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Week 2: The Academic Field of Security Studies. IR 522 Security Issues in Global Context - Instructor: Dr. Bezen Balamir Coşkun. 2 March 2011. Contents. Global Security Studies Global Security Studies as an academic discipline 3 Primers of International Studies on Global Security.

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week 2 the academic field of security studies
Week 2: The Academic Field of Security Studies
  • IR 522 Security Issues in Global Context - Instructor: Dr. Bezen Balamir Coşkun

2 March 2011

contents
Contents
  • Global Security Studies
  • Global Security Studies as an academic discipline
  • 3 Primers of International Studies on Global Security
global security
Global Security
  • The difference is that something is global when it is common in all countries.  Global studies is more than the study of investments, or imports and exports.  It is a new discipline aimed at obtaining a global perspective on world affairs that represent the continuing efforts of human beings to achieve freedom, justice, a decent standard of living, and general progress.  The most common, or fundamental, condition required for such efforts is security.  Hence, global security is an appropriate name for the field.  
  • What is Global Security? The definition used by the Austin Peay Institute for Global Security Studies is that the field involves the study of transnational issues with global implications that can only be solved by collaborative effort.  Among the issues covered are conventional and critical security, national security and homeland security, international law, economic security, population movement, environmental security, energy security, gender and age, infectious disease threats, transnational crime, intra-state conflict, terrorism and insurgency, and American global power.
global security1
Global Security
  • Within the global context, goods, services, and people move frequently.  They compete for prices, access, and wealth, but equally significant is the competition for "culture." Freedom, not security, becomes critical under such culture conflict conditions.  The culture conflicts created by globalization do not call so much for peace and order as they do for amity, equity, and justice. 
  • What usually cements satisfaction or happiness to freedom is security, and the best security in this regard can be said to be security from fear -- not necessarily fear of the unknown (as with safety) but fear of having one's gains wiped out, of success, of getting ahead.  Security of everything is futile, and there can definitely be such a thing as too much security.  What is and should be cared about are the gains or progress made -- what each individual feels has made their life more enjoyable.  Different people from different cultures are going to have different ideas about this -- about their freedoms and rights, but they can all agree on the basic idea of progress through security. 
global security2
Global Security
  • Regarding the kinds of issues that global security studies covers, it can be seen that some issues involve more "intractable" problems than others.  It is customary for scholars to use terms such as "intractable" or "protracted" to describe conflicts which can never be solved or effectively managed (Azar 1986), but in many ways, a far better definition is provided by Crocker et. al. (2004; 2005) as conflicts which are stubborn or difficult to manage.  Harm-producing intractable conflicts are essentially prolonged wars where the elites in the region aren't hurting enough to change; political extremists exist on all sides, thwarting any attempt at nonviolent resolution; psychological wounds, grievances, and a sense of victimization run deep among the population; and there simply aren't enough of the right mechanisms in place, particularly security mechanisms, which build confidence in the expectation for anything other than failure.  Ignoring such conflict zones is the same as creating a breeding ground for a whole host of ills and bad things -- such as terrorism and disease -- which will be eventually exported around the world.  The criteria for the selection of issues that the field of global security studies must face should be the determination of the extent to which exportation of "global bads" (Crocker et. al. 2004:5) may occur.
global security studies as a discipline
Global Security Studies as a discipline
  • Scholars have traditionally been adverse to establishing new disciplines.  This is especially true in "security studies" field.  Various work have been undertaken in nearly complete isolation from one another and with little apparent regard or awareness of relevant developments in other fields. 
  • Well, Beier & Arnold (2005) advocate a "supra-disciplinary" approach which will allow thinking across a range of discourses without giving rise to some interdisciplinary hybrid. Their reasoning is as follows:  interdisciplinary means "between disciplines" and implies the contributing disciplines have significant and unique things to offer.  However, the problem is that each and every interdisciplinary science tends to become less than the sum of its parts; i.e., more separate than connected.  This is known as the "hybridity problem," and hybridity is only one of the many problems which befall scholarly disciplines. 
