Security studies

Concept of Security Studies

The field of security studies has attracted the interest of many researchers in political science in general and international relations in particular, as the concept of security is considered one of the new concepts that have attracted researchers and scholars in international relations and security studies, and more interest in this concept has increased in the post-Cold War period, due to the changes that have affected International relations and the emergence of new changes in the international system, which has made it imperative for academics and researchers to keep pace with developments at the level of international interactions in an environment that has become characterized by complexity and rapid dynamism in light of the globalization of political, security and economic phenomena.

First – Definition of security studies:

Security studies as a field of knowledge try to examine the deep origins of the security phenomenon, and therefore it is concerned with understanding general theoretical issues such as the causes of war and alliances, and it also includes research directed to politics and related to military policy problems facing states in particular, as international violence and external threats to the security of states, especially the causes of war Prevention and strategy issues are the focus of attention in the knowledge field, while the issue of the effects of war has received less attention, and determining the extent and scope of security studies with precision is difficult to obtain. Stephen Walt pointed out that the boundaries of the intellectual field are fluid, and as a result, any effort to draw and define the exact field of studies Wish is arbitrary, yet the central concern of security studies remains easy to define:It is the phenomenon of war, as security studies claim that conflict between states is always a possibility, and therefore the use of force has far-reaching effects on states and societies, and from this standpoint security studies can be defined as:Study the threat, use and control of military force

Thus, security studies reveal the conditions that make the use of force more likely, as well as the ways in which this use affects individuals, societies, and states, in addition to the fact that they reveal the special policies adopted by states in order to prepare for, protect, or engage in war.

Accordingly, security studies was established as a sub-field of international relations concerned with “clarifying the concept of security and its application in foreign policy and its impact on structures and processes in world politics.

Accordingly, security studies is a sub-field of international relations concerned with clarifying the concept of security and its application in foreign policy-making and its impact on structures and processes in world politics. To a large extent, overlapping with strategic studies, the post-Cold War regime changed all of these assumptions and expanded the agenda of security studies beyond what traditionalists would have called “high politics” to include what is called a “minimum policy” for the economy and the environment.

Second – the emergence of security studies:

Security studies as a specialization in the field of international relations was born after the end of the Second World War, i.e. the fifties of the twentieth century, specifically after the outbreak of the Cold War between the eastern and western camps. As for the term security, it has been circulating in various ideas and political literature across various historical periods, since The twelfth century to the end of the twentieth century The concept of security was closely linked to the military aspect, as most countries strive to maximize their military power to ensure their security and their survival from all the intended threats from attempts to subjugate outside or delegate their existence by another state, terrorist organization or other armed groups. In the mid-eighties and early nineties of the twentieth century, the concept of security was no longer confined to the concept of defending the state’s lands against foreign invasion, protecting borders and defending national sovereignty. Rather, the concept of security branched out to include other aspects, which are shifts at the level of values, perception and actors … as Barry Buzan went “In his book“Society, the state, fear” to say that security is not confined to the security of states only, but that it must extend to the security of human societies, because it is unreasonable to focus on the state as a unit of analysis and to focus on military capabilities as a means to achieve security. The humanitarian aspect includes the military, political, economic, social and environmental aspects … as the international transformations and circumstances in light of the international security reality paved the way for the development of security studies, and among the most important of these transformations we find: 

The fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the conflict between the Communist and Western capitalist blocs.

Economic transformations, which were manifested in the trend towards building development models based on a market economy and openness to the outside.

– Value shifts (added value) that emerged with theories that tried to present a new perspective, such as the theory of democratic peace, the theory of the end of history, the theory of the clash of civilizations, and the theory of cosmopolitanism.

– The negative repercussions of industrialization on the environment and the emergence of new challenges that threaten human existence. These transformations have produced a new international security situation that differs as it was in the sixties and seventies, and many paradoxes also emerged. At a time when major regional economic blocs such as the European Union and ASEAN began to form, The nation-state risks its fragmentation from within.

Also, for a long time, the size of the threats and the extent of the risks during the Cold War remained focused on deals that included traditional countries and alliances led by the “Westphalian model”. However, after 1990 the analysis of security problems and their solutions became the top concerns and shed light on other actors inside and outside the country
such as multinational companies and international organizations. And others, and expanded to include the human developmental dimensions, and this transformation has occurred for several reasons, the most important of which are:

 That security problems are not the same for developed or developing countries, and therefore the analysis of problems is not the same way.

– The threat for states is developing according to the shift in violence and according to the international environment, and for this reason was the talk about energy security in the 1970s and the change of conversation after the events of September 11, 2001.

– The political authorities did not want or want the definition of security to be narrow so as not to limit their capabilities in facing dangers against any vital interest .

