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Lecture 3

Lecture 3- Security Blanket?--Negotiating Power, War, & Peace in IR

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McGill University
Political Science
POLI 360
Julie Norman

Questions what Buzan offers in the article is that the concept of security is being able to bridge some of the gaps that power studies and peace studies miss What is security? bridge between power and peace studies? How do were explain armed conflict? How do we understand peace? just the absence of violence, or something more substantial? Why do we study these things? are we trying to understand int’l pol. for how things work now, or are we trying to understand these things to then envision what the int’l system could look like after change Security generally relating to safety, stability, freedom from threat/harm many different definitions multiple levels of security int’l (system), national (state), individual (personal) peace studies look more at int’l level, for the global system power studies look more at state level the idea of security can bridge both levels multiple dimensions mil., pol., eco., env., resource, energy, food, cyber… the term security can be put after all of these, and many more (new buzzword) gives us another framework or language to talk about these things more comfortable for a state to situate its policy in environmental security than in environmental rights easier to pass, easier to swallow measures armed forces, civil defense, diplomacy, eco. power, intelligence, infrastructure the int’l level, these measures might look a bit different, because these are more state level for int’l: norms, mutual defense systems, etc. securitization? operationalizing security? what can we actually point to to intentionally ensure security at state or int’l level? security looks a lot different to different policy-makers i.e. war on terror was seen as very necessary security for those in US as operationalizing security there, whereas others disagreed and interpreted the case differently not a lot of objectivity within the notion of security Security and Realist-Idealism (Buzan) talking about the concept of security and applying it to theory as well sees it as a bridge between the polar approaches of realism (prominent in Cold War) and idealism/peace studies latter is too idealistic and naive realism is too cold and calculating power/realism narrow (focus solely on state), pessimistic, self-fulfilling? focuses so much on nat’l level that it can be to the expense of the int’l level of security assumes security threats, which can make it a security dilemma peace/idealism broad (focus solely on system), naive, unrealistic? looks so broad that it misses the very real concerns that states have about their own defences not practical in our current system, policy implications somewhat lacking security recognizes state and system manage insecurity; not succumb or deny it gives a frame for managing conflict
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