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Monday, October 29, 2018

SECURITY: MEANING AND APPROACHES

SECURITY: MEANING AND APPROACHES
INTRODUCTION The word security emanated from the Greek word Se-Cura, meaning “to be in a state of no fear”. This state of being free from any threat within or without underscores the importance of putting in place actions and structures that can ensure the shelving of a people away from any harm. There is no doubt that security has been a subject that has attracted a rapidly growing interest and concern among the scholars in social sciences whereby a wide spectrum of issues on the subject – security has nevertheless been studied and new breakthroughs and findings have been made. The experience of the world in recent times emphasise a paradigm shift in security discourse. Traditionally, State is the custodian and ultimate beneficiary of the monopoly use of violence as advocated by Max Weber. Any internal or external threat challenging the authority of the State in monopolising violence was considered as a security threat.
During the Westphalia period, the major threat to the political sovereignty of any State usually emanated from another State. During that period, the threat to security usually involved state-to-state aggression, as there was little or no presence of intra-state violence. But, since the emergence of the Cold War in 1945, the main challenge against state has been internal threat to security where most countries became plagued with insurgency and civil wars as experienced on every continent. The end of the Cold
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War in 1989 has widened the scope of security studies due to the emergence of states without any defined political boundaries. This is evident in the enormous political sovereignty enjoyed by international terrorist networks that have created their own governments, standing army and other features of a modern state except defined geographical boundaries. The authority of these non-state actors is not limited by geographical boundary as their influence extends to several continents and they have become a major source of threat not only to national security but also to world security. The issue of security goes beyond the use of violence against any internal and external threats but also has included some other subjects like food, health, good governance, democracy, among others. We shall begin our task in this course by defining the term security and explaining various theoretical approaches to the study of security. I have the strong belief that you will find this unit very interesting. 2.0 OBJECTIVES At the end of this unit, you should be able to: Define the term security; Identify various approaches to security; and Discuss various approaches to security 3.0 MAIN BODY 3.1 Definition of Security A layman definition of security is the protection of life and property of a person. The concept of security has undergone a transition from traditional conceptualization to a non-traditional meaning. Traditionally, security management was the unilateral function of the state especially if we consider the intellectual view(s) of some political theorists like Thomas Hobbes (1962) who argued that the essence of a state is to guarantee the security of lives and property and ensure law and order through its political sovereignty and monopoly of violence. This idea has made security issue a function of effective monopoly of violence, which the state applies to engender strict conformity and compliance to state laws by the peoples for effective security management.
But, in contemporary times, the definition of security goes beyond the traditional military ways of protecting the state against internal and external aggression. The fact is that since the end of the cold war, security management has assumed a new dimension. External threat to security resulting from international hostilities and aggression that characterized the cold war era has been replaced with non-traditional security threats like information warfare, drug trafficking, nuclear pollutions, disease
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epidemics like HIV-AIDS, corruption, human trafficking, (internal) insurgency, among others. Nevertheless, this situation has led to multidimensional approach in security discourse and management. Now, many governments have realized that they can no longer monopolize the business of security in local domains as well as the world at large. This opinion has led to extending the security community to include private players (in security business), NGOs and above all, the civilians take the centre stage in security management. Like every other concept in social sciences, there is no universally accepted definition of the term security. Thus, scholars in the field of criminology and security studies have come up with different definitions of the concept of security according to their different theoretical rationalisations. At this juncture, let us look at some of the available definitions of the term security. Security can be defined as: ........an all-encompassing condition in which Individual citizens live in freedom, peace and Safety; participate fully in the process of governance; Enjoy the protection f fundamental rights; have Access to resources and the basic necessities of life; And inhabit an environment which is not detrimental To their health and wellbeing (South Africa White Paper on Defence, 1996). ......not only in terms of the internal security of the State, but also in terms of secure systems of Food health, money and trade (Tickner, 1994:180).
…….the degree of protection against danger, loss, and criminals (Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.).
......the protection of a person, property or organization from an attack. There are people who have distorted motivations to perform such attacks. The types of protection include prevention, response and pre-emptive attacks (://www.school-for-champions.com/security/whatis.htm).
......the protection of information assets through the use of technology, processes, and training (://searchsecurity.techtarget.com/sDefinition/0,,sid14_gci1244022 ,00.ht ml). Despite the absence of consensus in the operational clarification of the term by different scholars, there is still a mutual agreement in the basic meaning of security among them, simply denoting the protection of lives and property. Meanwhile, the ways through which this basic objective can be actualised are the sources of the differences among the scholars. Notwithstanding, their different conceptual positions help us in broadening the frontiers of knowledge in security practice and management.

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