global security studies as a discipline1
Global Security Studies as a discipline
  • Related fields that are counterparts to global security studies include security studies, safety studies, and strategic studies.  It is an oversimplification, but the terms "strategic studies" and "security studies" can be roughly distinguished by the former being devoted to anything "forward looking" and the latter being devoted to anything "backward looking," which is to say security studies is a field more comfortable with historical methods. This is a rather anachronistic distinction.  Other conceptions exist. The oldest security studies organization in the world, RUSI (Royal United Services Institute), which was founded in 1831 by the Duke of Wellington, had an original mission to develop itself out of military science by going beyond the latter, asking questions like "What is military? How does it affect security for good and bad throughout the world?"  RUSI's contemporary mandate of global security studies includes all issues of defense and security, including terrorism and the ideologies which foster it, as well as the challenges faced from man-made or natural disasters, and the linkages between government, law enforcement, and private security sectors or industries involved in the homeland security market.  So, what happened to "growing out of military science?"  How did such a broad mandate come about?
global security studies as a discipline2
Global Security Studies as a discipline
  • The answers are found in how the traditional security paradigm was "stretched" after the Cold War ended.  Before then, and for a brief time in the mid-1990s, the traditional security paradigm was realist or neorealist (Waltz 1993), based upon an anarchistic conception of each nation-state entrusting its security to a balance of power between nation-states, or in the case of neorealism, soft balancing between regimes, coalitions, and other entities. 
  • Under these conceptions, global stability can be assumed to take care of itself while nation-states or regimes seek to optimize their own security.  It's like some kind of economic "invisible hand" theory where the security of individual citizens necessarily follows from the security of larger entities.  Security in this collective sense is undoubtedly the same as protection from invasion where the meaning of "security" is the same as "protection." 
global security studies as a discipline3
Global Security Studies as a discipline
  • When the Cold War ended and the U.S. awakened to the risk of terrorist attack, two things became apparent:
  • (1) that the international system was far too complex and interconnected for each state or regime to continue pursuing their own security needs, which amounted to some sort of collectivist isolationist policy anyway, and it became immediately apparent that some sort of multilateral "responsibility to protect" would be needed to replace outmoded notions of security as protection; and
  • (2) that people are subject to a wide range of menaces, including environmental pollution, infectious diseases, economic deprivation, and transnational terrorism, to name a few, which have global implications referencing the more human, subjectivist, or non-collective realm of perceptions, and further necessitating a reconceptualization of security toward such referents as "freedom from fear" and "freedom from want."
global security studies as a discipline4
Global Security Studies as a discipline
  • Freedom from fear is the dominant conception of security among Americans and Canadians, and it makes sense in a post-9/11 landscape.  It's basically a conception of "safety."  Indeed, there is a field called safety studies.    There is, further, some connotation of predictability in global security studies, but it is not a priority consideration, perhaps because the field is ambivalent about Weber's "iron cage of rationalism."  Certainly, "safety" has broad meaning. A couple of obvious points can be made about safety under the new security conception. 
  • Firstly, it's decidedly inclusive, global in scope, and reaches out to each and every person on the planet.  This is not so much because it's chic, but because the scholarly search for the true meaning of "security" is rigorously empirical, reflecting a holistic rather than anarchistic conception of protection.  In other words, it's a "bottom-up" approach. 
  • Secondly, the field appears to be decidedly positivistic, attempting to get at the root causes of things, even though sometimes it's the consequences, or mishandling of the causes, which are the problem.  It may be argued that it is this hindsight -- the backward-looking aspect -- when combined with the forward-looking aspect (the global connotations of terms) -- which describes security studies "growing out" of military science.  To elaborate on this argument further, let's examine some specific subfields.
subfields strategic assessment and intelligence analysis
Subfields: STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS
  • Strategic assessment or "net assessment" (Rosen 1991), idea goes back to Sun Tzu's "calculations" [in the temple] and Clausewitz' "gauge" [of capacities, sympathies, and weaknesses, particularly the "center of gravity" concept].  The center of gravity concept is a key term taught in war colleges as the best place to strike a blow against an enemy for maximum effect.  It is also normally conceived of as the level of population support for a side in conflict, support being for both moral and physical reasons.  It may be important to note that the 2007 surge strategy in Iraq was successful, in part, because it calculated the center of gravity being a desire among the population for safety and security.  As Biddle (2004) points out, standard measures of capability (How many troops and weapons does each side have? How good is their equipment?) are limited, and should be supplemented by holistic assessments (e.g., of strategy, tactics, morale, motivation, leadership).  Nonetheless, military balance estimates play a pivotal role in war causation, arms racing, alliance formation, conflict duration, and crisis escalation; and likewise, good analyses of deterrence, power distribution, and polarity rest upon good measures of capability. 
