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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.

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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.

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Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

13. Health  

Sara E. Davies

This chapter describes the increasingly prominent representation of health as a security issue. It begins by presenting the ‘origin’ story of health security that has led to the contemporary practices we see today in the WHO and UN Security Council. The chapter then looks at the different approaches to health security—namely, human security and national security—and considers why security is mobilized to respond to health issues. The focus here is on public health events and their location (regions and borders). The chapter also examines who the ‘peoples’ to be protected from the dangers of health security are. The COVID-19 pandemic reveals that despite a rapidly emerging global public health threat endangering everyone, with some more exposed to harm than others, the response was not equitable and reinforced existing hierarchies.

Chapter

Cover Politics

17. Security Insecurity, and the State  

This chapter examines various dimensions of security and insecurity within states. It first considers different conceptualizations of security and the range of areas within which it may be applied before discussing security and insecurity in the state of nature. It then explores the impact of security and insecurity on global politics, Thomas Hobbes' ideas about security and insecurity, and collective security as embodied in the United Nations (UN). It also reviews some pressing security challenges in the post-Cold War period and the broadening of the security agenda to encompass more recent concerns such as human security, environmental security, and energy security. Finally, it analyses the ‘war on terror’ that came in response to 9/11, raising further questions concerning how best to deal with nonconventional threats.

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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.

Chapter

Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

3. Orders, power, and hierarchies  

This chapter discusses what it means to adopt a critical perspective to analyse security. It highlights the fact that critical perspectives share a common concern with identifying and transforming forms of domination and oppression. To identify how security may be connected to domination and oppression requires uncovering the logics of the socio-political order in which a security mobilization takes place. The chapter then looks at the different ways that we can conceptualize power and how power can (re)produce hierarchies through identities, ideas, interests, institutions, and infrastructures. It also illustrates how forms of domination and oppression made possible by security mobilizations can be contested and resisted.

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.

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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.

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.

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Cover Security Studies: Critical Perspectives

20. Prisons and camps  

Anna Schliehe

This chapter explores prisons and camps, and their inherent security logics and security practices from the global to the intimate. It begins by illustrating how the growth of prisons and camps is connected to state building and national and global dimensions of security. The chapter then considers how order and security are institutionally produced—that is, how these are intrinsically designed into spaces of incarceration. By exposing the visceral realities of encampment and incarceration, from the micro-practices to the macro-issues on a global scale, we can question security for whom and at whose expense. By asking these questions, we gain better insights into how a generated need for national and international security has led to unprecedented numbers of people who are incarcerated or displaced.

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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.

Chapter

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.

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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 Global Environmental Politics

9. Natural resources, security, and conflicts  

This chapter discusses the relationship between the environment and security. The concept of ‘environmental security’ is omnipresent, but is nonetheless ambiguous and contested. What exactly needs to be secured, and what are the security threats? Is environmental security about state security, faced with the loss of natural resources? Or is it about protecting individuals and communities from environmental degradation and reduced access to key environmental resources? A first step in clarifying these questions is to disentangle two related but distinct causal arguments. In the relationship between environment and security, environmental degradation can be analysed either as a cause or as a consequence of security issues. A second step needed to clarify these debates is to adopt clear definitions. In the context of international relations, security has traditionally been understood in relation to the survival of the state, and the main threats to state security are armed conflicts. For the purpose of this chapter, conflicts are defined as any type of disagreement. The chapter also examines the impact of conflicts on the environment.

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.

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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.

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Cover Policy-Making in the European Union

17. Foreign, Security, and Defence Policy  

Civilian Power, Europe, and American Leadership

Bastian Giegerich

This chapter examines the gradual development of foreign and security policy cooperation among European Union member states. It begins with a discussion of the hesitant moves from European political cooperation (EPC) to a common foreign and security policy (CFSP), along with the emergence of a common security and defence policy (CSDP) as part of CFSP. It then considers CFSP in the context of eastern enlargement and the significance of the Treaty of Lisbon for EU foreign and security policy. It also looks at the intervention in Iraq and the adoption of a European Security Strategy, as well as CSDP missions and operations. Finally, it analyses the underlying theme of national sovereignty combined with EU-level capacity through a range of examples.

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Cover Contemporary Security Studies

14. Military Security  

Sheehan Michael

This chapter examines the continuing importance of military security. It notes that International Relations has historically seen security almost entirely in terms of the military dimension, before going on to review the impact of the broadening of the concept of security on approaches to the study of its military dimension. It then analyses the key aspects of the traditional approach to military security and some of the most common ways in which states have sought to acquire it historically, such as war, alliances, and, more recently, nuclear deterrence. The chapter then reflects on some of the difficulties in acquiring military security, and ways in which its pursuit can sometimes reduce, rather than increase, security, before concluding with a reminder of the continuing centrality of military security, even within a significantly broadened understanding of security as a multifaceted concept.