Contemporary Issues in Conflict and Security E625, 2009-2010 Discussion Questions (Re)Thinking Security (September 25 – note date change) What are the foundations and key elements of the classic definition of security? How and why (or why not) should we broaden the concept of security? Socialization, Community, and Western Security Practices (October 5) Is NATO a security community? By what criteria could we judge this for NATO, or other regions? What does the existence of “security communities” imply for the possibilities for inter- state cooperation? Security and “Securitization” Theory (October 12) How are issues “securitized” and by whom? What is the appropriate method for studying securitization? Note: the first assignment is due on this date. The question is: “Is securitization a political or a bureaucratic-institutional process?” Securitization Theory Applied: Migration and Security (October 19) What is “societal security” and how could migration threaten it? What are the dangers and risks associated with “securitizing” migration issues.” Is “society” an appropriate referent object for security/protection? HIV/AIDS and International Security (October 26) In what ways (if any) can HIV/AIDS threaten international or national security? Does the securitization of HIV/AIDS advance or hinder the development of appropriate responses to the problem? Environmental Security (November 2) Could or should environmental change be considered a security issue? 2 What are the costs and benefits of doing so in different environmental issue areas? State-building and Southern Security Dynamics (November 9) What are the explicit or implicit mechanisms at work in Tilly's argument about the relationship between war-makers and state-makers in early modern Europe? Is his argument applicable today? How, how not, and with what (if any) modifications? State Collapse and Failure (November 16) What are the key indicators for state collapse (with real-world examples)? What are the causes of state collapse? The Political Economy of Conflict (November 23) How useful is the distinction between “greed” and “grievance” as a cause of armed conflicts? What economic factors need to be considered in external attempts to end armed conflicts? Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Peace-building (November 30) Can (and should) the international community successfully (re)build states? What are the tensions between top-down and bottom-up approaches? Gender and (In)Security (December 7) Is violence gendered? What (if anything) does a gendered perspective on international security add to our understanding of contemporary conflict and peace-building? Human Security (December 14) Does the concept of human security have any coherent meaning, or is it merely a political slogan? What are the political implications of attempts to “measured” human security?
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