The Challenge of Global Commons and Flows for US Power : The Perils of Missing the Human Domain book cover
1st Edition

The Challenge of Global Commons and Flows for US Power
The Perils of Missing the Human Domain

ISBN 9781138270893
Published November 25, 2016 by Routledge
182 Pages

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Book Description

Global commons are domains that fall outside the direct jurisdiction of sovereign states - the high seas, air, space, and most recently man-made cyberspace - and thus should be usable by anyone. These domains, even if outside the direct responsibility and governance of sovereign entities, are of crucial interest for the contemporary world order. This book elaborates a practice-based approach to the global commons and flows to examine critically the evolving geopolitical strategy and vision of United States. The study starts with the observation that the nature of US power is evolving increasingly towards the recognition that command over the flows of global interdependence is a central dimension of national power. The study then highlights the emerging security and governance of these flows. In this context, the flows and the underlying global critical infrastructure are emerging as objects of high-level strategic importance. The book pays special attention to one of the least recognized but perhaps most fundamental challenges related to the global commons, namely the conceptual and practical challenge of inter-domain relationships-between maritime, air, space, and cyber-flows that bring about not only opportunities but also new vulnerabilities. These complexities cannot be understood through technological means alone but rather the issues need to be clarified by bringing in the human domain of security.



Dr Mika Aaltola is Director of the Center for US Politics and Power at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs and Professor of International Relations at Tallinn University. His previous monographs include Sowing the Seeds of Sacred: Political Religion of American Era (Brill 2008), Western Spectacles of Governance and the Emergence of Humanitarian World Order (Palgrave 2009), and Understading the Politics of Pandemic Scares (Routledge 2012). His current research focuses on understanding the impact of global flows on global order and power. Juha Käpylä currently works as a research fellow at the Finnish Institute of International Affairs. His previous academic research has focused on the consequences of American pragmatism for the study and practice of International Relations. He has also been an expert in the Multinational Experimentation process (MNE7), with a particular focus on the understanding of the inter-domain nature of the Global Commons in the context of future crisis management. Dr Valtteri Vuorisalo has a wide range of experience from the defense-sector, including multinational military operations, the private sector and academia. His previous research examined the methodology and process of international military crisis management capability development and its implications and benefits in national contexts. Currently, Dr Vuorisalo devotes his energy to developing new defense capabilities in the private sector.


’This book offers important insights into evolving notions of power, particularly with regard to global flows of people, goods, services, money, ideas, toxins and terror. The authors explore how the United States is developing agile networks to safeguard such flows as part of the global commons. Useful for anyone interested in key trends and the changing role of the United States in world affairs.’ Daniel Hamilton, Johns Hopkins University, USA ’Securing and governing the global commons and flows is one of the great challenges of the 21st century. The book's analysis of how the world’s only superpower is navigating these tricky waters is done with an admirable and unusual combination of theoretical strength and practical policy relevance. Innovative and highly topical, this book makes an important contribution to the fields of Security Studies and IR.’ Robert Egnell, Georgetown University, USA