INTST101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 7: Sex Selection, Interventionism (Politics), Liberal Democracy

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Chapter 7: Security
What, in your view is "security and how have conceptions of it changed over time?"
Tradition response: Defined in terms of threats to the nation-state and its sovereignty
Security came from nation-state, which held a monopoly of violence that it used
to maintain internal order but also protect its citizens from external threats
Security threats dealt with through traditional tools of statecraft, such as
alliances, deterrence and war
Survival of the nation-state and its ability to maintain its sovereignty, rather than the
security of its people from violence or death
Specific Concepts
1. How views of national/international/global security have changed over time (from WW2 to
collapse of Soviet Union, the United States and USSR viewed all security threats through
the lens of the Cold War)
Enlightenment thinkers in Europe concluded that the fundamental reason for existence
of state was to provide security for its citizens from outside threats (first task of every govt)
Different nations at different time periods have varying national threats
What people fear determines how they define security
People gave up certain freedoms in order to have security from internal and
external threats
In 1648, the Peace of Westphalia ended the Thirty Years War and gave rise to the
modern nation-state
After WW2, newly freed regions adopted the nation-state system
For this reason, security was defined in terms of the survival of the nation-
state, and its ability to maintain its sovereignty, rather than the security of its people
from violence or death
Internal conflicts and economic issues consequently received little
attention as security issues because they rarely threatened the nation-state at the
systemic level
2. Realism
Realism: states will always act on what is in their national interest and it is unrealistic to
expect them do otherwise
is a complex and rich theoretical perspective that traces its roots back to the work of
Thucydides, Machiavelli, and Hobbes
Proponents typically view security as the key issue in international affairs
3. Liberalism/Liberal Institutionalism
Liberalism: states will cooperate when given the opportunity to do so, hence the importance of
international organizations/law
Stresses importance of international institutions and international law in shaping
behaviour
Ex. UN created global framework to avoid devastating warfare
International order is defined by identities that result from history and experience
4. Proxy Wars during the Cold War
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