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This article was downloaded by: [Bond University] On: 05 August 2014, At: 08:48 Publisher: Routledge Informahttp://www.tandfonline.com/loi/fmcs20 Contemporary Security Studies Benjamin Zala University of Birmingham and Oxford Research Group , UK Published online: 08 Dec 2010. To cite this article: Benjamin Zala (2010) Contemporary Security Studies, Medicine, Conflict and Survival, 26:4, 314-315, DOI: 10.1080/13623699.2010.535393 To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13623699.2010.535393 PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE Taylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the “Content”) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content. This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub- licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly " id="pdf-obj-0-6" src="pdf-obj-0-6.jpg">

Medicine, Conflict and Survival

Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information:

Contemporary Security Studies

Benjamin Zala a

a University of Birmingham and Oxford Research Group , UK Published online: 08 Dec 2010.

To cite this article: Benjamin Zala (2010) Contemporary Security Studies, Medicine, Conflict and Survival, 26:4, 314-315, DOI: 10.1080/13623699.2010.535393

PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR ARTICLE

Taylor & Francis makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of all the information (the “Content”) contained in the publications on our platform. However, Taylor & Francis, our agents, and our licensors make no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness, or suitability for any purpose of the Content. Any opinions and views expressed in this publication are the opinions and views of the authors, and are not the views of or endorsed by Taylor & Francis. The accuracy of the Content should not be relied upon and should be independently verified with primary sources of information. Taylor and Francis shall not be liable for any losses, actions, claims, proceedings, demands, costs, expenses, damages, and other liabilities whatsoever or howsoever caused arising directly or indirectly in connection with, in relation to or arising out of the use of the Content.

This article may be used for research, teaching, and private study purposes. Any substantial or systematic reproduction, redistribution, reselling, loan, sub- licensing, systematic supply, or distribution in any form to anyone is expressly

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Medicine, Conflict and Survival

Vol. 26, No. 4, October–December 2010, 314–319

BOOK REVIEWS

Downloaded by [Bond University] at 08:48 05 August 2014 Medicine, Conflict and Survival Vol. 26, No.

Contemporary Security Studies 2 nd edition, by Alan Collins, editor, Oxford & New York: Oxford University Press, 2010, 542pp., £26.99 (paperback), ISBN 978-0-19-954885-9.

In closing his monumental study of 2002, The Shield of Achilles, Philip Bobbitt declared, ‘We are entering a fearful time, a time that will call on all our resources, moral as well as intellectual and material’.* Without deferring to alarmism and scare-mongering there is, nevertheless, mounting evidence that we are entering a period of profound insecurity – a truly fearful time. The extreme limits of industrialized growth, the marginalization of the ‘majority world’ and militarized responses to conflict are converging in an international system that has never been as connected and interdependent as it is today. If Bobbitt is right and such times call on our intellectual resources like never before, then the second edition of Alan Collins’ impressive textbook on security studies could not be timelier. In fact, the book is not so much a primer on studying the provision of security as the careful analysis of the causes and manifestations of insecurity. As in the previous edition, Collins has divided the book into three sections:

approaches to security, deepening and broadening security, and traditional and non-traditional security. Within this structure he has gathered an impressive array of talented scholars to provide introductions to each topic, a summary of the main controversies and debates that characterize the academic literature as well as the popular discourse and a set of study questions and suggestions for further reading. Seven new chapters have been added to this edition across the three sections. Particularly welcome are the additions of Christine Agius’ theoretical chapter on social constructivism, Nana Poku’s chapter on globalization, development and security (which works well to complement Pauline Kerr’s existing chapter on human security), and a specific chapter on energy security by Sam Raphael and Doug Stokes. Other standout contributions which rise to Bobbitt’s challenge include Jon Barnett’s insightful chapter on environmental security and Paul Rogers’ discussion of the evolution of the sub-discipline of peace studies. Barnett manages to navigate the conceptual debates involved in taking environ- mental stresses and degradation seriously as a security issue, whilst still

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Medicine, Conflict and Survival 315

presenting the reader with a clear and up to date summary of the position of environmental security in mainstream political debates. His closing line is particularly astute: ‘the relevance of environmental security will most probably increase until such time as truly common and cooperative approaches implement serious reforms to achieve forms of social organiza- tion that are ecologically sustainable’ (p. 237). Rogers strikes the right balance between disciplinary history (with an excellent section on the ‘war on peace studies’ of the 1980s) and an engagement with some of the most pressing security challenges in what he describes as a ‘polarized, constrained, and potentially fragile and unstable world’ (p.81) that he argues peace studies can help to address. The final chapter from Barry Buzan and Ole Wæver provides a level of analytical depth not often seen in an introductory textbook, and reaches some interesting conclusions as to the future of what they characterize as the separate imperatives within security studies of theory production and practical problem solving. In a book of this size there will always be chapters which are not as strong as others, and even in one of such wide scope there are additional issues which could be covered. A future edition could include a chapter on the nascent concept of ‘sustainable security’ being developed, not by academics but instead in a number of think tanks and NGOs. Similarly a chapter on multilateral approaches to security (covering more than just theoretical discussions of collective security to include security communities and security regimes) would make a useful addition. On the whole, this new edition of Contemporary Security Studies stands as one of the best, if not the best introductions to the study of insecurity and ways of theorizing about, as well as developing policies to address, the major security challenges facing humanity. We are entering an age which, whilst being fearful and profoundly insecure, need not be as destructive as our capabilities will allow. The kind of careful and considered analysis that this book puts forward can be used as a basis for both understanding our predicament and crafting appropriate responses to it.

Benjamin Zala

University of Birmingham and Oxford Research Group, UK

bpz898@bham.ac.uk

2010, Benjamin Zala

War

and the

Health of Nations, by Zaryab Iqbal, Stanford, Stanford

University press,

2010,

189pp., (incl. index),

$45 (hardback),

ISBN:

978-0-8047-5881-9.

 

In her book War and the Health of Nations, Zaryab Iqbal, Assistant Professor of Political Science at Pennsylvania State University, focuses on