Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2013 18:33:03 +0200
- GlobalSecurity Blog
Global Security Manifesto
I have posted our Global Security Manifesto and Matrix (created with the research assistance of Jesse Finkelstein and Masha Kirasirova) on our new GlobalSecurityBlog in the hope that together they will open a dialogue that might exhume, exhort, and hopefully exorcise the specter of terror that currently haunts international politics.
--James Der Derian, Director, Global Security Program
Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.
Imagination is not a gift usually associated with bureaucracies.
--The 9/11 Commission Report
1.0 A Global Security Manifesto
1.1 Global security – in the broad sense of how we understand, manage, and ameliorate an endangered world – is the most pressing challenge of the 21st century. No longer definable by discrete levels of analysis, bounded disciplines of study, and fixed configurations of power, the issue of security is being transformed by new globalizing forces.
1.2 Security cannot be confined to a single domain, comprehended by a single field of study, or assured by a single actor. Like complexity itself, security is now defined by rapid phase-shifts through multiple levels of analysis and identity. In a single generation the international order has moved from bipolar to multipolar to uniolar to something wholly new: a global heteropolar matrix, in which a wide range of different actors are able to produce profound global effects through networked interconnectivity. Varying in identity, interests, and strength, ranging from preponderant political powers and economic institutions to transnational terrorists and criminals to non-governmental organizations and anti-globalization activists, these new global actors increasingly gain advantage through social networks and the broad bandwidth of information technology rather than through the narrow stovepipe of territorially-based sovereign governments. Instilled with normative beliefs and enhanced by multiple media, a diverse group of actors have become super-empowered players in international politics.
1.3 The nation-state is not about to disappear, but it is beset by new global forces (geo-economics, bio-politics, mytho-terrorism), transborder flows (financial, population, environmental, viral), international regimes (tribunals, advocacy, sanctions) and complex networks (media, criminal, terrorist). Volatility, complexity, and uncertainty define the heteropolar matrix.
1.4 In security one finds insecurity. Originating in the desire to minimize the contingencies of life and to postpone the certainty of death, security, by its very nature, is a metaphysical as well as physical challenge. The will to secure can often produce the reverse of its intent. It can take the form of the classic security dilemma, in which one power’s quest for a margin of security incurs great insecurity in another, leading to spiraling arms race or asymmetric wars. It can also produce – and has most visibly done so post-9/11 - a fear-induced state of menace, danger, and even paranoia. And in tightly networked matrices, auto-immune reactions which exceed the harm produced by the initial attack can result, further eroding the foundations of a democratic civil society.
1.5 Although the nation-state never enjoyed true sovereignty, now more than in any other post-Westphalian time - and certainly at an accelerated pace – it has come under serious challenge from a wide range of global flows, transnational threats, and internal vulnerabilities. The premise and promise of national security is under attack. Global security is a necessary if not yet sufficient alternative.
2.0 A Global Security Matrix
2.1 Exceeding comprehension and remediation by single actors, beliefs, or disciplines, global security requires multi-disciplinary, multi-perspectival, and multi-lateral approaches. It also requires multiple media. As a first step, we present a new security matrix for the 21st century.