Conceptualising Security: Cosmopolitan, State, Multilateral & Market Dynamics

ERASMUS LAW LECTURES, Vol. 16, Den Hague: Boom Juridische uitgevers, 2008

45 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2008 Last revised: 5 Nov 2009

See all articles by Nicholas Dorn

Nicholas Dorn

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London

Date Written: November 10, 2008

Abstract

How can we understand international and local 'security' today and what are the prospects for its transformation? The present international arrangements - a patchwork of the national security policies of states, private security services contracted to public and private customers at home and abroad, and multilateral institutions such as the United Nations - are in ferment. There is not only partnership but also pursuit of specific and sometimes competing security interests. This paper asks, could 'cosmopolitanism' offer a more inclusive agenda? Looking for empirical evidence, this perspective is found to have been significant in some historical instances, such as environmental security; intelligence analysis in support of sanctions against apartheid; and campaigning to set up the International Criminal Court. Less encouragement arises from experiences of international interventions in conflict situations, for example the experience of DutchBat at Srebrenica; from NGOs' participation in post-conflict capacity-building, for example in anti-corruption narratives that backfire by undermining democracy; and from consideration of the possibility that truth and reconciliation tribunals, although inclusive, may be interpreted as giving 'permission' for criminality. It is critically concluded that, whilst cosmopolitanism may sometimes be able to ameliorate situations when it acts as a 'ginger group' to more powerful security actors (state, private, multilateral), it is prone to error and unintended consequences in the rare cases in which it attains ascendancy. [Publication of full text is by kind permission of the publisher.]

Keywords: International, Security, Safety, Cosmopolitanisn, Unintended consequences

JEL Classification: K20, K22, N40, L33

Suggested Citation

Dorn, Nicholas, Conceptualising Security: Cosmopolitan, State, Multilateral & Market Dynamics (November 10, 2008). ERASMUS LAW LECTURES, Vol. 16, Den Hague: Boom Juridische uitgevers, 2008. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1185283

Nicholas Dorn (Contact Author)

Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London

Charles Clore House
17 Russell Square
London, WC1B 5DR
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://ials.sas.ac.uk/about/staff/staffres.asp

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