Security Studies

  1. What are the implications for the study of security if the basic concept is not only highly contestable, but heavily dependent upon metaphors, differing perspectives, and hierarchies of power to secure their own meaning?

The study of security is important to understand its implications for its diverse effects on different sets of people and national and international processes that are necessary to keep a balance between being in a perceived state of secure vs none secure. From the perspectives of an individual, security may mean to be able to move around and express opinion freely but on the other hand in cases of wars, terrorism, resource conflicts and so, for the state, security may mean introducing new restrictions and taking away liberties of the common people. So it is important to understand the boundaries of the perception of security from different point of views where a single definition becomes irrelevant.

  1. How do those meanings shift according to the identity of those who threaten and those who are threatened?

It depend on where you are in the hierarchy of power and what kind of threat there is. When a threat is more localized and its definition can be generalized for different hierarchies, those who threatened have a common definition for those who threaten. But if the definition of security and threat is not generalized over different hierarchies, those who threaten are defined differently. For example for the common people, terrorist conducting terrorist activities should be all be killed or brought into justice but for the high ups in the state affairs, they might be considered as proxies who can be utilized to create desired national and international security environment.

 

  1. How does an issue become ‘securitized’?

An issue becomes securitized when it comes in a bundle of threats against the majority of actors on a national or international arena. For example when there is an external threat to a country from an aggressor, its people and state establishment might come to a single page and find a common ground against the aggressor. In the recent times we can look at the issue of Islamic State (IS) which has become a threat to the global peace and all the world is coming together to fight this threat.

  1. What makes ‘us’ safe?

There are different dimensions of feeling safe. The topic of being safe can be addressed by Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.  First is the fulfillment of the basic physical needs is necessary. Then there should be enough financial, medical and social resources to provide a healthy life for one’s self and the family. At the end there should be a psychological sense of feeling of free of any threats.