  • Today, strategic assessments ought not to be confused with intelligence reports.  The major difference is that intelligence estimates are one-sided, focusing upon an enemy or potential enemy only.  Strategic assessment, by definition, always involves an analysis of the interaction of two or more security establishments both in peacetime and war.  A more Clauswitzian definition is given by Rosen (1991: 286) of strategic assessment as: "a forecast of peacetime and wartime competition between two nations or two alliances that includes the identification of enemy vulnerabilities and weaknesses in comparison to the strengths and advantages of one's own side."  In retrospect, it would appear that strategic assessment has not fully grown out of intelligence analysis yet, or vice versa since neither field seems to be better than forecasting or futurology in preventing estimates or predictions which turn out terribly wrong.  To highlight this problem even more, let's look at failure in assessment and analysis. 
subfields strategic assessment and intelligence analysis1
Subfields: STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS
  • Errors or miscalculations in strategic assessment are frequently the cause of failures in war.  In fact, it is often the case that, in hindsight, failures can be attributed to mistakes in strategic assessment.  Such errors include making too much out of training exercises or published military doctrines; assuming a specific use of certain weapons or units; and failure to define correctly who will be a friend and who will be a foe.  Failure to anticipate the budgetary challenges of peacetime management problems might be added to this list, as would misinterpretations of the center of gravity where, for example, it is assumed a population just wants security, but in fact, have greater desires.
subfields strategic assessment and intelligence analysis2
Subfields: STRATEGIC ASSESSMENT AND INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS
  • Errors or miscalculations in strategic assessment are frequently the cause of failures in war.  In fact, it is often the case that, in hindsight, failures can be attributed to mistakes in strategic assessment.  Such errors include making too much out of training exercises or published military doctrines; assuming a specific use of certain weapons or units; and failure to define correctly who will be a friend and who will be a foe.  Failure to anticipate the budgetary challenges of peacetime management problems might be added to this list, as would misinterpretations of the center of gravity where, for example, it is assumed a population just wants security, but in fact, have greater desires.
  • Strategic assessment is a subfield of security studies.  There are at least six ways to do strategic assessment: (1) by forecasting 20-year trends in various military balances, particularly maritime, power-projection, and nuclear balances; (2) by estimating combat effectiveness from an analysis of what each side considers important in combat; (3) by analyzing past performance of weapons used in the context of specific conflicts; (4) by analyzing the role of perceptions and decision making in leaders and decision makers; (5) by developing newer analytic tools to examine the possible outcomes of different scenarios; and (6) by appraising existing strengths and weaknesses in light of both short-term and long-term shifts in the security environment.  The outcomes or products produced by good strategic assessment include the following:
  • foreseeing potential conflicts
  • predicting outcomes in given contingencies
  • being alerted to developing problems
  • warning of imminent danger                    
central concerns
Central Concerns
  • Noted scholars have pointed out the central concerns of security studies.  Walt (1991:212) wrote that the field "explores the conditions that make the use of force more likely, the ways that the use of force affects individuals, states, and societies, and the specific policies that states adopt in order to prepare for, prevent, or engage in war."  Nye & Lynn-Jones (1988:6) wrote that security studies is "centrally concerned with international violence."  Lansford et. al. (2006) likewise have directed attention to the central role and place of VIOLENCE in security studies.  These latter authors go further, asserting that there are only two subfields in security studies:  strategic studies, which explores the use of force in the policy context; and military science, which studies use of force in the tactical context.  It is clear from this distinction that security studies is more closely aligned with a concern for violence in the policy sense (which makes it somewhat indistinguishable from strategic studies).  But, what is one to make of this limited perspective of violence?  After all, disciplines like criminology have made significant inroads into understanding violence (e.g. Archer & Gartner 1984; Reiss & Roth 1993;  Zahn, Brownstein & Jackson 2005), but security studies seems uninterested in the breadth of perspective found there (from functional to constructivist approaches; from microtransactional to macrostructural levels).  Criminology would seem a fine field of preparation for security studies, as would criminal justice for that matter.  Take, for example, the justice standard of "something ought not to be happening and somebody ought to do something about it now."  The point is there is plenty of room under the banner of violence.
