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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

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 Rethinking Political Thinkers

39. Indigenous Ecologies  

Esme G. Murdock

This chapter discusses Indigenous philosophies which, it argues, have intertwined ecological and political relations. It gives an overview of the key tenets of Indigenous thinking and compares them to prominent features of Western industrial thinking. Indigenous ecologies are deeply associated with the more-than-human world and how Indigenous people construct and craft their governance systems, which aim to be balanced and reciprocal. According to Anishinaabe scholar and activist Winona LaDuke, the principles of Indigenous thinking range between the pre-eminence of natural law, understanding time as cyclical, reciprocity with nature, creation of languages, and the economic organization of Indigenous societies. The chapter explores the interruptions and disruptions to Indigenous ecologies and governance systems through examining colonization, racialized and gendered violence.

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 The Globalization of World Politics

29. Terrorism and globalization  

James D. Kiras

This chapter examines how globalization has contributed to the growth of terrorism as a global phenomenon. It considers whether global terrorism is the price states pay for entry into and continued access to a globalized system, why violent Islamic extremism continues to be the primary motivator for global terrorist violence, and whether freedoms should be restricted to ensure greater security against the threat of global terrorism. The chapter first looks at the definitions of terrorism before tracing the transformation of terrorism from a transnational to a global phenomenon. It then explores the role of technology in terrorism and ways of combating terrorism. The two case studies in this chapter deal with activities of the so-called Islamic State in the Philippines and Mozambique since 2017 and the US ‘insurrection’ on 6 January 2021.

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 Contemporary Security Studies

11. Gender and Security  

Caroline Kennedy-Pipe and Sophia Dingli

This chapter examines issues of gender and security. It begins with an explanation of what we mean by gender and explains why issues of gender are central to understanding security. International Relations specialists have over the last three decades explored and interpreted the ways in which men and women have responded to the national and international policies which have governed conflict, terrorism, and war. The chapter demonstrates that through understanding and placing notions of gender at the centre of any debate on security one can unleash a series of interlocking understandings of the way men and women relate to insecurity, violence, and war.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

18. Economic Security  

Gary M. Shiffman

This chapter provides an economic framework for analysing and countering organized violence. Looking closely at economics as a scientific approach to understanding human behaviour provides insight into the real-life of criminals, terrorists, and insurgents. Individuals make decisions under conditions of scarcity, and markets, firms, and entrepreneurs organize much of human behaviour. Understanding these dynamics can inform how policy-makers, analysts, and operators promote security.

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.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

15. Digital, (in)security, and violence  

Rocco Bellanova

This chapter studies the connections between security and surveillance in order to discover how (in)security and violence are fostered by the digital. To do so, it is important to understand the digital in terms of datafication, computation, and materiality. These enable us to critically explore security through society and technology and tensions between the local and the global, while asking questions about the growing role of IT companies in our worlds. Datafication is at the core of modern statecraft—techniques for counting things and people allow authorities to maintain control over a population at a distance, imposing and collecting taxes that can be used to reinforce their military power. At the same time, showcasing the development of computing permits us to emphasize the key role of security imaginaries in shaping what is now called the digital age.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

5. Critical questions  

This chapter outlines the nine different questions we can ask in relation to security: who can ‘speak’ security; security for whom; security where; security when; security from what; security how; security why; security for what purpose; and security at whose expense? Asking some of these questions help to determine the context within which security is being mobilized, while others enable us to precisely identify what security does within a given socio-political order. The chapter uses the global drug war as an illustrative case study. By asking the nine security questions about the global drug war, the chapter shows how illicit drugs have been used as a pretext to reproduce racism, violence, and structural inequalities. As such, the chapter concludes by restating the importance of not taking security thinking at face value.

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 Human Rights

Transitional Justice  

Joanna R. Quinn

This chapter covers transitional justice, which is correlated with the principle of universality, human rights violation, and impunity. It explores the social implications of brutal conflict. Retributive justice, restorative justice, and reparative justice have been enumerated as the three approaches to transitional justice that differ from their goals and mechanisms such as trials, truth commissions, and apologies. The three paradigms of transitional justice represent perspectives on how a society can be rebuilt. The chapter then references the case study regarding the civil conflict in Uganda to highlight the difficulty of resolving the social implications of prolonged violent conflicts by putting the aforementioned paradigms into practice.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

21. The Onset of the Syrian Uprising and the Origins of Violence  

Reinoud Leenders

This chapter examines the early stages of mass mobilization in Syria that sparked the Arab uprisings. Starting from December 2010 in Tunisia, Arabs from various walks of life took to the streets in protest against decades-long authoritarian rule, repression, and corruption in what came to be known as the Arab uprisings, or Arab Spring. These waves of protest reached Syria in March 2011. While Syria’s protests initially were largely peaceful, they soon gave way to violence, which culminated in an armed insurgency by the end of 2011 and, combined with regime brutality, a civil war. Before explaining how, when, and why the uprisings happened, the chapter provides a short history of growing popular discontent that resulted in the onset of the Syrian uprisings. It then analyses the roots of the uprising’s militarization and the ensuing popular mobilization and concludes with an assessment of the Syrian civil war.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

23. Mexico  

Transition to Civil War Democracy

Andreas Schedler

This chapter examines Mexico’s gradual and largely peaceful transition to democracy, followed by a sudden descent into civil war. In the closing decades of the twentieth century, Mexico’s major challenge was political democratization. Today, it is organized criminal violence. Vicente Fox’s victory in the presidential elections of 2000 ended more than seventy years of hegemonic party rule. However, a civil war soon broke out, sparking a pandemic escalation of violence related to organized crime. The chapter first traces the history of Mexico from its independence in 1821 to the Mexican Revolution of 1910–1920 before discussing the foundations of electoral authoritarianism in the country. It then considers the structural bases of regime change in Mexico, along with the process of democratization by elections. It concludes by analysing why a civil war broke out in Mexico following its transition to democracy.

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.