Theoretical approach towards global security
Which theoretical approach to the study of global security best explains the contemporary security challenges faced by states and non-state actors?
Global security is the diplomatic and military measures that the global organisations like United Nations and NATO undertake in order to ensure a global security and mutual safety. Security is a value laden concept that often creates a disagreement in theory and in practice and it suggests more than just physical security like securing from physical attack. Global and international security often refers to the security of individual citizens and the communities from the various threats and attacks. In the view point of Lundestad and Jakobsen, (2013), both realists and the liberals are found to focus on the global security and their major aim remains to address the international threats by the action of the military forces. However, the states always have to maintain a diplomatic situation to maintain a level of peace and harmony. Global security attempts to address both interstate and national security challenges and protects individuals as well as communities in war and peace. The essay attempts at understanding the concept of global security and its role in the contemporary situation. The theoretical approach of the global security that explains the security challenges faced by the states shall be taken into account in understanding the various reasons of wars and the role of the organisations responsible for the global security. The role and challenges faced by the state and non-state actors shall be discussed throughout the essay.
The theoretical approach towards the global security helps to understand the complexities of the security and insecurity and the value dilemma that actually helps in solving the issues of the security. Rationalism, the positivism approach explains that the social and the political phenomenon can be explained by the means of explaining the natural world and it does not depend on the empirical validation and falsification (Noortmann, Reinisch & Ryngaert, 2015). Thus, it is the common belief of the actors and non-actors that the reason of war and conflict depends on the demands of the instrumental reason rather than any other predetermined causes. If the theoretical concepts of global security are taken into consideration, it can be said that the security issues between USA and USSR during the Cold War is a dominant realism approach; it was in response to the liberal idealism. In contrary to this concept, Carr believed that the reason behind the World War I was a reason of the utopian thinking that actually leads to the World War II (Lundestad, & Jakobsen, 2013). It is a common observation that the realists and the liberals disagree over the mix of law, diplomacy and enforcement to be used as way of dealing with certain threats. Realists on the other hand argue that the law and the institutions are the one who are capable of dealing with the threats and undue violence against a particular state or country.
Political realism and international security
Political realism is considered as the oldest international theory that deals with international politics and global security. According to the theories of realism, it provides self-help and primary motivation because a state can help them and that no other state or international system can actually help another country (Fukuyama, 2017). However, there always remain an innate desire for power and political stability and so the issue of the security system persist. Also, realism set the strategies for the countries to remain more powerful by maximising the power by making international alliance (Noortmann, Reinisch & Ryngaert, 2015). For example, the North Korea’s war with nuclear weapon that resulted in mass destruction is a valid example for the realism approach undertaken by a nation for increasing their power in the international forum. It was found that in the late 1990s North Korea delegates its relationship with the other nations including China, Russia, Japan to provide them nuclear facility in return of fuel aid and normalisation (Fukuyama, 2017). Other actions made by the nation helped to declare itself as the powerful nation. Similar situation was evident in terms of the countries like China and Arabs where the nuclear weapons were used as a means of establishing political dominance in the world politics and created a major concern for the global security (Miller & Rose, 2017).
The states and non-states actors are facing security challenges in the contemporary situation. Asymmetric Warfare can be considered as one of the most serious challenges that the state and non-state actors are facing in the recent time. It has become very challenging and non-predictive for the nations and militaries to understand the contemporary complexities and addressing the issue from different aspects (Acht, Mahmoud & Thiele, 2015). In fact, there has been a rise of violent strategic landscape that has created a severe threat for the state and non-state actors. It was during the early 1990s when there was a change in the global landscape and a bipolar system of the world ceased to exist. The overwhelming impact of the globalisation that has resulted in the deformation of the geographical locations can also be regarded as one of the reasons of the global security challenges (Fukuyama, 2017). It has been evident that after the WWII, the states face certain internal security challenges as well. It is only that when the international law widened, it aimed at protecting individuals and communities in the war and peace. As a result of this, there was the introduction of few laws and rights like the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1949 Geneva Conventions that covers the conduct in wars and the treatment of the non-combatants (Baldwin, 1995).
Security challenges faced by states and non-state actors
With the advent of the globalisation, the state and non-state actors are found to struggle more on the security issues of the nation. RJ Rummel argued that the security organisations do not always attempt to provide security or improve the security of the communities but there have been many instances that showed that the communities had to suffer more at the expense of the greater security for the elites and other important people of the nation (Ikenberry, 1999). One of the major challenges that the nations are facing in the recent time on the global security is the unipolar security system of the US. If the unipolar international order of the US-dominated security system is taken into consideration, it can be said that America enjoys a global power in the military, political, technological as well as economic condition (Noortmann, Reinisch & Ryngaert, 2015). There is no doubt that no other country can match the power and strength that this country has. The country that emerged from the Cold War as the only superpower in the world and it grew in a faster pace than Europe or Japan. As commented by Boot (2003), Russia and China came out only as regional powers and thus, the countries ceased in offering any sort of ideological challenges to the West. It was from the time being that USA emerged as a most powerful nation and the world entered the age of the American Unipolarity. As a result of the democratic community, the country has provided a foundation and operating logic in order to operate in the far post war era (Miller & Rose, 2017). The unipolar system cannot be considered as more secure than the world used to be just for the fact that being a powerful nation, the country has been dominating over the other regions of the world. US have always been directly and indirectly accused on being involved in the world wide war or tragedy that various nations go through.
