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PLAN I. Traditional Security Studies *Security and Conflict *Military forces & superpower arms race II. Broadening the Focus: *Critical Security Studies Nonmilitary Responses to Conflict Diplomacy, negotiation, mediation Economic sanctions

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I. Traditional Security Studies

*Security and Conflict

*Military forces & superpower arms race

II. Broadening the Focus:

*Critical Security Studies


Nonmilitary Responses to Conflict

  • Diplomacy, negotiation, mediation
  • Economic sanctions
  • Establishment of context of rules, norms, international organizations

International Security Studies

  • Traditional Security Studies (TSS):
    • War & Peace, East/West conflict
    • Soldiers & diplomats (S. Hoffman, 1985)
    • Treaties & alliances
    • National security, military forces, superpower arms race
  • Critical Security Studies (CSS):
    • Regional & ethnic conflicts
    • Broadening the concept of “security”

TSS & the Definition of National Security

  • The ability to protect the state’s territory, its autonomy and its borders from external threats (military, economic).
  • Acquire military capabilities in order to protect national sovereignty, i.e. limit insecurity by being prepared to meet a security threat

I. Traditional Security Studies

  • Acquire leverages in international conflicts
  • Conventional military forces (armies, land mines, air forces, logistics)
  • Non-conventional military forces: WMD (nuclear, ballistic missiles, chemical and biological weapons)

I. Continuity and Change

  • Change of military thinking & strategy, 1991
  • Security dilemma, credibility of threats
  • Arms race, proliferation & security dilemma

I. Conflict, Security & Strategy

  • Central concepts: deterrence, mutually assured destruction (MAD)
  • Nuclear strategy (offensive, defensive):
      • First-strike capability
      • Second-strike capability
  • Arms race as iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma
  • Reciprocity (retaliation)
india pakistan s nuclear arms race
India & Pakistan’s Nuclear Arms Race

(Prisoner’s Dilemma)




I. Post-Cold War Issues

  • Role of non-state actors: new dynamics
    • Retaliation? No territory or cities to defend
    • Nuclear terrorism?
  • Role of states in nuclear proliferation:
    • Domestic production of nuclear weapons
    • Importance for regional conflicts (Arab-Israeli conflict, India/Pakistan, N/S Korea, China & Taiwan)

I. Conflict & Security

  • Collective good problems: all states can

lower contribution to collective goods (e.g. seek individual interest, collectivity is worse off)

  • Strategic choice: size of military budgets
  • Security regimes: e.g. Ballistic Missile Technology Control regime

I. Controlling Proliferation

  • 1925 Geneva Protocol (chemical weapons) + 1992 Chemical Weapons Convention
  • 1972 Biological Weapons Convention
  • Non-Proliferation Treaty, 1968
  • Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, 1972
  • Strategic Arms Limitation Treaties (SALT)
    • SALT 1, 1972
    • SALT 2, 1979
  • Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I, 1991; START II, 1992)
  • Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), 1996

II. Critical Security Studies

  • Post-Cold War debate: 1990s (Krause & Williams, 1997)
  • Non-military threats to national security: environment, resources, health, etc…
  • Security dilemma vs. “Power-Security dilemma”, Buzan (1991)

II. New Threats to National Security

  • Drugs, energy (Romm, 1993)
  • Environmental threats (since 1980s):
        • Resource conflicts (Westing, 1986; Mathews, 1987)
        • Food and water scarcity as threats to economic development (Korany, Brynen & Noble, 1993)
        • “Extended security”: conflict over economic, geopolitical, environmental, territorial issues (Dalby, 1997)

II. Broadening the Concept of National Security

  • No agreed general definition (Buzan, 1991)
  • Threats to national security are actions that threaten to undermine severely the quality of life of a state’s inhabitants and that might significantly reduce political choices that are at the government’s disposal (Romm, 1993)

II. Environmental Security

  • Protection of national resources
  • Interdependent issues: transnational environmental problems (global warming)

& resource-based conflicts affect territorial integrity and political stability


II. Environment & Security

  • Study relationship between military, security affairs and the environment (Deudney & Matthew, eds., 1999)
  • Linking military activities to environmental degradation (e.g., Gulf Wars)
  • Securitization of environmental problems (Buzan, Waever & de Wilde, 1998)

II. Environment, Security & Conflict

  • Predictions for “coming anarchy” as more conflicts will be caused by environmental degradation (Kaplan, 1994)
  • Linking environmental change, resource scarcity and population growth to international conflict (Homer-Dixon, 1991 & 1994)

II. Conflict & Environmental Stress

  • Homer-Dixon: advisor to Clinton Administration – controversial model
  • Environmental stress: scarcity of non-renewable resources
  • Deterministic analysis: environmental scarcity leads to violent conflicts (e.g, water wars in Middle East)
  • 1990s: US neo-Malthusian approach to international environmental problems

II. Environment, Security & Conflict: Conclusions

  • Environmental problems as security


  • Can lead to political instability
  • Impact on crisis but not in isolation from other variables