This chapter discusses the ways that strategic culture can be relevant to scholarship and policymaking with regard to international security. It first provides an overview of three main approaches to the study of culture and strategy, paying attention to political culture as well as the relationship between strategic culture and nuclear deterrence. It then examines various sources of strategic culture identified in the literature, along with theoretical issues related to strategic culture. In particular, it explores the link between constructivism and strategic culture, the question of continuity in state behaviour and how strategic cultural dilemmas can cause changes in security policy, and the ‘keepers’ of strategic culture. The chapter also asks whether non-state, state, and multistate actors can possess distinctive strategic cultures before concluding with an analysis of the role of strategic culture in the acquisition of — and threats to use — weapons of mass destruction (WMDs).
Jeffrey S. Lantis and Darryl Howlett
Dmitry (Dima) Adamsky
Strategic culture shapes national security concepts, military doctrines, organizational structures of the armed forces, weapon systems, styles of war, and almost every other aspect of a state’s defence policy and strategic behaviour. Nevertheless, it is challenging to define and identify strategic culture in a systematic way and multiple definitions of the concept are debated by scholars. It can also be difficult to isolate its impact on national strategy. The strategic culture paradigm has evolved to explore the ways in which multiple cultures—national culture, military culture, and the organizational cultures of key institutions—exist within security communities. While most scholars explore the strategic culture of states, others have examined whether a cohesive strategic culture can exist within non-state actors (e.g. the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)) and supranational actors (e.g. North Atlantic Treaty Organization or the European Union) as well.
This chapter focuses on non-state actors in global environmental governance. Non-state actors, such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs), corporations, and transnational networks, play an increasingly significant role in global environmental politics. Some of them, such as Greenpeace and Shell, became well known by communicating directly with the public or consumers. Others, such as the Indigenous Peoples' International Centre for Policy Research and Education or the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, are less visible to the wider public but no less influential. The scope, diversity, preferences, methods of engagement, and contributions of non-state actors to global environmental governance are often overshadowed by a focus on state actors. The chapter sheds light on how non-state actors engage in global environmental governance and highlights how they shape the political landscape in this field.
This chapter looks into the rationality of terrorism. It starts off by looking into the paradox of terrorism. Political scientists typically view terrorists as rational political actors. However, empirical research on terrorism suggests that terrorism is in fact an ineffective political tactic. Evidence indicates that in instances where there has been terrorist attacks on civilians, governments rarely grant concessions. This might explain why terrorism is often selected as a tactic only if alternative options are no longer viable. The chapter uses Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State as case studies to examine broader patterns of terrorism. Knowing the priority of terrorists is vital for governments when considering counterterrorism actions. Having an understanding of the grievances of terrorists helps political actors predict which targets the terrorists will attack.
This chapter focuses on the concept of civil society, along with interest groups and the media. It first provides a background on the evolution of civil society and interest groups before discussing corporatism. In particular, it examines the ways in which civil society responds to state actors and tries to manoeuvre them into cooperation. This is politics from below. The chapter proceeds by considering the notion of ‘infrapolitics’ and the emergence of a school of ‘subaltern’ studies. It also explores the role of the media in political life and the impact of new communication technologies such as the Internet and mobile phones on politics. Finally, it evaluates some of the challenges presented by new media to civil society.