Nuclear weapons have been used as a major weapon of mass destruction and it has been a great power for the alternate weapons used for the destruction and defeat of the nation and has been equally become a great threat for the other nations. As pointed out by Stokes, (2018), nuclear weapon has always given the chances to both the countries in action to fight in the war. The conventional military level of the countries has to be increased in order to make sure that there is a greater capability of the nations to win at the conventional level. There has a revolution in the military affairs and the West and other countries have become more or less secure as a result of the revolution (Stokes, 2018). The revolution in military affairs (RMA) has given the armed forces of the US a decisive advantage. The military hardware cannot be easily translated into the political result. The war between US and Iraq can be considered as an example of the very concept (Soltani & Yusoff, 2012). During the Iraq war under Saddam, the weather of the country was not suitable for war and the military had to suffer a lot due to the excruciating sand storms, but the war did not end because the concept of RMA is to move forward without considering any kind of risk associated with the war. One can only achieve victory by considering new weapons and strategies played against the war to improve the capabilities for risk compensation (Ikenberry, 1999). This way the US military has become more secure in its step towards the war and has been found to be more secure in its operations and wars against the various nations.
Unipolar security system of the US
There has been a long debate on understanding what nuclear weapons could do to the world. Lundestad and Jakobsen, (2013) argued that nuclear weapons have only proliferated vertically to have added nuclear power to their arsenals. However, the nuclear power has been found to be slow when it spread towards the other countries. The classical deterrence theory that is derived from the Realist paradigm of the international politics in the international politics and this can be divided into two theories, the structural deterrence theory and the decision-theoretic deterrence theory (Baldwin, 1995). It has been assumed that the members of the nuclear weapons family will increase as more countries will take the utilisation of these weapons. For instance, India and Iraq were counted as the new members of the nuclear families. The saying more may be better might create a greater threat to the world when it comes to the use of the nuclear weapons (Paris, 2001). It has been a common observation that the most powerful countries like America and Russia have been the direct members of the nuclear family but there are other countries that are equally coming up with strategies to use the nuclear weapons. As a result of this, an anarchic situation is created (Noortmann, Reinisch & Ryngaert, 2015). For instance, France and Germany acted as a classic case of two adversaries and used to neglect the defence army of each other. Germany had always preferred to favour offence over the defence believing the fact that offence is the best way to defend a country and had always avoided any kind of clash or fight between the two countries (Acht, Mahmoud & Thiele, 2015). However, when a country has the opportunity to dominate other country by using the nuclear power, it is a common observation that the vulnerability and the fear of attack increases. This is when the non-state actors are found to be more wielding and get more influenced on the global politics.
Focusing on the national security, the concept of the international security for the state and non-state actors has become more vulnerable. Globalisation has definitely a major role to play that actually influenced the global security in terms of economic changes or the technological development (Fukuyama, 2017). Reaction to globalisation can be considered as a broader threat to the nation as it has brought specifically economic disparity and inequality that has resulted in a situation of global unrest and also ignited international terrorism and civil wars. The democratic political situation has reduced the power of the state and has influenced the role of the individuals and the non-state actors (Reinalda, 2016). The non-state actors have also been stressed in responding towards the increasing cases of terrorism. The issue of social realm and security has come down to a holistic approach where the non-state actors are being questioned on their role in the global security (Noortmann, Reinisch & Ryngaert, 2015).
Nuclear weapons and their impact on global security
The detailed discussion carried out throughout the essay has explained the fact that the world is troubled and is experiencing more challenges than ever. There is no doubt on the fact that the world is threated with the catastrophes like natural calamities, global epidemics and others but the world is equally threatened with the civil wars, rampant terrorism, authoritarian rule and the increasing rate of crime and violence. The state and non-state actors are responsible for the national as well as the global security. The liberal means of flow of information for global security has enabled some space for the non-state actors to transfer their job role in a better way. The non-state actors are also gradually adopting the role of the state actors in terms of providing security to the nation and counter terrorism. From the discussion, it can be easily said that the state and non-state actors are facing contemporary global security challenges as a result of increasing impact of globalisation, state terrorism and other factors.
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