The idea of global security has taken on new meaning in the post-Cold War world, compelling analysts of international relations to reassess the military, political, and cultural issues that intersect with the notion of security. On Security represents a wide range of views on shifting concepts of security at the turn of the millennium, when the tangible, bipolar arrangement of the Cold War-era world system no longer exists.
Unlike much work in the field, the essays in this volume do not take the state for granted as the referent object of security. Contributors probe deeper, asking what it really is that we imagine needs securing: the international system? the nation-state? culture? On Security inquires further into what constitutes security: protection against enemies? suppression of a particular ethnic or religious group? insulation against economic competitors? And finally, contributors look into how ideas about security enter the realm of public debate and become institutionalized in organizations and policies: are they based on tangible, objective threats, or do they arise from psychological and emotional attitudes about feared enemies?
Ranging in perspective from neorealist to postmodernist to constructivist, the essays in On Security attempt to find answers and to come to grips with some of the dilemmas confronting the idea of security today. The contributors to On Security - Barry Buzan, Beverly Crawford, James Der Derian, Daniel Deudney, Pearl-Alice Marsh, Ole Wever, and Ronnie D. Lipschutz - offer a thought-provoking overview of the ongoing debate about the nature of political reality and international relations.
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