Existential Threats and Civil Security Relations

Existential Threats and Civil Security Relations

by Oren Barak, Gabriel Sheffer, Ole Waever, Michael C. Desch, Ami Pedahzur
     
 

At the onset of the twenty-first century, a substantial portion of politicians and citizens throughout the world believe and declare that their states are facing existential threats, whether domestic, external, or both. This perception is discerned in states categorized widely, from not democratic and partially democratic states to small states and greater powers

Overview

At the onset of the twenty-first century, a substantial portion of politicians and citizens throughout the world believe and declare that their states are facing existential threats, whether domestic, external, or both. This perception is discerned in states categorized widely, from not democratic and partially democratic states to small states and greater powers that are considered to be democratic, such as the United States, Britain, and France. The chapters in this book present and further develop the major theoretical approaches to existential threats: structural, cultural, and rational. The authors also conceptualize existential threats and distinguish them from other types of threats, discussing some of the most important actors that promote the perception of an existential threat-the security sector especially (the military and the other security agencies), but also the media. Existential Threats and Civil Security Relations provides fresh comparative perspectives on a number of relevant cases, including small states that have faced-or still face-similar predicaments. These include effective democracies, such as the United States (in its formative period) and Switzerland; formal democracies, such as Israel and Finland; authoritarian or partially free states that have transformed into formal democracies, such as South Korea, Taiwan, South Africa, and the East European and Baltic states after the Cold War; and states that have remained partially free like Singapore and some formerly Soviet states.

Editorial Reviews

Richard H. Kohn
In this fascinating and timely collection, Oren Barak, Gabi Sheffer, and their colleagues explore the crucial issue of existential threats to nation-states and the implications for foreign policy and domestic governance, particularly the relationship between the topmost civilian and security officials. The studies are interdisciplinary and comparative, the case studies shrewdly chosen. The result is an original, sophisticated book that will appeal—and become indispensable—to scholars and policy makers alike. The future of both democracy and security reside in the findings of this significant work.
Alan Dowty
This book is a tightly conceived and extraordinarily well-focused volume that illuminates the critical and changing issue of existential threats among states. While paying close attention to the central case of Israel, it puts this case in a rich conceptual and comparative framework and will therefore be of great utility to both specialists and generalists. Few anthologies in the field, if any, hang together so well and make such a signal contribution to our practical and theoretical understanding of a neglected core concept of interstate relations.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780739134849
Publisher:
Lexington Books
Publication date:
08/28/2009
Series:
Innovations in the Study of World Politics Series
Pages:
312
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

Oren Barak is senior lecturer of political science and international relations at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and research fellow at the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations. Gabriel Sheffer is professor of political science at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He has been the director of both the Jerusalem Group for National Planning at the Van Leer Jerusalem Institute and the Leonard Davis Institute for International Relations of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

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