This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
In trying to understand international politics and the role of foreign policy analysis it becomes imperative for one to know about the term ³security´ and what it means. It has been established over time that the meaning of security has been defined and redefined on the basis of the changing nature of state systems. The approach to understanding what security is starts from its etymology and travels to the present global sense of the term. The paper would try to look at the meaning of the term in itself and whether there has been any basic change in the way it really has been defined from its inception. Etymologically ³security´ has been derived from the Latin word securus which means safe, secure and without care. In other words it would mean the sense of being secure, of being free from anxiety or free from having a perception of threat or uneasiness. This would be the basis on which I would argue that all other conceptions of security and all other definitions of security take place in International politics and in the politics of the state. From the beginning of civil society, in the Greek polis, mankind has been very aware when it has come to defining what their needs have been. In the process what has matured has been the knowledge of the need to protect the µself¶ from the µother¶. Humans realised the need for a greater figure of authority which would provide security not just at the individual level but would bring about peace and security at a societal level where there was an aggregate demand of security. Thus the notion of the state was created, concept of the philosopher king was floated, liberal ideals flourished and soon welfare of the state had come to be of the highest priority. In this rise of various state systems it was increasingly becoming imperative to find an order in the mess, make it clear the lines and rules of the game that everyone was now to become a part of. In this sense the beginning of the modern state system with the treaty of Westphalia brings to mind the beginning of a social order based entirely on the need for the maintenance of security. With the emergence of the state came a notion of territory and its protection. Security was not only of man but its environment. ³It is indeed a Hobessian conception of the world order as a state of nature, on which states constitute a superior order that provides security inside its territory, and shields individuals in order to protect them from external terror.´i Each nation-state (also in the present day) has the supreme interest of maintaining security which could be broadly summed up into management of threat, the perception of threat, the making of policies and programmes on the basis of this threat and finally the securing of the national interest. It was basically on these levels that security was understood from the seventeenth century (Rothschild, 1995) where the people came together to form a civil government or an association which would protect them from violation of basic rights and freedoms and from sudden use of unauthorised force apart from the authority itself. In lieu of management of ³threat´ it is important to know what it means to have a perception of threat. It is basically a feeling by a particular subject dependant largely on their objectivity resulting
in a subjective analysis of a particular situation. And out of this subjective analysis arises the perception of ³threat´. When the feeling of security is challenged the state feels threatened. This perception of threat is based on several observations. It would wrong to presuppose that it is only the subject¶s observation that finally leads to the making of foreign policy. The other factors would be time, relevance of the incident posing a threat, content of the threat and in what context is the threat. It clearly depends upon policy makers and upon the leaders¶ ³rational´ judgement as to what consists of a ³high´ priority issue or a ³low´ priority one. In analysing the security of the state it has been seen that the reasoning of the leader has often come under criticism in posterity, to what could have been a better alternative in the past. This is probably one of the biggest drawbacks of the ³rational actor model´ which believes that the political leader of the state is a reasonable person. As time has progressed security has oscillated between individual and the state and currently has come to lie in a flux of various connotations of security. Elaboration is the call of the day. Security entails the study of human, economy, environment, political, military, regional, subregional, territorial, global and supranational. Over the years the study of security has become diversified. From realism to neo-realism, from constructivist to deconstructivist, from empirical to normative, from micro to macro, scholars, researchers, analysts, philosophers, political scientists have all debated on what is security and what consists of security, what kind of security should be given the most importance-should it be human security or µfactors¶ which enable human security? The ³Copenhagen School´ of security deals with various aspects of security. One of its proponents is Barry Buzan who talks of security at three levelsindividual, state and international and then goes on to explain the various ³sectors´ of security that he has identified after the demise of