Introduction: thinking about security
Nowadays, the term ‘security’ is applied to many different facets of our existence. It is used to refer to our personal, physical safety, as well as to the safety of our belongings from damage or depredation, but it is also used with respect to our emotional, psychological and financial well-being. We refer to collective programmes designed to ensure such well-being as ‘social security’ or the ‘social safety net’, and measures to protect the integrity of the state and its institutions as ‘national security’. Conflicts that break out in various parts of the world are often referred to as threats to ‘international peace and security’.