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International Security and Development

Oxford Handbooks Online


International Security and Development  
Necla Tschirgi
The Oxford Handbook of International Security
Edited by Alexandra Gheciu and William C. Wohlforth

Print Publication Date: Mar 2018 Subject: Political Science, International Relations
Online Publication Date: Apr 2018 DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198777854.013.37

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines two interrelated questions: How do challenges in the development
arena contribute to global insecurity today? What types of research, policies, and
strategies can best contribute to alleviating, mitigating, and preventing these threats?
The chapter argues that after a lengthy period during the Cold War when development
and security were artificially separated, these twin agendas gradually started to come
closer in the 1990s under a new era of liberal internationalism. However, the re-
emergence of hard security threats after 9/11 have interrupted efforts toward greater
alignment between development and security Many of the challenges that currently
confront the international system have their roots in the development arena and require
concerted efforts by development and security analysts and actors. The chapter analyzes
the perfect storm of developmental factors that are building up to threaten international
security and examines possible avenues for greater cooperation between the two fields
for preventive action.

Keywords: development–security nexus, Sustainable Development Goals, UN Security Council, peacebuilding,


violence prevention, hard security, poverty, climate change, demographic pressures, Global War on Terror

38.1 Introduction
DRAWING upon the rich body of theory, policy, and practice since the end of the Cold
War, this chapter examines two interrelated questions: How do challenges in the
development arena contribute to global insecurity today? What types of research,
policies, and strategies can best contribute to alleviating, mitigating, and preventing
these threats? The chapter argues that after a lengthy period during the Cold War when
development and security theories, institutions, and policies were artificially separated,
these twin agendas gradually started to come closer in the 1990s under a new era of
liberal internationalism. However, the re-emergence of hard security concerns
threatening the Westphalian international order after 9/11 seriously affected efforts

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International Security and Development

toward greater alignment between the development and security agendas. With the
Global War on Terror (GWOT) and the military interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq,
governments reverted to traditional political and military instruments while development
actors were increasingly called upon to address the pressing humanitarian consequences
of new security threats as part of their development programming. With the ongoing civil
wars in the Middle East after the Arab Spring and the rise of ISIS, the recent Countering
Violent Extremism (CVE) agenda is heavily driven by hard security concerns—leading to
further divergence between security and development. This is unfortunate since many of
the challenges that currently confront the international system have their roots in the
development arena and require concerted efforts by development and security analysts
and actors.

The chapter is organized as follows: Section 38.2 provides a quick overview of the
growing recognition of the interplay between security and development in the aftermath
of the Cold War by researchers and policy-makers and draws out key insights that were
gained on the so-called security–development nexus. Section 38.3 reviews the (p. 563)
responses to the re-emergence of hard security threats following 9/11 and the unraveling
of the regional order in the Middle East after the occupation of Iraq. Section 38.4
analyzes key developmental drivers of contemporary threats to international security.
Finally, Section 38.5 offers some concluding thoughts as to why current fragmented
approaches to international security and development are inadequate to address some of
the key challenges that lie ahead and what might be done about them.

38.2 The Security–Development Nexus after the


End of the Cold War
Recognition of the interplay between security and development is not particularly novel.
Socio-economic factors have always been considered an important dimension of national
power and international security. Conversely, the impact of war and conflict on socio-
economic progress has been recognized long before the recent aphorism of conflict as
“development in reverse” (Collier 2003). Indeed, starting with the Truman Doctrine and
the Marshall Plan, the entire infrastructure of international development as we know it
today has its origins during the Cold War when the two superpowers exported their
economic models and sought to win friends among the newly-emerging states through
foreign aid. Yet, what distinguished the Cold War era was its singular focus on avoiding
war between the two nuclear superpowers and their allies. Security was thus pursued
primarily through increased military power and a web of alliances. Other lower-level
security threats (including underdevelopment, anti-colonial wars, intra-state conflicts,
and insurgencies) were important to the extent they affected the precarious balance of
power between the two rival blocs.

