If events like those in Ukraine have taught us anything it is that, despite the predictions of many, the potential for conflict between the major powers is still one of the defining characteristics of world politics. Crisis diplomacy and inter-state rivalry is back on the global agenda. But if policymakers, analysts and civil society actors are to try and come up with ways of reversing the trend towards an increasingly competitive, militarised and crisis-driven inter-state order, then thinking carefully through the implications of a sustainable security approach to great power politics would appear to be a most useful starting point.
As the long running tensions over the Senkaku/Diaoyu islands in the East China Sea appear to be coming to a head, the time for thinking through the alternatives to the militarisation of this conflict seems to be well and truly upon us.
The recent walkout by Egyptian negotiators at UN talks have demonstrated that, like a building with rotten foundations, the nuclear non-proliferation regime is far less stable than many believe it to be. Egypt’s actions make clear that anything less than a regime specifically geared towards addressing the reasons why some states seek nuclear weapons is a regime existing on borrowed time.
Regular sustainablesecurity.org contributor and former Director of the Sustainable Security programme at Oxford Research Group, Dr Ben Zala, provides a brief overview of some of the main security implications of climate change. In this video, he stresses that policymakers must be careful not to militarise the issue.
Now well over a decade after the beginning of the so-called war on terror, yet again, another western nation is leading a military intervention against Islamist paramilitaries based in a largely ungoverned region of a state in the Global South, write Anna Alissa Hitzemann and Ben Zala for Channel 4 News.
As the devastating bushfires in Australia sharpen questions about the need for urgent action on climate change in that country, is it time to abandon the debate over the pitfalls of viewing climate change through a ‘security lens’?
While volatility and uncertainty might be the ‘new normal’ in global resource politics, one thing is entirely certain – inaction and ‘business-as-usual’ when facing “a critical juncture in human history” is a recipe for disaster.
Thinking through the consequences of the changing nature of global security, both in terms of threat assessments and policy responses to those threats (military and non-military), will certainly require new approaches at the broad conceptual level. Ben Zala discusses the “new security reality” in which business-as-usual approaches are of little use.