central concerns1
Central Concerns
  • Security studies rejects a purely functional or Hobbesean notion of violence as inevitable, just as it simultaneously rejects any constructivist or utopian notion of lasting peace.  In some ways, this is good since it means the field can avoid the whole metatheoretical stumbling block of pessimism vs. optimism.  In other ways, this is unsatisfactory, since like the disciplines of foreign affairs or foreign policy, far too many variables are seen as continua without endpoints, leading to a certain amount of elasticity in any conclusions drawn (other than the traditional endpoints in these fields where leaders must sell their domestic audience on international goals).  There is additionally some degree of phenomenological intersubjectivity in security studies.  Not guesswork, but disciplined self-reflection.  This is most apparent when scholars write about violence being a possibility which actors understand the need for.  The self-reflection emphasis, of course, receives limited treatment as critique or dialectic in the hands of Marxists, but intersubjectivity also serves as an invitation for feminists (e.g., Tickner 2004), both groups (Marxists and feminists) wishing to seize on any weakness or illogical inconsistency in the field.  Witness the creation of the field called critical security studies, which primarily consists of feminist, constructivist, and postmodern approaches (Krause & Williams 1997).  Critical security studies seeks to question (though not always do away with) the foundations upon which the dominance exists for state-centrism and military-centrism.  One might as well question the existence of polity and power. 
central concerns2
Central Concerns
  • Critical approaches nonetheless add some needed corrective, but not so much as the contributors think in terms of bashing "power" as some androcentric concept, pointing out the obvious that policy is not always "rational," or boasting about their abilities to reflect critically upon the times they live in.  Instead, critical security studies emphasizes the importance of "praxis" or agency, which is associated with the so-called Welsh or Aberystwyth School of international security studies, as represented by the likes of Jones (1999) and Dunne & Wheeler (2004).  A focus on praxis, or technically theory-praxis, helps address the metatheoretical issue of macro vs. micro (how society influences character) as well as highlights the significance of human rights as indivisible from security considerations.  Further, it opens up theoretical doors for the study of agency and structure.  Human rights theory becomes a welcome addition to security studies in this way.  To mention the most fundamental building block, it brings in the subject of norms -- a topic that disciplines like sociology have learned they can't do without.  Norms, of course, consist of unwritten expectations for behavior, but at least they provide benchmarks for conformity and deviance.  One can even realistically talk, as Lansford et. al. (2006) do, about cooperation norms and threat norms in the context of cooperation over issues of polity and power, and further, how threats, like terrorist threats, mutate or transform.  However, there is a distinct difference between the objective study of norms and the kind of praxis-driven normative social science that critical security studies represents.
central concerns3
Central Concerns
  • Another approach exists, this time again named after a certain "school" of thought -- the so-called Copenhagen School, as represented by the likes of Buzan, Weaver & de Wilde (1998).  The Copenhagen School is most known for bringing in the concept of "human security" for which there is a nicely-developing.  The concept is based, in part, on the idea that most war nowadays takes place within, rather than between, nation-states.  Scholarly thought is also directed away from an interest-based approach to security, and towards what is called "securitization" which describes security as a process.  Copenhagen approaches are subject to a number of criticisms, not the least of which come from the Welsh School for being overly constructivistic.  Examples of being overly constructivistic are also frequently found in the homeland security or emergency management literature where writers talk about "risk" or insecurity in terms of those phenomena being globalized or transmuted into some kind of generalized culture of fear or insecurity.  In many parts of the world, terrorism is a way of life.  The message to America from these parts of the world, in the wake of 9/11, is to "just get used to it."  American public opinion, by and large, rejects that message, but international relations scholars still find theoretical promise in constructivist approaches to the global "risk society" (Checkel 1998; Bilgin 2003).