Thus, throughout the Cold War there was a marked divide between security studies,
institutions, and policies, on the one hand, and development studies, institutions, and
policies, on the other. The former focused on interstate wars and threats to the bipolar
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International Security and Development

international order while the latter focused on the macro-economic development of the
so-called Third World countries. The lion’s share of foreign aid went to prop up friendly
governments and client states and to strengthen their military and security institutions
rather than to address deep-rooted developmental problems. With the end of the Cold
War, protracted local conflicts, intra-state wars, and complex political emergencies in
developing countries were catapulted to the international stage, although the major
powers did not consider these as direct threats to their vital interests. Thus, there was an
unusual opportunity to re-think the concept of security and examine ways of addressing
new types of threats with deep developmental roots.

The security studies literature of the 1990s reflects both a deepening and widening of the
concept of security, and growing contestation of the state-centric, post-Westphalian
security paradigm (Buzan and Hansen 2007). Given the changing international context,
traditional security institutions assumed new roles as reflected in the rapid expansion
(p. 564) of UN peacekeeping and NATO’s engagement in the Balkans. Development actors,

who until the end of the Cold War worked “in” or “around” conflict, finally started
working “on” conflict—an area that was considered the domain of political and security
actors (Goodhand 2006). This allowed many non-state actors (including the growing
number of international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)) to work on the complex
socio-economic-political drivers of conflict as well as on issues of conflict resolution,
peacemaking, and peacebuilding—tasks that had hitherto been considered outside their
mandate (Tschirgi 2004; Goodhand 2006).

It is in this context that the concepts of peacebuilding and the security–development


nexus emerged and led to a growing industry of academic literature as well as myriad
innovations aiming to bridge the chasm between the security and development
institutions, policies, and practices that had taken shape during the Cold War. Largely
informed by a “human security” lens and focusing primarily on addressing the twin
challenges of security and development in conflict-affected countries, the new interest in
the security–development nexus generated increased understanding of the range of
developmental factors that contribute to the onset, duration, and ending of violent
conflicts. There was exciting new research on the links between conflict and poverty,
horizontal inequality, displacement, poor governance, environmental and demographic
pressures, the resource curse, and other socio-economic factors. Recognizing the
developmental dimensions of these new security challenges, policy-makers and
practitioners responded with new peacebuilding programs such as rule of law, security
sector reform, and disarmament, demobilization, reintegration which would have been
unthinkable only a few decades earlier. The UN Security Council was called upon to play
an active role in peacemaking, peacekeeping, and peacebuilding after having been in
paralysis for much of the Cold War. There was growing convergence at the intersection of
an expanded development and peace and security agenda as reflected in successive UN
reports, An Agenda for Peace, An Agenda for Development, and An Agenda for
Democratization (United Nations 1992, 1994, 1997).

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Throughout the 1990s the main question that motivated research, policy, and practice
was how to avert the outbreak or recurrence of low-level security threats in developing
countries through structural prevention by addressing long-standing problems in the
development domain (Carnegie Commission 1997). The new conflict and peacebuilding
agendas at the United Nations, the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) and
the bilateral and multilateral donor agencies involved a serious examination of
development policies and strategies through a conflict lens—leading to new insights and
tools such as Do No Harm, conflict sensitivity, peacebuilding, and Peace and Conflict
Impact Assessment (Anderson 1999; OECD DAC 2001).

The conceptual, policy, and practical innovations of the 1990s were part of liberal
internationalism of the post-Cold War era and seemed to herald paradigmatic changes on
the part of key international actors. Security was no longer conceived primarily in
military and state-centric terms while the developmental challenges of developing
countries became an international concern. Yet, many of these efforts were in fact mostly
at the level of policy pronouncements and aspirational commitments. There were hardly
(p. 565) any fundamental reforms in either the development or security domains. A closer

look at international priorities, resource allocations, and institutional reforms of the


1990s confirm that the security–development nexus was more rhetorical than real
(Tschirgi et al. 2010; Amer et al. 2012). In retrospect, it is evident that there were serious
obstacles to greater synergy between development and security after decades of
disconnect. The two fields had differing guiding paradigms, institutional cultures, policy
priorities, and instruments as well as vastly different time frames for anticipated results.
It would have required an extension of the favorable international environment to bring
about fundamental shifts in both fields to better align them conceptually and
operationally. This was not to be.

