1st Edition

Understanding New Security Threats

Edited By Michel Gueldry, Gigi Gokcek, Lui Hebron Copyright 2019
    274 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    274 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This textbook examines non-traditional forms of security and expands the notion of security to include non-state actors and non-human actors. 

    Proposing an expansive view of non-traditional forms of security that go beyond traditionally recognized issues of threats to state and national territory, this new textbook rests on the following premises:

    • traditional state-centered threats, such as nuclear proliferation and espionage, remain a concern;

    • old and new threats combine and create interlocking puzzles—a feature of wicked problems and wicked messes;
    • because of the global erosion of borders, new developments of unconventional insecurity interact in ways that frustrate traditional conceptual definitions, conceptual maps, and national policies;
    • unconventional security challenges which have traditionally been seen as "low politics" or "soft" issues are now being recognized as "hard security" challenges in the twenty-first century;
    • many of the so-called "new" threats detailed here are in fact very old: diseases, gender violence, food insecurity, under-development, and crime are all traditional security threats, but deeply modified today by globalization.

    The chapters offer local and global examples and engage with various theoretical approaches to help readers see the bigger picture. Solutions are also suggested to these problems. Each chapter contains discussion questions to help readers understand the key points and facilitate class discussion.

    This book will be of great interest to students of international security studies, human security, global politics, and international relations.


    Part I: Ecosystems and Natural Resources

    Introduction: Yesterday's Security Debates, Today's Realities Michel Gueldry, Gigi Gokcek and Lui Hebron

    1. Climate Change: The Existential Security Threat Multiplier Amy Below

    2. Geoengineering: A New and Emerging Security Threat? Michael D. Beevers

    3. The Intersecting Dimensions of Water Security Neda A. Zawahri and Erika Weinthal

    4. Competition and Cooperation in Energy Security: Dilemmas for National Security and Influence Michael A. Davis and Jonathan Drake

    Part II: Human Security, Community and Gender Issues

    5. The Body Politics of Security: Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights Marissa Quie

    6. Gender-based Violence: A Threat to Human Security in the Global North and Global South Nicole Gerring

    7. Food Security Governance: Lessons from the Global South Erica Resende and Adriana Erthal Abnedur

    8. Invisible Foes and Micro-Enemies: Pathogens, Diseases, and Global Health Security Adrienne Formentos and Gigi Gokcek

    9. Push, Pull and Politics: International Migration Issues after the Syrian Civil War, Brexit and Trump Joel R. Campbell

    Part III: Sub- and Trans-State Actors and Forces: Disruptions and Violence

    10. Sub-state Actors’ Threats to International Security: Religious Extremists and Terrorist Groups Sharad Joshi

    11. Organized Crime and Trafficking: Mapping Out the Threats and Actors to Find Solutions Colin P. Clarke

    12. Transnational Organized Crime and Globalization: Godmothers of the Mafia and the Undermining of the Italian State and Society Serena Simoni

    13. Emerging Threats in Cyber Space: The Next Domain of Warfare Christian-Marc Lifländer

    14. Cyber Threats and Solutions for the Private Sector Daniel Addington and Mike Manrod

    15. Threats from STEM Jason Sebastiani, Joe Sanchez and Mike Manrod

    16. Risk and Uncertainty in the Global Container Supply Chain Khalid Bachkar and Lui Hebron

    17. Steeped in Insecurity? Democracy, Conflict, and the Threat of Populist Security Crister S. Garrett



    Michel Gueldry is Professor of International Relations and Sustainability Studies at Middlebury Institute of International Studies, USA.

    Gigi Gokcek is Associate Professor of Political Science at Dominican University of California, USA.

    Lui Hebron is an Academic Coach at Instructional Connections, USA.

    "A thoughtful, innovative, and ambitious volume with a unique perspective, surprising insights, and inclusive approach to the complexities of global-wide insecurity. In assembling scholars and policymakers at the forefront of non-traditional international security concerns — climate, energy, food, water health, gender, etc. — Gueldry, Gokcek, and Hebron have produced a collection of readings that is simultaneously sophisticated and accessible. It is refreshing to find a textbook that challenges long-held assumptions in this way and complements the more state-centered perspectives on international security. Geared to inform students and engage scholars alike, it is a must-read for anyone interested in gaining a more comprehensive and nuanced understanding of international security."Patrick James, Dornsife Dean’s Professor of International Relations, University of Southern California, USA

    "Understanding New Security Threats is a timely, engaging and accessible volume on the complexity of security in the 21st century. Security is not a simple term and this textbook provides students with an understanding of this issue’s breadth and its relevance to their world. Gueldry, Gokcek and Hebron assemble an A-list line-up of scholars to examine the non-traditional security threats that many students fail to consider when thinking about global security. These authors provide a wonderfully accessible narrative that engages students in the study of these non-traditional threats, while reminding them of the continued relevance of traditional nation-state threats and the interplay between these traditional and non-traditional security concerns. In short, this is the textbook that finally places the notion of security in the complex narrative that is needed for our students.''Eric K. Leonard, Henkel Family Chair in International Affairs, Shenandoah University, USA

    "A comprehensive look into a multitude of ‘new’ security threats confronting state and non-state actors today. Each chapter clearly illustrates the connectedness of these non-traditional threats, drawing on an impressive number of the most recent reports and scholarly works. The inclusion of discussion questions makes it especially useful for classes, but the quality of the analyses readily contribute to the growing scholarly dialogue around issues of human security as well. This outstanding volume is engaging, insightful, and accessible to a wide audience."Carolyn M. Shaw, Wichita State University, USA

    "Gueldry, Gokcek, and Hebron have assembled a fascinating set of readings elevating the discussion of "non-traditional" areas of security. In fact, they successfully make the case that these topics are the new normal for those interested in exploring the present and not-too-distant future of security. While climate change, food security, water security and energy security are currently occupying the minds of scholars and policymakers, the authors in this volume push us one step further to think about geoengineering, STEM transformations, and populism and security. This volume is a much-needed and timely addition to our thinking about security in an increasingly fragmented world."—Cameron G. Thies, Arizona State University, USA