Analysis Of Ken Booth's Security And Emancipation

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The article chosen for the following article analysis is Ken Booth’s “Security and Emancipation”. Written in 1991, the article explores a new lens at looking at security, expanding from the traditional approach. It begins by discussing how words are extremely inclusive and constantly changing to the times, stating that past terms, such as sovereignty, superpowers, and war, and their definitions are changing and that “world politics require words which imply a more porous, inclusive, and inter-penetrating world” . The reason he says this is because he explores the idea of it being difficult to find a new name for the stage of world affairs after the Cold War. He expands, stating that this period has changed our perception of security immensely, …show more content…
In Stephen M. Walt’s “The Renaissance of Security Studies”, Walt explores the newfound interest in security studies. Like Booth’s article, it was also written in 1991. That being said, it has a comprehensively different view of what security studies are. Walt defines security studies as “the study of the threat, use, and control of military force” . Walt’s definition of security studies, similar to realism, assumes that there is always a possibility for conflict between states, and that military force is the strongest means at combatting such . Although Booth also explores this theme at the start of his article, his analogy of this traditional approach is rather disparate. Booth assumes that prior to the end of the Cold War, the main concern of security studies was based and focused on inter-state war and the deployment of weapons . Similar to the argument of Walt, Booth states that traditional security has been characterized by the three elements of military threats and counter threats, status quo, and state centrism . Consequently, Booth shifts and differs immensely from Walt, with a much more reasonable and relevant argument. Booth believes that although this was a well-focused part of the study of security, ever since the Cold-War has ended, the modern era has seen the decline in inter-state war, and the fact that will only fight if they or …show more content…
By reading through the traditional approach to security and its flaws, and progressing to human centred approaches, Booth allows the reader to understand how all human related concerns of emancipation are matters of security that should be heavily analysed, just as much, and if not more than the traditional approaches of security. Booth’s arguments about human security and emancipation allows the reader to look beyond the classic argument made by traditional security thinkers that security studies should not become so broad, and realize that there is no problem in doing so. Doing so only allows for issues to be tackled at their core. A concern one might have with Booth’s article is that it does not put enough emphasis on women’s issues. He does mention siding with the women at the Greenham March , but does not place enough emphasis on the rights of women, and their emancipation from a patriarchal society. That being said although the article does not directly refer to it, Booth’s overarching argument does reach out to these issues and many others, give that women in a patriarchal and male dominated society would be freed from constraints through the process and concept of emancipation. Emancipation allows for the security of all, to be treated fairly and equally with the absence of

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