38.3 The Paradox of 9/11: Securing or


Securitizing Development
The terrorist attacks of 9/11 had a direct and profound impact on the burgeoning concept
and practice of the security–development nexus (Dannreuther 2007; Baranyi 2008;
Hintjens and Zarkov 2015). 9/11 elevated problems originating in zones of conflict,
especially through terrorism and state failure, to the level of direct threats to
international security (Tschirgi 2013). The United States and its key allies declared
terrorism an existential threat requiring military action—opening the door to the US-led
Global War on Terror, the US interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as the
doctrines of counter insurgency and counter-terrorism. The forceful military responses to
9/11 transformed the international security context—ushering in a new era of foreign
wars by the United States and its key allies. They also reshaped the discourse on the
security-development nexus.

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Initially, there were high hopes for a “great bargain” after 9/11 whereby the international
community would prioritize both development and security as twin goals requiring
strategic attention, collective action, pooled resources and sustained collaboration by all
relevant actors. As was the case after the the Second World War and the Cold War, at the
United Nations and various international fora the links between deep-rooted development
problems and international peace and security were affirmed and calls for integrated
strategies reiterated (United Nations 2004; Annan 2005). Even as they fought open wars
in Afghanistan and Iraq, many Western governments committed to greater collaboration
between their departments of diplomacy, development, and defense (the “3Ds”) to
synchronize their efforts for “whole-of-government” approaches (OECD 2007; Patrick and
Brown 2007). However, the real consequence of 9/11 was not to deepen the links between
security and development but to “securitize” development by subordinating it to a
militarized security agenda (Baranyi 2008; Newman 2010; Tschirgi 2013). The conflict
prevention and peacebuilding agendas of the 1990s had been motivated by the need to
address deep-rooted development problems to bring greater stability and (p. 566) security
in conflict-affected countries and to avoid their regional and international spillovers. After
9/11 the security–development nexus was co-opted and re-conceptualized as the
cornerstone of a new stabilization and state-building strategy as a new hard security
agenda took shape (Baranyi 2008; Tschirgi 2013).

State failure was already on the international agenda in the 1990s with the breakdown of
political order in various Balkan and African countries. However, it gained prominence
after 9/11 with al-Qaeda’s success in flourishing in “ungoverned” spaces in Somalia,
Sudan, and Afghanistan. The 2002 US National Security Strategy set the tone when it
declared that “America is now threatened less by conquering states than we are by failing
ones” (United States 2002). In the following years, other countries and institutions
followed suit in identifying state failure, and its antidote state-building, as key challenges
due to increased security threats—especially terrorism—resulting from state fragility
(United Kingdom, 2008; United States 2008).

Thus, state-building emerged as a central priority at the nexus of security and


development. Yet, there was no consensus on what state-building required. Instead,
security and development actors approached the new state-building agenda from
different perspectives and with different agendas. Recognizing that effective statehood
required legitimacy as well as the capacity to govern, development actors took a longer-
term approach rooted in the concept of sustainable peace (OECD 2005; OECD DAC 1997,
2001; World Bank 2009, 2011; UNDP 2012). Meanwhile, defense departments and
national security agencies tended to view conflict and state fragility primarily as a
security issue—approaching state-building instrumentally from a stabilization
perspective. They focused largely on a state’s capacity to maintain security, ignoring the
fact that many instances of state failure witnessed in the 1990s were in fact the result of
the security-oriented strategies promoted by external actors during the Cold War. The
new stabilization and security agenda was less concerned with the domestic foundations
of good governance than with governments’ ability to crack down on terrorism and
transnational security threats. In many instances development and security actors found
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International Security and Development

themselves working at cross-purposes. As the OECD (2007) noted regarding the


Principles of Good International Engagement in Fragile States & Situations that had been
adopted by donor governments:

