Security – global safety or collective danger?

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Introduction

The word “globalisation” is a term almost everybody has already heard of, but although quite everybody has got an idea concerning the term globalisation, it is doubtful if everybody associates the same with this term. The reason for this is the fact that there is no standard definition and moreover the meaning of this term contains different areas of widespread different topics.

In general the word globalisation describes a process of changes and developments and global integrations of different fields like economics, politics, environment, communication, technology, culture. It can be defined as a “process which embodies a transformation in the spatial organization of social relations and transactions, generating transcontinental flows and networks of activity, interaction and power” (Held, McGrew, Goldblatt & Perrat, 2008, p. 2). Moreover this process of changes contains the four interacting types of development, stretching, intensification, speeding up and growing extensity, intensity and velocity. Stretching means that activities in politics and economy cross frontiers and borders, secondly the intensification describes for example the growing dimension of interconnection and global trade. The speeding up relates to the faster global interactions concerning communication and transport while the growing extensity, intensity and velocity is referring to the disappearing boundaries between local and global matters (Held, McGrew, 2008, p. 2). These mentioned types of change can be seen in different fields of politics, economies, communication, society, culture and the environment, as mentioned before.

To give some examples, the base of globalisation and thus one of the mostly named reasons for globalisation, the technological progress can be mentioned. Concerning the economical globalisation the increase of global trade and more and more global corporations of different businesses can be indicated.

The aspect most depressing seems to be the issue of environment. The increase of the global production and manufacturing causes an increase of the environmental pollution just as the ozone problem. Nevertheless these environmental problems are not to be solved by only one region or nation, but it is consequently a global matter, that is to be solved also in a global integration, that leads again to the integrating process of globalisation.

The cultural aspect describes the blending, border-crossing and the spreading of different cultures. There are different chances and risk that can be discussed, therefore advantages and disadvantages of the globalisation for all these different areas concerning every single person as part of the social life and the global living.

The following written elaboration deals with the issue of security within the process of globalisation. First the basic conditions of globalisation in relation to the issue of security are explained and lead to the explanation of the resulting risks for population as a part of the globalisation. The afterwards described necessity of solutions on state and international level with the final conclusion should emphasize the problems and the difficulty of finding the right way to a secure and safe living, the institutional, national and international security, just as the security and the safe living of every single person.

Security - global safety or collective danger?

Conditions of “globalisation”

For sure, the word “globalisation” is mostly associated with the items increase, improvement, development and progress. All these terms are connected with positive visions and ideas and general perfectioning and improvement of the actual situation. That is to say the term globalisation is mostly seen as a chance to a better life. Concerning the global security, what this text deals with, on the one hand this chance to improvement is given. Because of global interdependences, global interrelations and boarder-crossing activities, more and more global and intergovernmental arrangements and alliances are built. This kind of a network between the nations accomplishes mutual supports, agreements and policies concerning global behavior. Moreover it is possible that because of the global interactions, escalations of conflicts between different nations and organisations can be prevented by interventions of other outside nations or organisations. Furthermore there can be mentioned the non-stated organisations that campaign for instance for the adherence of human rights and social security in different countries as another aspect of improvement in the field of global security. An important aspect of the intervention of foreign or non-stated organisations, what is indicated above, is the consequence of the development of the world into a place where everything happens in global public. Because of the faster spreading of information, opinions, believes and ideologies through the improved and sped up technologies and communication, every incident and event is located in the world public, no matter if it causes approval or rejection. This make interventions of not only foreign nations but also of organisations and individuals possible, that articulate their rejection towards happenings all over the world, for example just as worldwide protest campaigns and demonstrations against cases of human rights abuses.

Resulting security risks

In this context it has to be considered that because of this term “global public”, nothing stays a local, regional or domestic problem that is to be solved within the own borders of the nation, but becomes a matter of global interest. For example domestic problems or civil commotions within the national borders attract the attention of the whole world through the widespread use of developed technologies, media and communication, besides the interrelations of the states on political level.

Moreover remarks, statements and communication activities of non-stated or supranational organisations intensify this attention towards the happenings. Continued this reflection proponents or allies of a compound maybe align themselves on the one side while the opponents are building the other side in this growing conflict. This conflict which started to be a domestic issue begins to become a global conflict in that several other participants and parties are going to be affected. That is to say that these new participants have to be prepared that with taking stance on and against something they can be affected by the consequences as well.

Another risk globalisation fuels concerning the global safety, is that instead of forming a homogenous standard of living the differences of societies are enhanced. While parts of the world are getting adapted and equalized in their lifestyles other parts of the world are getting more and more frustrated because of their unsuccessful try to reach this mostly western standard of living.

“Indeed, globalization is accompanied by increasing gaps, in many respects, between the rich and the poor. It implies neither homogenization nor equity”. (Keohane, Robert O., & Nye, Joseph S. Jr., 2000, p. 3)

Thus it is comprehensible that this process includes also the increasing gap in many field, for instance between, as already quoted, rich and poor, Christians and Muslims, and between the western and the “non-western” lifestyle.

“Globalization dominates relationships between advanced industrial countries” (Reinicke, Wolfgang H., 1997, p. 7)

These strong relations between the one part of the world, the advanced industrial countries mostly characterized by the western lifestyle, and the increasing gap, lead into more and more frustration and exclusion. This can become dangerous if this exclusion of the other parts of the world that cannot participate in the process of globalisation leads into anger towards the industrial countries. The contiguity to extremity and in worst case terrorism that might lead into wars is clear.

