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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.


Cover Strategy in the Contemporary World

6. Strategic Culture  

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.