The challenge for governments involved in fragile states is to establish clarity on


and coherence in objectives. These objectives are likely to differ among the
departments involved. … Therefore, ministries may promote national interests
rather than the interests of a partner country, which, from the perspective of
development cooperation, is problematic. When dealing with the problems of
precarious statehood— and in particular the wide range of potential threats
emanating from them—the issue therefore is how governments determine their
priorities for engagement in fragile states. From the perspective of the OECD-
DAC, the question more specifically is where development outcomes should rank
vis-à-vis trade, counter-terrorism, national defence and other political objectives of
donor countries. (OECD 2007: 17)

(p. 567)

Despite competing agendas, interest in the security–development nexus flourished in the


decade after 9/11—leading to a small industry of books, policy statements, reports, and
documents. There was, however, little agreement on how to bring them together (Duffield
2001; Stern and Öjendal 2010; Tschirgi et al. 2010; Mavrotas 2011). As Spear and
Williams (2012: 21) masterfully summarize—reproduced here in Table 38.1—there are at
least eight different ways in which the security–development relationship has been
conceptualized.

Different analysts and actors have taken entirely different approaches to explaining, as
well as responding to, the interplay between security and development, depending upon
their analytical perspectives, political agendas, institutional mandates, and the level at
which they work (Stern and Öjendal 2010; Spear and Williams 2012). Irrespective of their
differences, there is broad agreement that, unlike the dangerous clarity of the Cold War
or the heady optimism of the post-Cold War years, the second decade of the twenty-first
century is witnessing a shrinking world in constant turmoil; what happens in any part of
the world has almost instant repercussions globally. In such a context, the interplay
(p. 568) between security and development becomes even more complex. The two agendas

do not necessarily operate in synch—requiring continuous investigation of their interplay


at the domestic as well as the international level and crafting contextualized responses.

Table 38.1 Conceptualizing the security–development relationship

Zero-sum Security and development are framed in either–or terms where


allocating resources to one detracts from the potential to achieve the
other; e.g. the guns-versus-butter debate.

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Positive-sum Security and development are understood as mutually reinforcing;


the provision of one increases the likelihood of achieving the other.

Distinct Security and development are both viewed as important goals but
are understood as distinct enterprises best pursued using different
methods.

Synonymous Security and development are basically about the same thing:
ensuring that the referent object can pursue its cherished values
effectively.

Sequential Security and development are conceived as preconditions for the


other; e.g. development can only progress in a secure environment,
or genuine national security requires a certain level of economic
development.

Hierarchical Security priorities are said to structure the choice of development


projects undertaken. For some, this has produced a situation where
the development industry has become a project to support the peace
and stability of the North.

Selectively Security and development are interconnected but in complex and not
co- necessarily similar ways; e.g., only in certain contexts or with
constitutive respect to particular issues.

Sui generis Security and development issues are always entirely context
dependent; hence, it is impossible to draw meaningful conceptual
generalizations across different times and places.

Note: Table reproduced with permission from Joanna Spear and Paul D. Williams
(eds.), Security and Development in Global Politics: A Critical Comparison.
Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press 2012, p. 21.

38.4 The Security–Development Nexus in a


Turbulent World
There is increasing recognition that the contemporary scourge of terrorism and violent
extremism flourish in conditions of socio-economic deprivation and political exclusion
(United Nations 2006, 2015c). Similarly, analysts recognize that the Arab Spring and the
ongoing civil wars in Syria, Libya, and Yemen have been fueled by long-standing failures
of development in these countries (Al-Sumait et al. 2015; Sadiki, 2015). Meanwhile, the
UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have explicitly made the case for the
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interplay between developmental factors and security (United Nations 2015b). In other
words, there is strong evidence that neither approaching security and development as
separate areas of concern nor securitizing development has yielded positive results. The
challenge is in viewing developmental risks through a long-term, security and conflict-
prevention lens. That requires taking development seriously and committing the
necessary tools and resources to addressing structural development problems before they
become imminent security threats.