the cold war. According to him, th are ere five sectors that have an impact on international politics- Political, Military, Economic, Environmental and Societalii. He also tries to redefine relations of the centre and periphery and analyses the increasing strength of the centre (whose identity is now western capitalism which has defeated both the communists and the third world ideology)iii. On a similar note Emma Rothschild talks of four main extensions of security. And I quote: ³The ubiquitous idea, in the new principles of the 1990s, is of security in an "extended" sense. The extension takes four main forms. In the first, the concept of security is extended from the security of nations to the security of groups and individuals: it is extended downwards from nations to individuals. In the second, it is extended from the security of nations to the security of the international system, or of a supranational physical environment: it is extended upwards, from the nation to the biosphere. The extension, in both cases, is in the sorts of entities whose security is to be ensured. In the third operation, the concept of security is extended horizontally, or to the sorts of security that are in question. Different entities (such as individuals, nations, and "systems") cannot be expected to be secure or insecure in the same way; the concept of security is extended, therefore, from military to political, economic, social, environmental, or "human" security. In a fourth operation, the political responsibility for ensuring security (or for invigilating all the se "concepts of security") is itself extended: it is diffused in all directions from national states, including upwards to international institutions, downwards to regional or local government,
and sideways to nongovernmental organizations, to public opinion and the press, and to the abstract forces of nature or of the market.´ (Rothschild, 1995). She also talks about how ³security forces´ also change with the redefinition of ³security´. How the country cannot just depend on its military forces for security in all its variants. There is always thus a need to increase security. Meagre policies and laws do not manage to do it leading to the need for more ³weapons´ to make it work or for a state to feel ³more´ secure. There is then no diminishing marginal utility because of the absence of the play of constant factors. If one takes both Buzan and Rothschild¶s remarks on the ³extension´ of the term security, one would realise that the game is around the core meaning of the term which simply put again would bring one back to understanding security as the need for freedom, the need to be free, the need to have a carefree mind which is at ease. What is being meant here is that ³factors´ of and the ³extensions´ are not ³security´ but they are the various parts of security. The meaning has not been probably extended but what has been extended is what brings about security. For example, the need for military security will only arise when a country feels the threat either from another country or from within the country itself. In such a case the meaning of ³security´ does not change, what changes is the ³kind´ of security. In trying to understand the ³kinds´ of security, analysts face another security problematique. David Baldwin observes that when a country has to formulate its security policies it has to keep in mind certain indicators like, security for µwhom¶?iv How much security?v What is the cost of security?vi What are the threats? It is finally these factors which go into making a policy. It is the distinction between what consists of a major security threat from a minor one or which security issue needs to be addressed first. It is probably at these junctures that the maintenance of the country¶s security comes into direct conflict with that of the individual. For example in case of India, the Maoist menace in states of Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh or secessionist problems at Jammu and Kashmir. At the end of the day it is not a single leader in today¶s world that formulates policies. (Especially in India, in a coalition government policy formulation probably gets a bit more complicated as more heads have to be made happy.) The role of various think tanks and nongovernmental organisations in advising the government on policy making is been seen increasingly (Rothschild, 1995). The ability of such organisations (if one may collective use that term) in selling the µconcept of security¶ best suited to fit their own interests and in the process influence the state is also been seen in the recent times. For example, think tanks or NGOs can persuade the government to invest more in clean technology than in the purchase of arms. On the other hand the increasing role of the media, of news and public awareness, of civil society also manages to colour certain security policies. The power of private individuals and enterprises, also to an extent helps in furthering the economic security of the country. Thus, security in all its colours and forms becomes an important part in the discourse of the State. From the classical to the post modern the term security has been used to benefit
