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  • Author: Tayyar Ari, Faith Bilal Gokpinar
  • Publication Date: 01-2021
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: This study aims to discuss climate migration as a relatively new global issue with various dimensions and to widen the current perspective within global politics to be more inclusive and ecocentric. This study argues that traditional international relations theories and practices are ineffective in discussing and analyzing climate migration as a new global security problem. After a discussion of the conceptual problems, the traditional paradigms of international relations, their policy implications, and the traditional actors will be identified as the primary sources of this problems. Finally, we will conclude that the application of an ecocentric perspective, with holistic characteristics, will provide a better understanding of the current problems.
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Environment, Migration, Green Technology
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Flavia Eichmann
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Public and International Affairs (JPIA)
  • Institution: School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University
  • Abstract: This article explores what impact terrorist blacklists have on negotiated solutions to armed conflicts involving listed non-state armed groups. Even though conflicts that involve non-state armed groups do not usually end through these groups’ military defeat, governments around the globe tend to adopt hard-security approaches with regard to inner-state conflicts. Especially when groups resort to terrorist tactics, governments tend to be reluctant to engage peacefully with these actors and instead commonly rely on terrorist blacklists in order to delegitimize and restrict groups’ activities. While these blacklists are effective in criminalizing the operations of these groups, they can also severely impede peaceful dialogue and thus negatively impact the resolution of conflicts. Especially the work of NGOs and third-party peace practitioners is greatly constrained by criminalizing any form of interaction with listed groups. Additionally, in the absence of a universal definition of what constitutes a terrorist group, lists vary from country to country and the criteria for groups and individuals to get listed are often extremely vague. Furthermore, most lists fail to re-evaluate the proscribed groups on a regular basis and delisting procedures lack transparency. This article finds that blacklists severely disincentivize peaceful engagement with non-state armed groups and thus calls for a revision of contemporary proscription regimes in order to shift the focus of counterterrorism approaches towards viewing peaceful dialogue as a first option and not a last resort.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Terrorism, Non State Actors, Violent Extremism, Negotiation, Peace
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Josephine Wolff, Ta-Chun Su
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: . One of the questions that has always been very interesting to me is “Who do we hold responsible when something goes wrong with cybersecurity?” While that is a technical question—because often when something goes wrong, there is a technical component since you are dealing with a computer and the Internet—it also very much has to do with what our liability regimes say, what our policies say, what our social norms and expectations say about who we hold accountable and who is expected to pay for the damage. So for me, I think cybersecurity is about trying to understand what we mean when we talk about the "secure Internet,” what it looks like to have a secure Internet, and who we hold responsible for all the different components of how you get there. To whom do we say “It’s your job not to answer the phishing emails,” or “It’s your job to look for bug traffic on the network.” How do we piece together that entirely complicated ecosystem of different stakeholders, and how do we identify what their different roles and responsibilities should be? ...
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity, Interview
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Alexandra Heffern
  • Publication Date: 07-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: I have worked in development for almost twenty years, but when I declared my focus, I had not originally thought “I definitely want to do conflict-related programming and work in conflict zones.” Given my trajectory though, I organically started to do that. I received my undergraduate degree from the University of Vermont, and at that point the only way to study international development was through their Agricultural Economics program. After finishing school, my first real introduction to the field was when I started working with Oxfam in Boston. At first it was a very administrative position, but then I was lucky and had the opportunity to go overseas as the program officer in Cambodia, which is where I would say I began my career. At that point, I really wanted to work with an NGO — I had not even thought about working with USAID or a contractor — but in Cambodia I had the opportunity to work as a local American hire with USAID. After that I went to Clark University for graduate school, and after Clark I had a number of program management roles for USAID, all of which were in conflict zones. For example, I spent time working in Timor-Leste with Tetra Tech ARD, I spent time in Afghanistan, and I served as Chief of Party in Sudan for a conflict transition program. After being overseas I decided to return to the United States and began working with Chemonics, specifically supporting their Libya and Lebanon programs in the Office of Transition Initiatives...