Based on a review of the extensive body of literature generated since the end of the Cold
War, Section 38.4.1 aims to illustrate what we have learned about how developmental
factors affect international security. Development is an all-encompassing concept,
evolving from its early equation with macro-economic growth to its expanded definition
embracing economic, social, political, and environmental dimensions of well-being. As a
result, the discussion in Section 38.4.1 is highly selective—focusing on several long-term
development trends that are steadily converging to threaten international security.

38.4.1 A Perfect Storm: Convergence of Demography, Poverty,


Inequality, and Environmental Degradation

In the words of former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, poverty, inequality,


demographic, and environmental pressures are “problems without passports” (Annan
2009). They are not only transnational in nature; they take place in a context of
heightened globalization whereby their scope and impacts are greatly magnified. The
security implications of each of these development problems have been investigated
extensively by experts. While these problems do not necessarily cause direct or
immediate security threats, they do pose particular risk factors which, combined with
other factors, can (p. 569) help to create a perfect storm. For example, several
demographic trends that have been developing over time (namely, the divergent age
structure of populations in developing and industrialized countries; the youth bulge in
developing countries; the mass movement of populations through urbanization,
migration, and refugee flows) seem to have reached a dangerous point today. The
statistics are telling.

It is projected that the global population of 7.3 billion in 2015 will continue to grow—
reaching 9.7 billion people by 2050 (United Nations 2015a). The growth will be
concentrated in only a few regions and countries—many of which are not only among the
world’s lowest income countries, but are also in regions of conflict in Africa and the
Islamic world (Goldstone 2012). Meanwhile, population growth will be slow, or negative,
in many industrialized countries. It is projected that by 2050, the population of the
developed countries will stagnate while the population of the rest of the world will grow
by 50 percent—from 5.3 billion people in 2005 to 8 billion in 2050 (Goldstone 2012).
Perhaps the most pressing issue is the so-called youth bulge. In countries where the
proportion of the population aged 15 or younger ranges from 30 to 40 percent, the
pressure for education, health, basic services, and jobs will increase in the coming
decades—creating heavy burdens on governments. Concurrent with the population

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increase and the youth bulge, massive migration from the countryside to cities is
expected to continue. For less-developed regions, the urban population is projected to
increase from 42.7 percent in 2005 to 67 percent by 2050 (Goldstone 2012; United
Nations 2015a), leading to competition for scarce resources in urban settings. Equally
importantly, migration and refugee flows from developing to developed countries are
expected to accelerate due to civil wars, domestic conflicts, natural disasters, and
economic pressures.

These demographic trends and the growing population discrepancies across the North–
South axis are sufficiently alarming. Yet, they are also accompanied by an equally
dramatic change in global incomes. It is expected that the share of income going to
developed countries with the richest billion people in the world is likely to fall from
roughly 60 percent in 2005 to less than 30 percent by 2050 (Goldstone 2012). This,
however, does not mean that the great divide in wealth between the global North and the
South—the haves and the have-nots—will disappear. On the contrary, as the 2017 Oxfam
briefing paper, An Economy for the 99%, argues, “the global inequality crisis continues
unabated.” According to Oxfam (2017), eight men now own the same amount of wealth as
the poorest half of the world. In 2010, that number was 388 individuals. “Since 2015, the
richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet,” the report finds and “the
incomes of the poorest 10% of people increased by less than $3 a year between 1988 and
2011, while the incomes of the richest 1% increased 182 times as much.” Strikingly,
“Since 2015, the richest 1% has owned more wealth than the rest of the planet.”