governments in providing an answer to their policy. Where notions of Sovereignty are of the highest order maintaining the superiority of the state from all the challenges that it faces remains supreme. Policies maybe designed to cater to the larger populace or just a group of individuals, it becomes important to realise that the running of the state is by meagre humans themselves who are bound to be ³human´ and not above them. Semantically, security has been divided into largely two components- Traditional and non-Traditional. The former means military security where the need for the use of weapons takes place while the latter denotes the lack of use of such military weapons, where the security is divided into various other facets like energy, environment, economy, human etc. However, it becomes very hard to make the broad components into two water tight components. For example, if Russia uses its energy supply to the European nations as a ³weapon´ of furthering its own interest in the region where does one then put energy security as? Is it Non-Traditional because there is no use of military force or Traditional because there is the use of supply of energy as a ³weapon´? Another recent debate that is coming up is the relevance of security in a global world order. Due to states being interdependent on each other and also being a part of various organizations and associations, the basic Sovereignty of the states probably get a bit diluted because each nation-state has to adhere to certain international norms and in the process compromise, when it calls for, certain aspects of its interest. On the other hand one could also conclude by observing that it is this dependant global world order that provides or furthers the security of another state. For example, under the aegis of NATO, a small weak country can depend on meeting its territorial security. Also, proponents of globalization who believe in global governance point out that a state of nature will come when there isn¶t a need for boundaries, when there would be a perfect synchrony of demands of the state, of their national interest thus the need for ³security´ would diminish completely. Therefore, in other words, the subject of ³security´ as simple as it is can be complicated and twisted in a manner which benefits whichever state in whichever way the leaders deem to perceive it. The meaning of the term ³security´ still has not changed, what has changed and what keeps on changing is the subjective analysis and the perceptions on what constitutes a ³core´ priority from a ³peripheral´ one. The term security will always mean the feeling of µfree from uneasiness¶ and µfree from threat¶, how one construes thereon its connotation is completely upon the subject.
Echeverri Carolina, The Concept of Security and the viability of global governance , Journal of International Law, Vol 1, June 2010. ii Stone Marianne, Security according to Buzan: A comprehensive security analysis. 2009.
Buzan Barry, New Patterns of Global Security , 1991. He agrees with Buzan that security without a referent is absurd. The contention is also on fixing the referent. Is it the individual, is it the state or is it the global international world. (Baldwin David, The Concept of Security , 1997.) v Baldwin agrees again to Buzan and others in maintaining that security as a term indicates absolutism. Either one has complete security or none at all. He agrees that there is nothing called partial security. He goes on to say that in a world of competing and limited resources it is difficult to really judge how much . vi The idea is more like that of opportunity cost that in order to decide on a particular policy line some other goals and resources have to be sacrificed.
1. Echeverri Carolina Aguirre, ³The concept of security and the viability of Global Governance.´ Journal of International Law, 01, Vol 1, June, 2010. www.eafit.edu.co/revistas/ejil/Documents/security.pdf. (Accessed on 25.09.10 at 4.30p.m.) 2. Stone Marianne, ³Security according to Buzan: A comprehensive Security analysis,´ Security Discussion Paper Series 1, School of International and public affairs, Columbia University, New York, USA. 3. Buzan Barry, ³New patterns of Global Security in the Twenty- First century,´ International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944- ) 67, no.5 (July 1991) pp431-451. (Accessed on 26.05.10 in Jstor at 1.45) http://www.jstor.org/stable/2621945. 4. Baldwin A. David, ³The concept of Security,´ Review of International Studies, 23, 526. http://tau.ac.il/~daniel/pdf/37.pdf. (Accessed on 14.09.10 at 1.40pm) 5. Rothschild Emma, ³What is Security?´ Daedalus, 124, no.3, The Quest for World Order (Summer 1995) pp53-98. (Accessed on 14.09.10 at 1.35) http://www.jstor.org/stable/20027310. 6. Czes aw Mesjasz, ³Security as an analytical concept.´ Paper presented at the 5th pan European conference on International Relations, in The Hague, 9-11, Sep, 2004. http://www.afes-press.de/pdf/Hague/Mesjasz_Security_concept.pdf. (Accessed on 14.09.10 at 1.35 pm) 7. Powell Rhonda DPhil theses 2008, ³Security and Right to security of person,´ chapter 2, ³The Relational Concept of Security.´ http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=959266. (Accessed on 20.09.10 at 5.15 pm) 8. Arad B. Uzi, William I. Bacchus, Edward Gonzalez, Harvey Starr, ³Developing the Relevance Potentialities of National Security and Foreign Policy Research: Some proposed criteria,´ Policy Sciences, 6, no.2, (Jun, 1975) pp-161-173. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4531597. Accessed: 14/09/2010 01:43.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.