chapter  5
26 Pages

Defining Security: A Subaltern Realist Perspective

ByMohammed Ayoob

Recent attempts at broadening the definition of the concept of security beyond its traditional realist usage have created a major dilemma for students of International Relations. On the one hand, it is clear that the traditional definition of security that has dominated the Western literature on the subject is inadequate to explain the multifaceted and multidimensional nature of the problem of security as faced by the majority of members in the international system. On the other, the often indiscriminate broadening of the definition of security threatens to make the concept so elastic as to render it useless as an analytical tool.1