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The Handbook of Global Security Policy by Mary Kaldor, Iavor Rangelov

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Introduction: Global Security Policy in the Twenty-First Century

Mary Kaldor and Iavor Rangelov*

We live in insecure times. We trust our institutions because we believe they keep us safe; yet the present moment is characterized by a pervasive worldwide sense of insecurity. In places like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Somalia, and Mali, people live under the daily threat of being killed, expelled from their homes, or being robbed, raped, tortured or kidnapped. In places like Bangladesh, Oklahoma, Japan, and Australia, people are increasingly vulnerable to flooding, earthquakes, tsunamis, or fires. In much of the world, access to water, food, or shelter is scarce. And in the richer parts of the world, growing fears about welfare and pensions, or terrorism and criminality, are probably the basis of a growing mistrust of political institutions and the political class.

Security policy is supposed to address insecurity. During the Cold War, the institutions that were responsible for security policy were largely provided by nation-states and political blocs. Even though the United Nations (UN) had security functions, these were constrained by the continuing East–West conflict. Traditionally, security policies consist of military forces that are designed to repel an attack by a foreign state and police forces who are supposed to uphold the rule of law and deal with criminality. What Ulrich Beck (1992) calls the “master narrative” of the modern state was ...

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