The consequences of global inequality are manifold—undermining growth, perpetuating


poverty, fragility, and conflict. Researchers have shown that a country’s rate of growth is
inversely correlated with the risk of conflict (Collier 2001, 2008; Fukuda-Parr 2010). It is
estimated that the risk of war is three times greater for a country with a per capita
income of $1,000 than for a country with a per capita income of $4,000 (Humphreys
2003; Fukuda-Parr 2010). The countries at the bottom of the Human Development Index
are also the countries that face state fragility or conflict (World Bank 2011). (p. 570)
Nonetheless, researchers do not posit a direct causal link between poverty and
international insecurity. Instead, the links are intermediated through such factors as
horizontal inequalities, poor governance, urban pressures, heightened competition for
scarce resources, high unemployment, globalization, technological connectivity, greater
access by young men to criminal and terrorist networks, conflict, and state failure.
During most of the Cold War “mainstream security studies relegated poverty to the
category of low politics” (Williams 2012: 193). This is no longer the case as the complex
interplay between poverty, inequality, population growth, urbanization, and globalization
have become increasingly more evident. In a rapidly globalizing and interdependent
world, the persistence of an unequal world order that fails to address interlocking global
problems is a contributing factor to insecurity and conflict. These problems have been
exacerbated by environmental degradation which has emerged as a multi-faceted threat
(Dannreuther 2007; Matthew 2010).

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Until the end of the Cold War, “the notion of the environment as a significant source of
insecurity was not on the radar screen” (Dannreuther 2007). This has changed radically
even though researchers and analysts continue to differ on the nature and dynamics of
the interplay between the environment and security. Some scholars refer to an
“environmental crisis” whereby unrestrained human activity, intensified by a growing
population, is destroying the carrying capacity of the earth. They foresee heightened
competition over natural resources with grave consequences for security. There is a rich
body of literature on the links between natural resources and civil conflict—variably
explained in terms of resource scarcity or the resource curse. Others point to climate
change as a growing threat in light of mounting evidence of its adverse impacts on the
world economy, affecting economic growth in both the industrial and developing
countries. Climate change is also expected to lead to extreme weather conditions and a
significant loss of productive agricultural lands—fueling poverty as well as mass
migration (United Nations 2016). As with other developmental factors, environmental
problems have a direct impact on the poor and the vulnerable; they also have a North–
South equity dimension which adds to their complexity. It is generally accepted that the
relationship between security and the environment is indirect and multi-directional.
Researchers have identified various feedback loops through which environmental factors
generate conflicts and security threats and vice versa (Homer-Dixon 1999; Dannreuter
2007; Matthew 2010). It is, however, quite evident that mounting environmental problems
can no longer be ignored as a security issue—especially when coupled with changing
demographic and economic factors.

38.4.2 The Challenges of Governance in an Insecure World

The interlocking dynamics between the long-term trends identified in Section 8.4.1
demonstrate the gravity of the potential threats they pose to human security, political
stability, state failure and, indirectly, to international security. None of these problems
(p. 571) lend themselves to quick and easy solutions. Moreover, although anchored in

concrete contexts, they traverse the globe. From a prevention perspective, the challenge
is how best to manage their progression and mitigate their negative impacts through
more effective governance in a world where nation states and fragmented approaches
still dominate. Indeed, this is where security studies and developmental studies have a
common agenda: greater understanding of the challenges of governance both at the
domestic and international levels.

Development studies has—albeit belatedly—recognized the importance of good


governance as an essential element of socio-economic development. Security studies, on
the other hand, has traditionally taken a narrow view of the institutional underpinnings of
security—focusing primarily on the security institutions of the state. With development
trends posing long-term security challenges, there is need for a conceptualization of
governance beyond the security oriented state-building model discussed in this chapter.

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At the domestic level, governance is not about stronger states but about how power is
exercised to manage public affairs; it is increasingly understood in terms of state–society
relations based on legitimate and accountable institutions, norms, and processes within
an inclusive political framework. State-centric security approaches that are not based on
a social contract between the government and its citizenry are unlikely to provide either
development or security—as repeatedly demonstrated in weak, fragile, and failing states.
Good governance (variably defined as democratic participation, inclusive politics, or state
legitimacy) has to do with more than building state institutions and capacities. It is
correlated with citizens’ perceptions of their ability to shape the decisions that affect
their lives (World Bank 2011; UNDP 2012). In that light, governance deficits are not
exclusively confined to fragile or conflict-affected states. There is a serious crisis of
governance in many countries around the world. Economic and financial crises,
terrorism, unrestrained migration, and the negative impacts of globalization are creating
deep distrust in politics and established governance systems with serious implications for
their ability to ensure security. Perhaps one of the most telling examples of the crisis of
governance was the discordant responses of European governments to the 2015 Syrian
refugee crisis and the rise of populist, right-wing political movements contesting official
policies.