The necessity of solutions on the state and international level

In these cases of terrorism and initiated wars, for instance “to fight terrorism”, what increases the gap and the frustration on both sides even more, not only two parties are affected but the whole world, as it is the mentioned global public that cannot stand on the sidelines. Thus the security policies of domestic politics are getting developed, because they have to be transformed to be adapted to the current situation of the globalized world where domestic borders and policies do not safe not the national population neither the world population. “The shifting demands on international security will also transform the domestic politics of security policy” (Reinicke, Wolfgang H 1997 p. 8) The changes in international interdependences and correlations in this process of globalisation forms new requirements on the global security policy.

The question is if it will be possible to formulate global valid security policies that will not legitimate ones to interventions (for instance just as Bush’ “new national security strategy” that legitimates preventive wars even against law of nations and the UNO-Charta), and discriminate the others by restricting their ability to act.

Conclusion

The process of globalisation is a widespread topic that includes different fields of life. One if these is the issue of security, the security of the domestic stability and one nation's population, just as the security of the global population, no matter of nationality, standard of living, educational level, religion or ethnicity.

Despite of the association with positive aspects just as progress and improvement, the elaboration above points out, that there are also risks for the global population that result from the process of globalisation. In contrast to the increasing of border-crossing merging of different cultures and living environments there is an increasing gap between the global population that is participating the process of globalisation and the part of the global population that is kind of excluded from this process. An “asymmetric structure of global governance that favors the rich and the powerful while placing the poor and the weak at a considerable disadvantage” (Griffin, 2001, p.6) can be made out.

This situation fuels suspicion and distrust towards “the other” in an “integrated” world, what is a contradiction in terms. The conclusion from this is the worldwide increasing need for safety what is nowadays has become equal with surveillance. Thus there results another problem: the conflict between the surveillance and control for safety and security in contrast to the protection of one’s privacy, what was always defended as a fundamental right that has to be protected. But in this process where the distrust towards “the other” and the fear of terrorism are increasing, a significant part of the population is willing to abandon privacy for safety.

A good example would be the situation in Great Britain, where about 4 million CCTV (Closed-circuit television) cameras are installed for deterrence, crime prevention and surveillance. But the consequence is not the increase of safety and a secure living, but the rising fear, observation and personal control, invasion of privacy, assimilation of the people and their different lifestyles and the increasing mutual suspicion. Furthermore this observation is used for more exclusion, because specific groups of the population, for instance groups like homeless people, can be located, observed and also displaced from places where they are undesired.

Although these systems have been installed to reach more security, the results are not that commendable. On July 22nd 2005, Jean Charles de Menezes, as a part of the globalised world, who came to Britain for his academic education and better future prospect, was shot down as a victim of a so called “counterterrorism operation”, because he acted or looked “suspicious”. Despite of so many CCTV cameras that are installed for the population’s security, there was no evidence to proof this happening.

This happening is an example for the resulting problem. The people of the globalised world have to be protected from threat and danger, referring to this Britain’s populations was also willing to give up their privacy for more safety. But this happening shows that in the global public, every single one can be suspected as “danger”. Thus this shows that all these security arrangements and precautions can become a fate for innocents.

Thus a typical security measure nowadays to transform the necessity of solutions to a state level is the increase of surveillance. But the surveillance, the observation and exclusion of specific groups and “suspicious” people fuels the increasing gap, the increasing distrust and the leads to the shrinking of personal rights, safety and privacy.

But the case of Menezes shows, that waiving the personal rights and one’s privacy cannot guarantee a national or global safety and security. How right and useful can it be to give up one’s personal safety for the global safety? How can it be possible to feel safe in the global world, as part of the globalised world, while trembling of maybe looking suspicious? The global world cannot be a safe place to live while every human being trembles of making anything wrong, illegal or suspicious.

A way to a safer world and to security would be to reduce the source and the causes that lead into crime and violence instead of increasing the surveillance and fueling the fear of the population. For instance in case of the rising fear of terrorism and the suspicion of every dark haired Muslim to be a potential terrorist, these potential suspects should be more integrated in the process of globalisation to prevent an exclusion and a rising gap. That is to say that maybe social questions and the intercultural dialog has to be encouraged and advanced.

This conclusion should clarify the difficult situation of globalisation concerning the security of the global population. It is pointed out that the term “globalisation” is not always to be associated with progress for every person or every part of the world in the same way, just as it should be comprehensible that security arrangements, for instance border-crossing agreements or national installed applications, are not that simple to estimate concerning their effect and result concerning the progress of a current situation.

Reference List

  • Griffin, Keith (2001), Economic Globalization and Institutions of Global Governance
  • Held, McGrew, Goldblatt & Perrat (2008), What is Globalization?
  • Keohane, Robert O., & Nye, Joseph S. Jr (2000), Globalisation: What's New? What's Not? (And So What?)Foreign Policy, Spring 2000
  • Reinicke, Wolfgang H. 1997, “Global Public Policy”
  • Hybášková, Jana (n.d.). Globalization – how to manage it? Retrieved 4th Dezember 2009. From http://www.vcse.eu/moodle/course/view.php?id=7
Creative Commons Author: Ilknur Yilmaz. This article was published under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License. How to cite the article: Ilknur Yilmaz. (25. 09. 2021). Security – global safety or collective danger?. VCSEWiki. Retrieved 04:34 25. 09. 2021) from: <https://vcsewiki.czp.cuni.cz/w/index.php?title=Security_%E2%80%93_global_safety_or_collective_danger%3F&oldid=5491>.