International Security

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Does Human Security Still Depend on the State as the Sole Provider of Security?

Does Human Security Still Depend on the State as the Sole Provider of Security?


The end of the cold war fundamentally altered the structure of the international system and created a need of a new security agenda. The new systemic dynamics and reconfigured security agenda led many to question the dominant theoretical frameworks previously applied to international security, and new security discourses such as human security and national security.

The objective of the assignment is to present arguments in favour of the statement. The paper begins with the different definitions and perspectives of the international relations. Moreover, impact of globalisation on the security needs and changing demands in terms of human security after the cold war, are presented in the discussion of the assignment.

Problem Statement

Does human security still depend on the state as the sole provider of security?


International Relations

International relations conventionally understood as the political issues (especially foreign, defence and security policy) that take place between states and beyond the borders of states. These "high politics" are sometimes said to be in contrast to the "low politics" of domestic issues (Jervis 1985, pp.58). In this conception, states are understood to be bounded and sovereign, unitary and rational, and the primary actors in the international stage (Wolfers 1962, pp.21). World politics is thus understood as the sum of diplomatic, economic, military and political interactions between states as they prioritize their national interests and seek security by maximizing power. This view is said to be historically valid, traceable to thinkers such as Thucydides and Machiavelli, and formalized in agreements such as the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia (Baylis 2011, pp.220).

This conception of world politics as international relations, which shares much with classical approaches to geopolitics, can be questioned empirically. International trade, the global circulation of capital and the movement of labour involve 'non-state' actors (e.g. corporations, markets and migrants) and traverse both 'domestic' and 'foreign' spaces, demonstrating that the varied scales of local, national and global are intertwined. Environmental issues, the transmission of disease, mobile cultural forms and fundamentalist religions are social forces that call sovereign spaces into question. They are developments that can require transnational governance that involves co-operation rather than conflict, collective interests rather than national priorities, and international organizations rather than military alliances (Baylis 2011, pp.130).

Changing Perspectives of Security

The vision of security is increasingly difficult to explain in today's globalized world, since its spectrum of coverage covers many areas for the previous conceptualization of the Cold War focused and aimed only at a military camp. Technological and economic at present maintain the aforementioned needs and proliferate and expand additional security demands that intend to integrate the national, regional and international levels (Hans & Reardon 2010, pp.60).

Non-traditional threats require policy consensus, and so the States obliged to cooperate and commit resources, not only in relation to national security goals, regional or based on considerations of balance of power but also in relation to objectives global security (Ullman 1983, ...
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