POLS 3490 September 24, 2013
POLS 3490 Security Dilemmas and Violence September 24, 2013
Sources of Conflict (so far)
1) Greed: was and rebellions occur most often when material gains can be made
2) Ethnicity: wars are consequences of ethnic pluralism
3) State collapse and the security dilemma: wars result from the insecurity that
emerges when states are weak (and opponents are strong)
The Paradigm of Political Realism
- A paradigm is a world- view; an understanding of how the world works
A state of personal gain= situations of life or death
o Unitary Actors
o Interests Power survival
The Security Dilemma
Related to the fact that there is no hegemon (all powerful protector)
- A realist concept
o What is it?
Ehen things that I do enhance my security take away from the
security of others
o Can the security dilemma be a cause of conflict?
Realists do not usually explain conflict in terms of good or evil. They explain it in
terms of security and insecurity. Evil is therefore not equal to wanting to survive.
In the aftermath of September 11 2001 a Muslim Canadian was hauled off a place
because other passengers thought he was acting suspiciously
How do you size up the person across the street?
1) Are they a threat?
2) How much of a threat are they?
3) Will the threat increase decrease over time?
4) S there anything that can be done to ensure your security?
The security dilemma continuum
Security driven ------------------------------------- Predator
(no security dilemma) (intense security dilemma)
The security dilemma is most intense in the following circumstances
1) It is difficult to distinguish between offensive and defensive forces
- Ethnic groups that are more coherent are united might be perceived as
posing a greater threat than tho