3 primers of international studies 1 peace humanitarian intervention
3 Primers of International Studies: 1- Peace & HumanitarianIntervention
  • The absence of conflict is not peace.  Positive peace requires things like justice, tranquility, balance, and harmony.  The field of peace studies, defined as "an applied science directed toward preventing, diminishing, or curing violence," (Barash 1991) is a field with some decidedly subjectivist and ideological "leftist" slants, just as many antiwar movements are not true peace movements but someone's hidden political agenda.  In global studies, we are concerned with what might be called the more conservative, "idealpolitik" (Kober 1990; 2000) approach which tries to achieve two goals at the same time -- human security and national security -- the virtuous goal of risking of life and limb to protect the helpless AND protecting yourself at the same time.
  • Departments of peace studies were established around 1948 in the U.S. and have been around overseas for much longer.  Although diversity in approach is the norm, it can be said one of the dominant paradigms in the field is the justice and reconciliation approach. 
3 primers of international studies 1 peace humanitarian intervention1
3 Primers of International Studies: 1- Peace & HumanitarianIntervention
  • It is best explained by Hamre & Sullivan (2003:176), as follows:
  • Security addresses all aspects of public safety; creating a safe and secure environment and developing legitimate and effective security institutions; encompasses collective as well as individual security and is the precondition for all the other pillars; involves securing the lives of civilians in the aftermath of immediate and large-scale violence as well as restoring territorial integrity
  • Justice and reconciliation addresses the need to deal with past abuses through formal and informal mechanisms for resolving grievances arising from conflict; creating an impartial and accountable legal system for the future; creating an effective law enforcement apparatus, an open judicial system, fair laws, and a humane corrections system; exacting appropriate penalties for previous acts and building the state's capacity to promulgate and enforce the rule of law; incorporating the concept of restorative justice; including both extraordinary and traditional attempts to reconcile ex-combatants, victims, and perpetrators
  • Social and economic well being addresses fundamental social and economic needs; providing emergency relief, restoring essential services in areas such as health and education; laying the foundation for a viable economy; initiating an inclusive and sustainable development program; and as the situation stabilizes, attending to long-term social and economic development
  • Governance and participation addresses the need to create legitimate, effective political and administrative institutions and participatory processes; establishing a representative constitutional structure, strengthening public-sector management and administration, and ensuring the active and open participation of civil society in the formulation of the country's government and its policies; setting rules for political decisionmaking and delivering public services in an efficient and transparent manner; giving the population a voice in government by developing a civil-society structure that generates and exchanges ideas through advocacy groups, civic associations, and the media
3 primers of international studies 1 peace humanitarian intervention2
3 Primers of International Studies: 1- Peace & HumanitarianIntervention
  • The justice and reconciliation approach is somewhat heavily informed by the ideas of peace researcher and scholar Johan Galtung (1996; 2002) who started PRIO (the International Peace Research Institute in Oslo) and developed the Transcend Method for training peace activists.  Other significant contributors and/or areas of contribution include: Desmond Tutu; developmental sociology (see Center for Global Development); economic overseas humanitarian assistance (see Overseas Development Institute); transitional democracy projects (see International Center for Transitional Justice); and numerous civil-military organizations.  There are also about 20 or so Truth and Reconciliation Commissions around the world which practice the principles of justice and reconciliation on a daily basis.
