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Chapter

Cover Foreign Policy

11. The primacy of national security  

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.

Chapter

Cover Foreign Policy

23. Energy and foreign policy  

EU–Russia energy dynamics

Amelia Hadfield

This chapter examines the role of energy in foreign policy by focusing on Russia’s decision in 2006 to temporarily stop the flow of natural gas to the Ukraine, along with its impact on European markets. It first explains how energy contributes to national prosperity and underwrites national security, noting that states now desire energy security in the same way that they desire military and economic security. It then considers the political significance of energy during the post-Cold War years before discussing the ‘gas spat’ between Russia and Ukraine. It also explores the European energy insecurity dilemma that followed the spat and shows that much of the current tensions afflicting Europe and Russia are driven by an inability to manage energy security as a potent area of foreign policy.

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Cover Foreign Policy

4. Constructivism and foreign policy  

Trine Flockhart

This chapter examines the basic assumptions and foreign policy relevance of constructivism. Using European security as an illustrative example, it shows that constructivism is a valuable tool not only for understanding foreign policy, but also as a guide for prescribing foreign policy. The chapter first explains what constructivism is, outlining the constructivist view that anarchy exists in different forms with major implications for how agents act. It then considers some of the main propositions and conceptual tools of constructivism, with particular emphasis on its arguments regarding identity, social construction, rules, and practice. It also analyses constructivism’s alternative understandings of NATO’s role after the end of the Cold War and in present-day European security. It asserts that theory is important in foreign policy making — including constructivism — because different theories imply different policies and may make alternative policy options visible which would otherwise easily have been overlooked.

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Cover Foreign Policy

15. Canada and antipersonnel landmines  

The case for human security as a foreign policy priority

Lloyd Axworthy

This chapter examines the impact of the Ottawa Process on the use of antipersonnel landmines as well as its significance to foreign policy analysis. The Ottawa Process led to the signing of an international treaty to ban the use and trading of landmines in 1997. It also contributed to the concept of human security and the emerging global principle of responsibility to protect. The chapter first considers the dynamic between governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) leading up to the launch of the Ottawa Process before discussing how middle power countries worked with NGOs and used soft power diplomacy to achieve a ban on landmines. It also explores the utility of the Ottawa Process as a model for recent international efforts, including the Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, the establishment of the International Criminal Court, and the treaties on cluster munitions and the trade in small arms.

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 International Relations Theories

10. Feminism  

J. Ann Tickner and Laura Sjoberg

This chapter examines feminist perspectives on international relations. It first provides a historical background on the development of feminist IR, paying attention to different kinds of feminist analyses of gender. It then considers feminist perspectives on international security and global politics, along with developments in feminist reanalyses and reformulations of security theory. It illustrates feminist security theory by analysing the case of the United Nations Security Council sanctions on Iraq following the First Gulf War. The chapter concludes by assessing the contributions that feminist IR can make to the practice of world politics in general and to the discipline of IR in particular.

Chapter

Cover Global Politics

6. Security and Insecurity  

This chapter assesses the general concept of security and the way in which issues come to be ‘securitized’. The security of the sovereign state, in a system of states, and existing under conditions of anarchy, has been the traditional focus of studies in global or international politics. Security in this context has therefore been concerned largely with the threats that states pose to each other. Over the last few decades, however, the agenda for security in global politics has expanded, and so too has its conceptualization. The chapter looks at traditional approaches to security and insecurity, revisiting the Hobbesian state of nature and tracing security thinking in global politics through to the end of the Cold War. This is followed by a discussion of ideas about collective security as embodied in the UN, paying particular attention to the role of the Security Council and the issue of intervention in the post-Cold War period. This period has also seen the broadening of the security agenda to encompass concerns such as gender security, environmental security, cyber security, and the diffuse concept of ‘human security’. Finally, the chapter provides an overview of the ‘war on terror’, raising further questions concerning how best to deal with non-conventional security threats.

Book

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

Edited by Alan Collins

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 sixth edition features an examination of popular culture and its implications for security, as well as coverage of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. 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.