At the international level, the governance challenges are of a different order. There is
growing recognition that there have been fundamental changes in the world system
without corresponding changes in global governance. From the bipolar world of the Cold
War, to the unipolar world of the 1990s, we are living in an era of tectonic shifts in
economic and political power. As has been noted: “We have not any time since 1800 seen
a world in which the majority of economic growth occurs outside of the United States and
Europe, in which any countries had sixty-year-olds constitute 30–40% of their
populations, and in which large countries at relatively modest levels of income per capita
reached urbanization levels of 60%. Yet that is the world of the next half
century” (Goldstone 2012: 288–9). The impacts of these trends are compounded by
traditional as well as non-traditional security threats including violent extremism,
terrorism, (p. 572) cybersecurity, and organized crime. Largely created in the aftermath of
the Second World War, current global institutions are unable to deal with the number and
complexity of these challenges. Equally importantly, they do not represent the important
shifts of power in the international system ranging from the rise of China and India to the
growing role of non-state actors. Clearly, there is a pressing need for more representative
and effective institutions of governance at the international level that can deal with global
problems. Yet, paradoxically, even as the need for global governance grows, there is
public suspicion and lack of faith in multilateralism and the post-Second World War
international architecture as prominently reflected in the election of Donald Trump as US
President in November 2016. From both a security and development perspective,
addressing the deficits of governance emerges as a high priority.

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38.5 Implications and Possible Directions


What are the implications of the preceding analysis for future research and policy? It is
clear that security studies and development studies cannot continue on separate tracks as
they have done for much of the last 60 years. This chapter has shied away from claiming
any automatic causal connection between development and international security. Indeed,
both fields need to continue deepening their understanding of development and security
as distinct issue areas. Nonetheless, there is also need for multi-disciplinary research
focusing on issues at the intersection of international security and development. There is
already a rich body of literature on specific aspects of the nexus—poverty and civil
conflict, urbanization and criminal violence, terrorism and marginalization, climate
change and environmental migration. What is missing is a concerted and long-term
research agenda that brings researchers from both fields to apply the qualitative and
quantitative tools of their disciplines to map out and investigate the complex interplay of
development and security challenges that face us in the twenty-first century. Such a
research program requires a prevention mindset which goes beyond the “clear and
present danger” perspective of many security analysts without securitizing development.
The development challenges described above are long-term threats; nonetheless, in
combination they can cause a “perfect storm.” We need to understand the conditions that
can create such a perfect storm using both development and security frameworks and
tools while exploring new governance mechanisms to manage local, national, and global
challenges.

Yet, focusing only on structural factors or material conditions will not suffice. Guided by
insights from traditional security studies, threat perceptions by both policy-makers and
publics in a world in turmoil should be part of any research at the nexus of security and
development. Public perceptions of loss of national sovereignty, community, or identity
should be taken into account alongside deteriorating socio-economic (p. 573) conditions or
hard security threats. Rise of right-wing leaders and populist resistance to immigration
and refugee flows as security threats in the US and Europe demonstrates the challenges
policy-makers face in reconciling domestic pressures with the need for multilateral action
in a dangerous world. Thus, multi-disciplinary research needs to include disciplines that
can bring an understanding of both the objective conditions and subjective perceptions of
insecurity in a shrinking world.

