Global Security Shifts: The Agendas Made and the Threats Unaddressed




Hammond, Timothy G.

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This thesis explores the evolution of the concept of security to unveil the characteristics that describe the current dominant security architecture. In other words, it examines the dominant global perception of security and the methods that are used to ensure that form of security. Next, the security environment (the actors, threats, and dynamics present) is analyzed in order to discover whether or not the dominant security architecture is suitably designed for addressing the world’s contemporary security environment. The discovery is that the dominant security architecture is that which is designed for a world defined by the Westphalian World Order, an imagined world order with origins in medieval Europe which has been critically disintegrating in the 21st century. Overshadowing this global shift is the literature on the security changes present since the end of the Cold War. In place of the traditional understanding of national security, a product of the Westphalian World Order that was further solidified during the bipolar interstate relations of the Cold War era, the United Nations Development Programme held that their concept of human security would redefine security in the 21st century. This thesis critically analyzes several case studies which demonstrate that despite the arguments or desires for the referent object of security to shift from being states to humans, human security is predominantly language further used by states to assert their dominance in the global arena and pursue their own interests amidst substantial and rising challenges to authority and sovereignty in the 21st security environment. Due to the interconnectedness of diverse and borderless security concerns, as well as the unclear distinctions between state and non-state issues, implementation of state-centric security agendas actually threatens the stability and success of the state itself. This research suggests that three main referent objects must equally be taken into consideration in security analysis for the achievement of human survival and prosperity on Earth: humans, their states, and the environment upon which they depend. The Agenda for the Security of Humanity (ASH) is advanced as an analytical tool that demonstrates the interconnectedness of security concerns within these three main pillars in a preemptive manner so that efforts to ensure one form of security do not unsustainably and self-destructively take place at the expense of the other key forms of security.



Human security, Westphalian World Order, National security, Hybrid conflict, Environmental security, Conflict resolution