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Global security in the 21st century: circulation, complexity and contingency

Document type: 
Report
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
ISP/NSC Briefing Paper 05/02, Chatham House
Abstract: 

Contemporary global security concerns can be distinguished from those of previous eras by developing three analytical terms: circulation, complexity and contingency.

Looking at security through these terms not only enables us to see how a cognitive shift is taking place in how global security is being thought about, but also raises a series of classic policy dilemmas that are becoming increasingly difficult for policy-makers to ignore.

Human Security and Liberal Peace

Document type: 
Scientific publication
Authors / Institution: 
Publisher / Publication: 
Public Reason 1 (1): 91-104
Abstract: 

This paper addresses a recent wave of criticisms of liberal peacebuilding operations.

We decompose the critics’ argument into two steps, one which offers a diagnosis of what goes wrong when things go wrong in peacebuilding operations, and a second, which argues on the basis of the first step that there is some deep principled flaw in the very idea of liberal peacebuilding. We show that the criticism launched in the argument’s first step is valid and important, but that the second step by no means follows. Drawing a connection between liberal peacebuilding and humanitarian intervention, we argue that the problems that the critics point to are in fact best addressed within the framework of liberal internationalism itself. Further, we argue that the development of the notion of human security marks a dawning awareness within liberal internationalism of the kinds of problems that the critics point to, however difficult it may still be to embody these ideas in practice.

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