Caucasian chess or the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the twentieth century

Authored by: Lilia A. Arakelyan

Routledge Handbook of Russian Security

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  January  2019

Print ISBN: 9780815396710
eBook ISBN: 9781351181242
Adobe ISBN:


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The meaning of the concept of security is constantly changing due to technological progress and globalisation. There is no single definition of the term security; however, the traditional approach to security in International Relations during the Cold War era has focused on military aspects of national security, mainly associated with the state’s sovereignty and independence, in regard to sustaining the conventional balance of power in world politics. While for realists of all strands, world politics is a constant struggle among nations over power and security in the absence of an international authority, liberals argue that cooperation is a key to maintain peace among the states in an anarchic world. Meanwhile, a broader understanding of security that goes beyond the military-political element of the subject includes economic, environmental, cultural, human, ideological, societal and other aspects. For instance, the state’s security concerns can reflect the nation’s economic power, if the poor countries’ security needs would be the provision of food and clean water, the developing countries may deal with ethnic conflicts and military interventions, and the developed countries may face industrial espionage, cyberwar or pollution. Moreover, states’ perception of security concerns may vary depending on regime types, whereas current threat of terrorism can be regarded as either a threat to the very existence of the nation or a legitimate tool of one’s foreign policy (Spiegel, Matthews, Taw, and Williams, 2009, 239). With the changing nature of threats, the concept of security in International Relations can no longer be associated solely with the military aspect of the subject and must include new elements that will reflect current issues and challenges in world politics.

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