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Cover Contemporary Security Studies

17. Environmental Security  

Geoff Dabelko

This chapter discusses the concept of environmental security. It explains the way environment and climate change have both broadened and deepened the issue of security. It describes the evolution of the concept as a merger of international environmental agreements, efforts to contest the meaning and practice of security, the proliferation of new security issues in the post-Cold War era, recognition that environmental and climate changes pose grave risks to human well-being, and the growing community of research practice that seeks to build peace through natural resource management. The chapter examines the different meanings of environmental security, and then explains four major categories of environmental security problems—namely, the way environmental change can be a factor in violent conflict, the way environmental change can be a risk to national security, the way war and preparation for war can damage the environment, and the way environmental change can be a risk to human security. It explains how environmental security can mean different things to different people and can apply to vastly different referent objects in ways that sometimes have very little to do with environmental change.

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Cover Contemporary Security Studies

1. Introduction: What is Security Studies?  

Alan Collins

This chapter 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.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

26. Health and Security  

Stefan Elbe and Eva Hilberg

What threat can diseases pose to security? The sheer breadth of possible answers to this question has become increasingly evident during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, which was caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This chapter explores three such links between health and security. First, some diseases are identified as threats to human security. The human security framework draws particular attention to diseases—such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis—that remain endemic in many low-income countries, that continue to cause millions of deaths annually, and that also pose substantial challenges to the survival and well-being of individuals and communities. Second, some emerging infectious diseases—such as SARS, pandemic flu, Ebola, and COVID-19—are identified as threats to national security because their rapid spread can cause high death tolls and trigger significant economic disruption. Finally, some diseases are also identified as narrower threats to bio-security within the context of international efforts to combat terrorism. Here concerns have focused on the spectre of a terrorist attack using a disease-causing biological agent such as anthrax, smallpox, or plague. The chapter concludes by contrasting two different ways of understanding this health–security nexus: as an instance of securitization or medicalization.

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Cover Contemporary Security Studies

24. Energy Security  

Sam Raphael and Doug Stokes

This chapter examines growing concerns over global energy security, as continuing demand for fossil fuels by industrialized economies is matched by increasing uncertainties over future energy reserves. With a particular focus on the politics of oil (which remains the key global energy source), it will assess the ways in which increasing energy insecurity amongst the world’s major powers will impact upon international security more broadly, and will discuss different understandings of the likelihood of future ‘resource wars’ and a new era of geo-political rivalry. The chapter will also examine the impact that the search for energy security by states in the Global North has upon the human security of communities in the oil-rich Global South. Finally, the chapter will examine the central role played by the USA in underpinning global energy security in the post-war era, and the impact that this has had for oil-rich regions.

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Cover Contemporary Security Studies

28. Cyber-Security  

Myriam Dunn Cavelty

This chapter looks at what makes cyber-security a key national security issue. Section 28.2 provides background information to understand why cyberspace is insecure and what it takes to hack a system. Section 28.3 looks at different types of politically relevant cyber-operations, describing hacktivism, cyber-crime, cyber-espionage, cyber-terrorism, and cyber-war, among others. Section 28.4 puts the threat into perspective, exploring the realities of cyber-conflict. The debate has shifted from scenarios of imminent cyber-doom to the observable reality of often stealthy, sometimes disruptive operations under the threshold of war. Section 28.5 details selected protection concepts that help to reduce cyber-risks.

Chapter

Cover Contemporary Security Studies

29. After the Return to Theory: The Past, Present, and Future of Security Studies  

Ole Wæver and Barry Buzan

This chapter presents an interpretation of the past and present of security studies with an emphasis on the changing periods of theory production and practical problem solving. The field started out as a distinct US specialty much shaped by the new conditions of the 1940s set by nuclear weapons and a long-term mobilization against the Soviet Union, two factors that created a need for a new kind of civilian expert in defence and strategy. From an American, think-tank-based, interdisciplinary field, security studies became institutionalized as a part of one discipline, International Relations (IR), increasingly international and with theory anchored in the universities. Since the 1990s, the field has been in a new period of high theory productivity, but largely in two separate clusters with the USA and Europe as centres of each. This analysis is used as a basis for raising some central questions and predictions about the future of the field.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

