Understanding Global Security  book cover
5th Edition

Understanding Global Security

  • Available for pre-order on April 4, 2023. Item will ship after April 25, 2023
ISBN 9781032244600
April 25, 2023 Forthcoming by Routledge
288 Pages

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Book Description

Fully revised and updated, this fifth edition of Understanding Global Security considers the variety of ways in which peoples’ lives are threatened and / or secured in contemporary global politics. The traditional focus of Security Studies: war, deterrence and terrorism are analyzed alongside non-military security issues such as famine, crime, disease, disasters, environmental degradation and human rights abuses to provide a comprehensive survey of how and why people are killed in the contemporary world. Key concepts of International Relations and Globalization are defined and explained, prominent political thinkers and activists are profiled in short biographies and the human impact of the various security threats considered graphically illustrated in ‘Top Ten’ tables. Hence this textbook introduces students to the full range of security issues in a clear and concise format that is easy to follow.

Specific updates include:

  • A refresh of the evolving theoretical literature on security including more analysis of feminist and post-colonial thought.
  • Key recent international political developments- such as the covid-19 pandemic, Ukraine War and US withdrawal from Afghanistan- are appraised and incorporated.
  • A new section on hybrid warfare is included in Chapter 2, misogynistic terror is profiled in Chapter 3, whilst gun-smuggling and cybercrime are considered in more depth in Chapter 10.
  • Chapter 5 features analysis of the rise of ‘genocide diplomacy’.
  • The rise of private legal challenges to governments for failing to implement commitments to the Paris 2015 climate change accords is reviewed and analysed.
  • Greater evaluation of global governance, in the face of populist nationalist challenges to international cooperation, is offered.

User-friendly and easy to follow, this textbook is designed to make a complex subject accessible to all. Key features include:

  • ‘Top ten tables’ highlighting the most destructive events or forms of death in those areas throughout history.
  • Boxed descriptions elaborating key concepts in the fields of security and International Relations.
  • ‘Biographical boxes’ of key individuals who have shaped security politics.
  • Further reading and websites at the end of each chapter guiding you towards classic texts and the most up-to-date information on the various topics.
  • Glossary of political terminology.

This highly acclaimed and popular academic text will continue to be essential reading for everyone interested in security.

Table of Contents

1. Security and securitization  2. Military Threats to security from states  3.Threats to security from non-state actors  4.Economic threats to security  5.Identity, society and insecurity  6.Environmental threats to security  7.Health threats to security  8.Natural threats to security  9.Accidental threats to security  10.Criminal threats to security  11.Towards global security

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Peter Hough lectures in International Relations and heads up this subject at Middlesex University.


'This welcome fifth edition of the definitive text on global security provides a lively and thoughtful update on recent developments including the Covid-19 pandemic, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and international legal challenges on genocide in relation to China and Myanmar. There is some incisive analysis on the future prospects for global governance given the continuing rise of right wing populism. Dr Hough has written a magisterial and authoritative tour de force of the multiple dimensions of global security. His scholarship remains as topical and relevant as ever.'

Professor David Humphreys, The Open University, UK

'Dr. Hough’s latest edition of Understanding Global Security offers new insights surrounding the complexities of security in a post-Covid world order. His presentation of the theoretical foundations of security, from a variety of paradigmatic traditions, extends to a rigorous analysis of contemporary security challenges. The connection between theory and practice is never lost in this sophisticated and timely study. It remains an essential read for students and practitioners alike.'   

Dr. Edwin Daniel Jacob, Arizona State University, US