chapter  6
15 Pages

Force and Security

Any glance at the history of the modern international system reveals an important and enduring fact: that states are the primary actors on the international stage. Whether acting alone or in forms of cooperation with other countries, the behaviour of states is the key factor in determining whether populations exist in peace or at war. Despite numerous competitors for the allegiances of state populations, it is clear that states constitute the most coherent, efficient and legitimate concentrations of identity, loyalty and power. Contemporary states emerged from the demands and the turmoil of centuries of conflict, and maintain a vigilant security alertness in order to protect and preserve this status. The anarchical nature of the international system – where there exists no higher, hegemonic global authority – results in a global condition where all states are ‘structurally insecure – their existence suffused with risk’ (Morgan 2007: 17) and consequently the provision of the security of the state, commonly known as national security, is the primary purpose of the government of any state.