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IR3001 Alternative Approaches to Security (I) Lecture Plan: The historical context of definitions of security Widening the notion of security Structural.

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Presentation on theme: "IR3001 Alternative Approaches to Security (I) Lecture Plan: The historical context of definitions of security Widening the notion of security Structural."— Presentation transcript:

1 IR3001 Alternative Approaches to Security (I) Lecture Plan: The historical context of definitions of security Widening the notion of security Structural violence

2 Historicising Security Dominance of military versions of security post-WWII (Morgenthau, realism in the context of war survival) Cold War: deterrence of nuclear armageddon, stockpiling vs. arms control – other issues of security are obscured or relabelled 1980 Brandt commission Report encapsulates development as core to security agenda, but… Changes come with the end of the CW: Threats are inside states and global rather than between states? Alternative views from the global South Widening of debates with Copenhagen School (Buzan – inclusion of non-military threats) and Social Constructivism (Pomo impacts on IR) 9/11: return to a more militarist agenda: force as a means to resolve problems and respond to violence?

3 Widening Security Human Security: should not focus on states, but how human beings experience security (Falk). Securitisation of issues: security components of inequality, poverty, environmental degradation, health, crime networks, natural disasters and migration/demographic growth… Social construction of threats, boundaries… Focus for our 2 approaches lectures: poverty as structural violence, gender and war, and critical geopolitics

4 The Logic of Structural Violence 3 starting assumptions: > peace is a goal most people aspire to; > reaching this goal is difficult, but not impossible; > peace can de defined as the absence of violence (rather than war which is too restrictive a concept). This implies that peace can only be defined negatively, i.e. through its opposite. > thus, understanding peace and building it necessitates a coherent analysis and definition of violence.

5 Defining Violence Narrow definition: somatic incapacitation (harm to the body). this is unacceptable because the notion of peace is incompatible with repressive social orders. Galtungs main definition: violence is present when human beings are being influenced so that their actual somatic and mental realizations are below their potential realizations. includes physical and mental harm; defines violence as preventing individuals from reaching their potential; only includes harm that could be avoided (i.e. death as a result of an earthquake is not a form of violence). Galtung acknowledged that his definition could lead to problems, how does one define mental harm? Examples he includes are lies, brainwashing, indoctrination of various kinds, threats, etc.

6 6 dimensions of violence must take into account both physical and mental harm includes both positive and negative power and influence: i.e. includes both the use of punishment and incentives. Must include indirect violence, even if no specific individual is targeted (e.g. insecurity) Must include violence committed by a social, economic or political system even if no specific individual can be blamed Must include unintended violence as a result (i.e. people who support a violent system even if they are not aware of the harm they are causing) Must include latent as well as manifest violence (e.g fear of violence is as effective as violence itself). Thus, we can distinguish between personal violence and structural violence (built into societal and/or international structures).

7 3 useful examples When one husband beats his wife there is a clear case of personal violence, but when one million husbands keep one million wives in ignorance there is structural violence in a society where life expectancy is twice as high in the upper as in the lower classes, violence is exercised… if people are starving when this is objectively avoidable then violence is committed. Violence defined thus includes racism, gender discrimination, class conflict, health issues and global developmental concerns Victims of structural violence may not be aware that such violence is affecting them - a kind of false consciousness (Marx)

8 3 main implications of this concept > instead of focusing on negative peace (the absence of physical harm), we ought to focus on positive peace (through social justice and an egalitarian distribution of power and resources). >Using this concept, we can redefine the question of economic underdevelopment as a form of violence – and poverty as core to security. > Conflict of interest can be solved either by war or by the transformation of the structures which have lead to the conflict.

9 The Structural Theory of Imperialism (Galtung) Based on the neo-Marxist work of André Gunder Frank: core-periphery concept: The rich core within states (economic and political elite) gets richer through the exploitation of the periphery (i.e. the working class). This is replicated globally. Debray, Chomsky, and Hobsbawm discuss imperialism as an essential feature of the global system: focus on the control of global resources markets by North to ensure that the South can never develop poverty is integral to the structure of the international system Combining structural violence with these insights means moving away from traditional notions of military security.

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