Third – the historical development of security studies:

1- Ascension stage:

After World War II, security studies began to rise, gaining their legitimacy from the war and the disasters that left it, especially the negative impact on civilians. These results confirmed that war is very important to humanity and should not be left subject to the choices of “generals.”Only, which contributed to the development of security studies that focused in their early stages mainly on the stakes and risks related to the use of nuclear weapons, which encouraged research in this field, as discussions centered in the first place on the consequences of using weapons, including nuclear, and these discussions produced a series of studies on Deterrence, risks of military escalation, control and disarmament, and other similar issues, according to McSweeney, that security studies during this period were conducted within an approach between specializations and even their subjects were very diverse, as they were generally linked to the current political theory that developed the concept of “collective security” at the time. In addition to its reliance on the authority of international law, international institutions and political theory, these studies also suffered during that period from the difficulty of obtaining information, which was treated as a “secret of defense”, not to mention its association with the defense ministries, which often led to their orientation Purely militarily.Among the most famous writers and thinkers of this period we find “Heres”, “Wolfsright” and others …

2- The retreat phase:

During the Cold War, pragmatic security thinking was mainly dominated by security studies based on the possibility of a nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States. The concepts of “deterrence”, “first strike” and “assured mutual destruction” were part of the security realists’ lexicon. As a result, it developed Researchers are studies based on deductive techniques that seek to anticipate what the other side will decide, such as theories of matches and deterrence, which are based on the balance of power as a tool to achieve security, as is evident through the deterrence theory that assumed the existence of a potential enemy and searched for the best way to deter it, and at the time when some accepted Researchers have expressed the fundamental role that perceptions and beliefs can play in the possibility of armed conflicts, “game theory for example”. The majority of research has focused on the issue of knowing what influences the “first strike” decision.At the same time, neglecting the issue of diplomacy and the political and economic origins of the conflict, this limitation, in part, was a result of adopting a special methodology related to the concept of “rational actor”, which formed the basis of deterrence theories, neglecting the role of psychological, economic, political and other factors that interfere in determining political action. The biggest result of this trend was the isolation of this field of research from the field of international relations, whose field of research remained centered on issues of war and peace, and as a result of the previous reasons, security studies entered into a stage of decline since the mid-sixth of the twentieth century, and this retreat was strengthened after making sure that it was not valid The central problems of deterrence theories, and the retirement of most strategists in the United States of America.Which formed the basis of deterrence theories, thereby neglecting the role of psychological, economic, political and other factors that interfere in determining political action. The biggest result of this trend was the isolation of this field of research from the field of international relations whose field of research remained centered on issues of war and peace, and as a result of the previous reasons, Security studies entered into a stage of decline since the mid-sixth of the twentieth century, and this decline was strengthened after making sure that the central problems of deterrence theories were not valid, and most of the strategists in the United States retired.Which formed the basis of deterrence theories, thereby neglecting the role of psychological, economic, political and other factors that interfere in determining political action. The biggest result of this trend was the isolation of this field of research from the field of international relations whose field of research remained centered on issues of war and peace, and as a result of the previous reasons, Security studies entered into a stage of decline since the mid-sixth of the twentieth century, and this decline was strengthened after making sure that the central problems of deterrence theories were not valid, and most of the strategists in the United States retired.

3- The Renaissance Stage :

After this period of decline, or as Stephen Walt describes it as the “end of the golden age,” security studies have entered since the mid-seventies in a period of new resurgence and rise, especially associated with the end of the Vietnam War and the emergence of some scientific institutions specializing in the study of security, and this rise was strengthened in the early 1980s Where did the reviews of the postulates and the dominant approaches in the theories of international relations occurred at the time. This stage is characterized by the remarkable success of the international political economy approaches and the theories of interdependence.

– Easy access to the security archive for researchers, which helped them to present valuable studies related to national security and to amend some others, or at least, to show their deficiencies, as obtaining information became easier compared to the 1960s.

The end of the Vietnam War: 1975 has become relatively easy for the researcher to study this war, its problems and the events that took place during it, and to understand the mistakes that led to the defeat.

– Greater possibility for researchers to publish their work after establishing “Documents for Aldafi” and “Journal of Strategic Studies”, and others … which started publishing articles dealing with security issues.

Encouraging research in this field motivated by the development of scientific approaches to threat and the use of force to defend the state’s interests, strengthen and support its security, and academic institutions have reintegrated the security field into their research fields, including the establishment of a branch specialized in arms control and international security in the American Association for Political Science.

Sources and references:

Graham Evans, Geoffrey Newnham. Penguin Dictionary of International Relations. Dubai: Translation of the Gulf Research Center, 2004.

Saliha Kababi, Security Studies between the Traditional and the Modern, “Journal of the Human Sciences”, Volume 38, December 2012.

Zakaria Boudin, “The Impact of Terrorist Threats in Northern Mali on the Algerian National Security and Strategies to Confront It 2010-2014”. Mohamed Khaider University of Biskra, Faculty of Law and Political Science, Department of Political Science, Graduation notes for a master’s degree in political science and international relations, specializing in international relations and strategic studies, 2015.

Hossam Hamza, “The Geopolitical Circles of the Algerian National Security”. Haji Lakhdar Mosque of Batna, Faculty of Law and Political Science, Department of Political Science, Memorandum for obtaining a master’s degree in political science, specializing in international relations, 2011.

Salim Guessoum, New Trends in Security Studies: A study in the evolution of the concept of security in international relations. United Arab Emirates: The Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research, B.S.N.

Hakim Gharib, “The Reality of Security Studies and Their Implications for the Current International Security Arrangements,” published by Politicians Post, accessed on: 22/11/2020 At 08:25.

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