Essay Questions | PSCI2601
FOCUS ON War & Securit ESSAY QUESTIONS [1 is bound to be on there, or we’re screwed…]
SLIDES 8 – War & Security
• Has increased globalization brought more or less global security?
o No, it brings less security.
Define human security [concept of “securitization” – make
individual priority… principle of “subsidiarity” – closest to the
citizen – globalization has not done this]
• Object to secure: individual
• Dimensions: physical, economic, food, health,
environmental, community, political, & personal
• Must apply equally to global north / south >>
Globalization has not done this (created inequality instead)
New risks associated with the environment, poverty, and weapons
of mass destruction (Pg. 240)
• How do critical theory, feminist, and poststructuralist views about international
security differ from those of neorealists? (p6.239)
o Neorealism differs base on the object to be secured, difference between
high/low politics, and in military response.
NeoRealist: security = balance of power, state = object to be
secured, relative gains (cooperation), issues: sovereignty – freedom
from war or threats of war, military power is used to enforce,
security = high politics (difficult to secure – war, national defense).
Critical: emancipation = key to greater domestic & international
security – focus on the individual – critical security studies include
feminist & poststructural theory.
• Feminism: lens to look through – not a theory in itself,
argue that gender generally left out of the literature even
though it affects women disproportionately, focus on
individual gender security rather than states, security =
against discrimination / social issues (violence, poverty,
welfare, climate change, food security, etc.) No difference
between high/low politics. Rethink military & patriarchal
systems of response.
• Poststructuralism: (pg.239) abstract notion of what needs
to be secured [DECONSTRUCTION & DISCOURSE] –
need to define self/other, define what needs to be secured +
from what ▯this is socially constructed. “Security” =
socially constructed concept. Geneology: histories that
underly our security preferences. Intertextuality what is our
history with other states? Many layers. • To what extent is a ‘revolution in military affairs’ taking place?
o RMA is present & active. Examples of: changing nature of warfare,
assymetric warfare, technological advances.
o RMA describes a radical change in the conduct of warfare. This may be
driven by technology, but may also result from organizational, doctrinal,
or other developments. When the change is of several orders of magnitude
and impacts deeply on wider society, the term “military revolution” is used
to describe it. This is happening today.
Forcing us to reanalyze our assumption of RMA
PostWestphalian structure of war: shifts away from states,
focuses on the process of war, etc.
• The conduct of war is increasingly NOT limited by state
activity: Clausewitz is WRONG in modern day Westphalia
states no longer have a monopoly on violence. Most wars
are now fought in failed states, where a state has collapsed
(economic instability is present). NOW: conflict is fought
over identity – just as much as territory
Rise of asymmetric warfare ▯ refers to a situation where the two
combatants are so different in their relative capability (their areas
of strategic ability to exert / carry out warfare) that the success of
either side is determined by their ability to force the other side to
fight on their own terms. à :. The weaker side can have success if
they are able to shift when/where/how the war is fought; ex.
methods of warfare adapt: IEDs, guerilla warfare
• Example: current war on terror in the middle east
The future of warfare is connected to technological and
organizational recommendations for change in the US military and
• Idea after 90’s Gulf War: future conflicts will be based &
won because of technological revolution, weaponry (the
country with the most technological advantage will win) –
The state that adapts the fastest should have superior
combat & defeat their enemies…
• Military / weaponry = be all end all of success? Where is
the development: prevent, protect, rebuild principles of
responsibility to protect…
• Is the tension between national and global security resolvable?
o No, this tension is not resolvable because of:
Conflicting definitions of security (freedom from fear/want,
human security vs. nationstate >> what is the object to be
Impact of globalization (pg. 242) • Some affects are positive (bringing great contact between
states); however, this interdependency also takes away
authority from nationstates (less wiggle room…)
• Fragmentation, rapid social change, terrorism, increased
economic inequality, challenges to cultural & religious
identities that contribute to conflicts within & b/w states
Proliferation of weapons
• Tension: some nationstates have greater technologies, this
is central to the concept of national security but destabilizes
international relations (as many states do not have access to
the same level of weaponry/technology)
• Tension (deterrence / mutually assured destruction) holds
our actions in check.
SLIDES 9 – Terrorism & Nuclear Weapons
• Given that terrorism has been both a transnational and a global phenomenon, why
has it not been more successful in effecting change? Under what circumstances
does terrorism work?
• What purpose do you think was served by labeling the September 11th hijackers
as ‘terrorists’? Why do you think that the Bush administrations characterized the
attackers as ‘hating freedom’?
o Labelling the hijackers as terrorists was an example of speech act theory
and served to
Define terrorism: the use of illegitimate violence by substate
groups to inspire fear, by attacking civilians and/or symbolic
targets. This is done for purposes such drawing widespread
attention to a grievance, provoking a severe response, or wearing
down their opponent’s moral resolve, to afflict political change.
Determining when the use of violence is legitimate, which is based
on contextual morality of the act as opposed to its effects, is the
source of disagreement over what constitutes terrorism.
• Type of terror: religious group political motivations
Label: terrorist v. freedom fighter ▯Chomsky & the process of
“othering” (isolates them from time, from causality, from prior
More than simple statements of verifiable grains of truth (i.e. “It’s
cold outside” = a phrase, not a speech act). A speech act is a
performative practice: the speech/utterance itself creates a new
state of affairs.
o Ex. Making a promise: it creates a new nature of the
relationship, a new layer of expectation, a new
situation • 3 MAIN SPEECH ACTS
o locutionary act – the actual utterance (the words of
o illocutionary act – questions of agency, in saying
this utterance: we are looking for an outcome (what
are we seeking to accomplish: to teach)
o perlocutionary act – the consequence/impact (a
change in feelings, belief, thoughts, actions – what
is accomplished by the act?)
• What are the arguments for and against the proliferation of nuclear weapons?
Should every country possess nuclear weapons?
o No, every country should not possess nuclear weapons because of the
changing nature of war and the contested nature of supporting arguments.
War has changed > > nationstates are losing their significance
• PostWestphalia War
• Identity v. territory
• States no longer have a monopoly on violence
Argue against Waltz & support Sagan theory
• (Waltz) – argues for proliferation that would ensure all
states had nuclear weapo