global Politics

Aggie Hirst, Diego de Merich, Joe Hoover, and Roberto Roccu

Global Politics: Myths and Mysteries provides an introduction to key concepts in international relations, aiming to expose the myths of the discipline. The text starts off with an introduction to the topic asking the question: what exactly is myth-making? The chapters then look at key concepts in turn, starting with politics and power. They move on to examine ethics, violence, and law. Next the text analyses the world of finance with a chapter on money. Empire is the subject of the chapter that follows. The last two chapters cover capitalism and state. Finally, the text concludes and considers the notion of change as it relates to global politics.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

14. Can States Be Terrorists?  

Kieran McConaghy

This chapter discusses how states use political violence and asks whether this sort of action could be considered terrorism or not. It lists the core points of study related to state acts of violence. These include instances of threatened acts of violence, state approval of violent acts, and the psychological impact of state and non-state acts of violence. State terrorism has become marginalized because the focus has been primarily on certain types of non-state political violence. States frequently sponsor or assist violent groups internationally when such acts serve their foreign policy objectives. The chapter examines examples of governments taking advantage of state terrorism. This tends to happen in totalitarian and authoritarian regimes, but also with colonial powers and liberal democracies too. The chapter clarifies how an accurate definition of terrorism is dependent on intent, which is difficult to determine for state and non-state actors.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

2. What Are Terrorism Studies?  

Tim Wilson

This chapter gives a basic overview of the field of terrorism studies. It looks at attempts to define the boundaries of terrorism as a subject. It traces the evolution of orthodox terrorism studies since the 1970s. The term terrorism was first coined during the French Revolution. Terrorism sparks powerful images of sudden, disruptive, and system-shaking political violence. The academic study of terrorism as it exists now reflects the shifting concerns of both governments and the public. Scolarship on terrorism has never been richer and more diverse than it is now. New research opportunties always raise new challenges so it will be interesting to see the field of terrorism studies evolve even further in the future.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

28. Victims of Terrorism and Political Violence  

Orla Lynch and Carmel Joyce

This chapter focuses on victims of terrorism and political violence. Psychological and criminological research on victimhood challenges the portrayal of victims as rand and unlucky targets of indiscriminate violence. Research on victims is often concerned with the psychological impact of violence and this results often in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The chapter also highlights how victims of terrorism often become public victims and are politicized in the process. It also looks at the hierarchy of victimhood, the Just World Hypothesis, characteristics of an ideal victim, and differences between good and bad victims.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

4. Conceptualizations of Terrorism  

Anthony Richards

This chapter looks into various conceptualizations of terrorism. Most terrorism scholars view terrorism as a distinctive phenomenon when compared with other forms of political violence. Terrorism is most often defined as the use of violence for the purpose of generating a psychological impact beyond the immediate victims or any sort of political motive. However, how to accurately define terrorism has long been the subject of contentious debates both within policy-making and the terrorism studies literature of the past fifty years. The chapter then lists the levels of analysing terrorism. These are: definition, conceptualization, and pejorative labeling. It notes how the psychological impact and terrorism is viewed as fundamental in understanding terrorism.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

6. The Social Science of Political Violence  

Stefan Malthaner, Donatella della Porta, and Lorenzo Bosi

This chapter examines the concept of political violence. Political violence is analysed through the process of radicalization, escalation, transformation, and disengagement resulting from interactions between multiple actors. The chapter explains how processual approaches offer a new way of trying to understand dynamic and continuously changing phenomena. Using processual approaches means taking on a critique of political violence explanations as an effect of socio-economic structural conditions, individual predispositions, or ideologies. The chapter also looks at the social movement theory, political opportunity structure approaches, and resource mobilization theory as alternative ways to study political violence. Appreciating continuity, interaction, context, and contingency are vital in understanding political violence.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Terrorism Studies

8. The History of Terrorism  

Bernhard Blumenau and Tim Wilson

This chapter discusses the history of terrorism. Terrorism, as it is understood in this chapter, is the deliberate use or threat of violence by non-state actors in order to achieve power and implement political goals. Historical studies help us to better understand the sheer complexity of terrorism from the past. The chapter looks into the gunpowder revolution in Europe. It cites David Rapoport's ‘Four Waves’ model and relates it to accounts of the historical evolution of modern anti-state terrorism since 1880. Rapoport's work has become the dominant explanation of the evolution of modern terrorism.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

17. Gender  

Paul Kirby

This chapter examines the power of gender in global politics. It considers the different ways in which gender shapes world politics today, whether men dominate global politics at the expense of women, and whether international—and globalized—gender norms should be radically changed, and if so, how. The chapter also discusses sex and gender in international perspective, along with global gender relations and the gendering of global politics, global security, and the global economy. The first case study in this chapter considers the Kurdish Yekîneyên Parastine Jin (Women's Protection Units) and the role of women in political violence. The second case study examines neo-slavery and care labour in Asia.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

22. Iraq  

A Failing State?

Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt

This chapter examines whether Iraq is a failed state and how it drew such characterization. It focuses on the period since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein. The chapter considers three areas: the reconstruction of Iraq’s political institutions; post-invasion violence and security; and human and economic development. It shows how the failure to reconstruct political institutions capable of reconciling Iraq’s different political groupings has weakened central government, exacerbated corruption within state institutions, and contributed to ethnic/sectarian violence, thereby creating a favourable environment for the emergence of the Islamic State. The chapter argues that the Iraqi state is failing to provide necessary services and infrastructure for economic and human development and even basic security for much of the population.