Turning to policy implications, as the preceding analysis demonstrates, threats emanating


from the development arena are not sectoral in nature and do not lend themselves to
fragmented solutions. They are products of long-term historical and socio-economic
trends, exacerbated by far-reaching changes in the international system due to
globalization, technological advances, the end of the Cold War, and the rise of
transnational threats like global terrorism. Thus, policy responses should be informed by
historically grounded and contextually specific analysis. While useful, simply adding
band-aid solutions like security sector reform to the development toolbox is not enough.
Similarly, strategies of containment or stabilization promoted by security actors are not
viable over the long-haul. Meanwhile, including Goal 16 to “promote peaceful and
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inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build
effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels” as part of the Sustainable
Development Goals is far from adequate (United Nations 2015c). Going beyond Goal 16,
there is need for a fundamental re-thinking of all the sustainable development goals from
a peace and security perspective.

However, a more coherent or comprehensive policy framework is not sufficient without


corresponding resources. According to the US Department of State (United States 2015)
which tracks military expenditures and arms transfers globally: “From 2002 through
2012, in constant 2012 U.S. dollar terms, the annual value of world military expenditures
appears—despite declining slightly after 2009—to have risen about 40–52%, from about
$1.28–.59 trillion in 2002 to about $1.79–2.42 trillion in 2012, and to have averaged
between $1.59 and $2.04 trillion for the 11-year period.” During this same 11-year
period, “the share of GDP to which military expenditure was equivalent—an indicator
sometimes called ‘the military burden’—appears to have averaged between 2.1% and
2.5%, peaking at between 2.2% and 2.8% in 2009” (United States 2015). According to
SIPRI, in 2015 global military expenditure was $1.67 trillion, equivalent to 2.3 per cent of
global gross domestic product (SIPRI, 2016). Meanwhile, in 2015 official development
assistance (ODA) by the 28 countries in the OECD Development Assistance Committee
(2015) stood at $131.6 billion, averaging 0.30% of gross national income.

The allocation of resources outlined in the previous paragraph is indicative of the


continuing gap between security and development priorities. It also reflects the
challenges of mobilizing resources for preventive purposes in a global system based on
sovereign states. Despite various waves of internal reforms, the United Nations is
straining to address the growing range of issues on its agenda. Moreover, it is highly
compartmentalized with different parts of the system dealing with climate change,
population, poverty, and security. The relations between the UN Security Council and
ECOSOC—the (p. 574) UN’s Economic and Social Council responsible for development—
remain shaky. The UN’s relations with the Bretton Woods Institutions have traditionally
been constrained due to member state policies and preferences even though there is
growing collaboration at least on the development front. The World Bank’s publication of
the 2011 World Development Report, Conflict, Development and Security, was a
breakthrough. However, the global system remains as siloed as ever. Beyond the UN,
there are no global institutions with the mandate to address security and development
challenges in a coherent manner.

The imperative for conflict prevention and peacebuilding, as a joint agenda for security
and development analysts and actors, rests on the viability of the idea of global
interdependence and global governance. There are numerous institutional, political, and
procedural obstacles to the realization of this agenda. However, perhaps the most serious
is the increasing push-back against globalization and the idea of a liberal one-world
system that seemed on the ascendancy in the immediate aftermath of the Cold War. This
push-back manifests itself in different ways in different parts of the world (Barber 1995;

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Ikenberry 2011; Haidt 2016). It is found in the ideology of political Islam which, in its
extreme form, has led to the scourge of global terrorism.

However, there are other forces at work which were further accelerated with
globalization that also challenge the post-Second World War liberal international world
order. The economic rise of China, the resurgence of a nationalist Russia, the British vote
to exit the European Union, President Trump’s America First policies in the United
States, and populist, isolationist movements in Europe seem to signify a return to a more
fragmented, inward-looking worldview across the globe. Thus, it is particularly ironic that
while the range of threats and challenges discussed in this chapter require greater global
collaboration for effective preventive action, we might in fact witness the strengthening
of the Westphalian state system based on traditional concepts of nationalism and national
security in an increasingly globalized world.

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Necla Tschirgi

Necla Tschirgi is Professor of Practice, Human Security and Peacebuilding at the


Joan B. Kroc School of Peace Studies, the University of San Diego.

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