3 primers of international studies 1 peace humanitarian intervention3
3 Primers of International Studies: 1- Peace & HumanitarianIntervention
  • One of the tenets of the justice and reconciliation approach is that in world affairs, at some points, strong "intervention" is needed, and the sequencing and phasing (as well as type) of such  intervention is important, if only for strategic reasons.  Some interventions will have a clear American national interest at stake; others may involve the US in less than a lead role; and still others may simply be "other people's messes."  Various U.S. presidents have variously interpreted the tradeoff involved here between American isolationism and American exceptionalism.  In actual practice, Flournoy & Pan (2003), say there are four types of interventions:
  • Emergency justice measures to fill the gap until indigenous processes and institutions can take over -- this means sending a team of legal experts, judges, attorneys, etc. to establish an interim legal code and set up interim courts; such systems being totally transparent and accessible to the broad population; and carried on while training of indigenous law personnel took place
  • Long-term efforts to rebuild indigenous judicial systems -- this means developing a viable rule-of-law infrastructure such as personnel standards and ongoing training programs, especially for human rights monitors; construction of police stations, courts, and prisons
  • Reconciliation mechanisms for addressing grievances and past atrocities -- this means international or national tribunals (ad hoc) to deal with alleged war crimes, help establish truth commissions and/or help heal and empower individuals; public education programs, mass media campaigns, and commemorative events; interfaith workshops and/or cultural exchanges [Note: current law restricts US assistance to the narrow category of UN-sanctioned ad hoc criminal tribunals only]
  • Predeployment enablers that should be in place prior to intervention to facilitate a rapid and effective response -- this means maintaining rosters (like the UN has, or various US agencies have) of qualified personnel who are trained in advance on various contingency plans in key functional areas (like linguist skills or CIVPOL, civilian police skills, often only found in military reserve units)
3 primers of international studies 2 international relations theory
3 Primers of International Studies: 2-International Relations Theory
  • International relations (IR) is the study of how the system of states could be made to work more effectively to enhance the power of law, peacefully manage interstate affairs, preserve order and minimize the prospects of war. 
  • Realism is also called "power-politics" and goes by a variety of other names, such as "realpolitik."  Basically, realism believes in a strong military and the idea that nation-states in the world only understand raw power.  Neorealism exists as a variety of realism which softens down the emphasis on power and considers alliances or blocs of nations as capable of establishing some kind of soft balance of power.  Liberalism, among other things, is basically the idea that peace can be secured through the spread of democratic institutions on a world-wide basis.  Neoliberalism (sometimes called neoidealism) is the idea that states act on the basis of values such as concerns for mutually shared security threats and concerns for things like the environment.  There's more -- much more -- but these are the basics, and there's really no way to truly do justice to all the nuances in IR theory. 
3 primers of international studies 3 national security theory
3 Primers of International Studies: 3-National Security Theory
  • National security theory is an emerging subfield of security studies.  It "borrows" from many disciplines, particularly sociology, anthropology, and social psychology, and due to it being found in diverse places within history and political science departments, it is best described as practice in search of a theory.  It is sometimes referred to as "strategic studies" or more precisely, grand strategy (which can be defined as the integration of military, political, and economic means to pursue states' ultimate objectives in the international system - Hart 1954; Kennedy 1991).  It is a somewhat legalistic field, often taking its cue from a government's officially published documents, such as the National Security Strategy of the United States.  Given a war on terror, national security theory would try to figure out the best strategy, be it total defeat, rollback, containment, balancing, binding, or any dozen of other new words that national security theorists come up with.  Some strategies overlap with those found in international relations (IR) theory.  Moore & Turner (2005) state that there are six (6) different national security theories:
  •     (1) Balance of Power    (2) Collective Security    (3) World Federalism    (4) Functionalism    (5) Democratic Peace Theory    (6) Incentive Theory
3 primers of international studies 3 national security theory1
3 Primers of International Studies: 3-National Security Theory
  • the balance of power approach pretty much adopts the same ideas as the realist and neorealist approaches found in IR theory. 
  • The collective security approach is the basis for the organization known as the United Nations, which may have been (and is) a bit of an overreach for the theory, which in its simpler version is just the idea that a breach of peace for one is a breach of peace for all. 
  • The world federalist approach is the basis behind organizations such as the international criminal court and a number of other organizations and movements interested in creating, one day, some kind of world government which would make and enforce good international law.  Sometimes world federalism is called cosmopolitanism, or the idea of "One World" as that idea was expressed by people like Wendell Willkie and Eleanor Roosevelt. 
  • Functionalism (or more technically, neo-functionalism) is basically a similar approach to world governance or global order, which from the perspective of common functions and needs, looks toward uniting (and eliminating borders) in certain regions of the world.  For example, the EU (European Union) is based on functionalism.  A basic assumption of functionalism is that freedom and integration go hand-in-hand. 
  • Democratic peace theory pretty much consists of classic liberalism's idea that the spread of democracy is the best way to ensure peace.  A basic assumption of democratic peace theory is that democracies never go to war with one another. 
  • The incentive approach is just one among many, new, emerging theories which try to combine ideas from both realism and idealism to figure out ways to create incentives, pressures, sanctions, and strategies to get nations to abide by a common code of conduct.