2. Globalization and global politics  

Anthony McGrew

This chapter examines the characteristics of contemporary globalization and how they are reshaping world politics. It argues that both the Covid-19 pandemic and climate change are indicative of just how deeply enmeshed the fate of communities and societies across the world has become, not to mention how globalization simultaneously unifies and divides the world. It explains why globalization challenges some of our traditional ways of thinking and theorizing about world politics. It asks whether there are limits to globalization or whether it is inevitable. It also considers the extent to which globalization is responsible for the emerging shift in the structure of world power, namely the ‘decline of the West’ and the ‘rise of the rest’. Two case studies are presented: one is about global food security and the other is about multicentric globalization.

Chapter

Cover Politics in the Developing World

Introduction  

Lise Rakner and Vicky Randall

This edition examines the changing nature of politics in the developing world in the twenty-first century, with emphasis on the complex and changing nexus between state and society. It analyses key developments and debates, and this is illustrated by current examples drawn from the global South, tackling a range of issues such as institutions and governance, the growing importance of alternative politics and social movements, security, and post-conflict state-crafting. The text also discusses the Arab Spring and South–South relations and offers new case studies of Syria and the Sudan as well as China, India, and Brazil. This introduction considers the question of the meaningfulness of the Third World as an organizing concept, whether politics is an independent or a dependent variable, and a number of major interconnected global trends that have resulted in a growing convergence in the developing world. It also provides an overview of the organization of this edition.

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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.

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Cover Politics in the Developing World

26. Guatemala  

Enduring Underdevelopment and Insecurity

Rachel Sieder

This chapter examines Guatemala’s underdevelopment in the context of social, economic, cultural, and political rights. It first provides an introduction to poverty and multiple inequalities in Guatemala before discussing patterns of state formation in the country. It then considers the 1996 peace accords, which represented an attempt to reverse historical trends, to ‘engineer development’, and to secure the human rights of all Guatemalans. It also explores human security and development in Guatemala and identifies the main contemporary causes of the country’s persistent underdevelopment: a patrimonialist and predatory state underpinned by a strong, conservative private sector, an extremely weak party system, the continued influence of active and retired members of the armed forces in politics, entrenched counterinsurgency logics, and the increasing presence of transnational organized crime.

Chapter

Cover International Relations of the Middle East

10. Middle East Security: The Politics of Violence after the 2003 Iraq War  

Marina Calculli

This chapter explores contemporary security in the Middle East by highlighting the nexus between the uses and justification of violence. Focusing on the post 9/11 reordering of the Middle East, it shows how state and non-state actors use the rhetoric of the ‘war on terror’ to depoliticize military interventions against political rivals. More specifically, it argues that such actors mobilize the politics of shame to contain and undermine their rivals. Such efforts are met with attempts to counter-shame and re-politicize the use of violence, producing a cycle of action and counter-action that seeks to legitimize and delegitimize competing visions of security and order in the Middle East. In this context, security and insecurity are two sides of the same coin that fluctuate according to the prevailing balance of power.

Chapter

Cover The Globalization of World Politics

1. Introduction: from international politics to world politics  

John Baylis, Steve Smith, and Patricia Owens

This chapter introduces the text which offers a comprehensive analysis of world politics in a global era. The text examines the main theories of world politics— realism, liberalism, Marxism, social constructivism, poststructuralism, post-colonialism, and feminism. It reviews the main structures and processes that shape contemporary world politics, such as global political economy, international security, war, gender, and race. Furthermore, it addresses some of the main policy issues in the globalized world, including poverty, human rights, health (with particular emphasis on the recent global pandemic), and the environment. This introduction offers some arguments both for and against seeing globalization as an important new development in world politics. It also explains the various terms used to describe world politics and the academic field, particularly the use of ‘world politics’ rather than ‘international politics’ or ‘international relations’. Finally, it summarizes the main assumptions underlying realism, liberalism, Marxism, social constructivism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, and feminism.