chapter  9
16 Pages

Uncertainty

ByKen Booth, Nicholas J. Wheeler

Existential uncertainty lies at the heart of all human relations, even if it is not recognized or acknowledged. In the arena of international politics, it is manifested most fundamentally in the concept of the ‘security dilemma’. This chapter examines the concept’s meaning and explores its practical dynamics, giving illustrations from history and current dangers. It argues that, if security studies are to fulfil their potential in the twenty-first century, understanding the security dilemma and assessing all its policy dimensions must be given a central place in the syllabus.