chapter  2
28 Pages

From Strategy to Security: Foundations of Critical Security Studies

The nature of security has become one of the most widely discussed elements in the intellectual ferment that has been triggered by the end of the Cold War. Optimists have declared that the end of the century is ushering in a new era of peace and cooperation, based variously on liberal democracy, transnational capitalism, international organizations, or a combination of the above.1 The more pessimistic offer warnings of an anarchic future filled with intercivilizational or ethnic conflict and weapons proliferation.2 Still others, less absorbed with questions of military statecraft, have focused on new threats or new understandings that require a basic rethinking of security itself. Economic and environmental security have often taken center stage here, although numerous other voices, from human rights to gender to indigenous cultures, can be heard.3