  • Topic: Security, Conflict, Interview, USAID
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Raffaello Pantucci, Abdul Basit, Kyler Ong, Nur Aziemah Azman, V. Arianti, Muh Taufiqurrohman
  • Publication Date: 04-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Counter Terrorist Trends and Analysis
  • Institution: Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
  • Abstract: The Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has redefined almost all spheres of modern life. While states around the world are redeploying their financial resources, energies and military capabilities to cope with the challenge of the coronavirus, terrorist groups across the ideological spectrum have positioned themselves to exploit the gaps created by these policy re-adjustments. Terrorist groups are milking people’s fears amid confusion and uncertainty to promote their extremist propagandas. The rearrangement of global imperatives will push counter-terrorism and extremism down the priority list of the international community. Anticipating these policy changes, existing counter-terrorism frameworks and alliances should be revisited to devise cost-effective and innovative strategies to ensure continuity of the fight against terrorist groups. With these considerations in mind, this special issue of the Counter Terrorist Trends and Analyses (CTTA) features four articles that identify and assess important security risks around COVID-19, given its far-reaching social, economic and geopolitical impact. In the first article, Raffaello Pantucci reasons that COVID-19 will have a deep-seated and prolonged impact across government activity, both in terms of the categorisation of risks, as well as the resources available to tackle other issues. Perceptions of risk around terrorist threats may shift, with states grappling with stark economic, social and political challenges. At the same time, security threats continue to evolve, and may even worsen. According to the author, some of the tools developed to deal with the pandemic can potentially be useful in tracking terrorist threats. However, resource constraints will require states, on a global scale, to think far more dynamically about how to adequately buffer much-needed security blankets both within and beyond their borders. In the second article, Abdul Basit outlines the opportunities and potential implications that COVID-19 has created for terrorist groups across the ideological divide. According to the author, terrorist groups have exploited the virus outbreak to spread racial hatred, doomsday and end-of-times narratives. Among jihadist groups, IS has taken a more totalitarian view of the coronavirus pandemic, while Al-Qaeda (AQ) and the Taliban have used it as a PR exercise to gain political legitimacy. Far-right groups in the West have spun it to promote native nationalism, border restoration and anti-immigration policies. Terrorist groups have increased their social media propaganda to radicalise and recruit vulnerable individuals. At the same time, these groups have urged their supporters to carry out lone-wolf attacks and use the coronavirus as a bioweapon. In the post-COVID-19 world, revisiting existing counter-terrorism frameworks to devise more adaptable and cost-effective strategies would be needed to continue the fight against terrorism. In the next article, V. Arianti and Muh Taufiqurrohman observe that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a varied impact on Indonesia’s security landscape. On the one hand, it has emboldened IS-affiliated Indonesian militant groups to step up calls for attacks, with the government seen as weakened amidst a worsening domestic health crisis. On the other, ongoing indoctrination and recruitment activities of militant groups have also faced disruptions. According to the authors, counter-terrorism strategies will need to be reoriented as circumstances evolve, particularly in dealing with the arrest of militants and the subsequent processes of their prosecution and incarceration. Finally, Kyler Ong and Nur Aziemah Azman examine the calls to action by far-right extremists and the Islamic State (IS), which reveals varying degrees of organisational coherence in the respective movements. According to the authors, such variations influence these two groups’ preferred techniques, tactics and procedures adopted in seeking to exploit the health crisis. For its part, IS has a more organised hierarchical structure, even if it has increasingly granted autonomy to its affiliates to plan and execute attacks. In comparison, the absence of a central authority, or command structure in the far-right, can lead to a fragmentation of interests. These factors invariably create uncertainties in how, when and where extremists of both ilk may seek to operationalise an attack.
  • Topic: Security, Government, Health, Terrorism, Counter-terrorism, Al Qaeda, Islamic State, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Indonesia, Southeast Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Giovanni Bombelli
  • Publication Date: 05-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal on International Security Studies (RESI)
  • Institution: International Security Studies Group (GESI) at the University of Granada
  • Abstract: This article focuses on the problematic nexus migration-security, which calls into question classical philosophical-legal and political categories (State, law, territory) dating back to the origins of the modernity. The analysis of Hobbes’ and Grotius’ insights allows to grasp the distance between the modern framework and the post-modern scenarios. The contemporary complex societies are characterized by fundamental socio-legal transitions, in particular as regards the notion of “privacy”, and by the progressive implementation of a new model of law and politics relations that is closely connected to the crucial role played by technology. In the light of this horizon, the migration issue, and its relations with the political phenomenon called “populism”, should be fundamentally understood in a cultural perspective even before its immediate sociological, political and legal projections.
  • Topic: Security, Migration, Politics, Culture, Law
  • Political Geography: Spain, Global Focus
  • Author: Cícero Ricci Cavini
  • Publication Date: 06-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Institution: Brazilian Journal of African Studies
  • Abstract: International Security developed after the World War II, under the aspect of state protection. Traditional security currents have developed their theories in a Cold War environment, thus, there are epistemological elements of Rationalism and Positivism (Barrinha 2013; Lasmar 2017). The goal of this study is to observe the influence of diplomacy on international controversies, analyze real situations where diplomacy influenced the mediation choice and the armed conflict choice, and finally, deepen the knowledge of the consequences of war and mediation. The article has its theoretical framework on Post-Structuralism, characterized by Lasmar (2017) by the conditioning of the human being as meaning and attributor of the facts (social construction). In the International Security sphere, Post-Structuralism must nominate the threat or the protection as also the means for this. Therefore, it can expose the hidden intentions in the act of political construction (including political speech). The authors and researchers Christer Jönsson and Karin Aggestam question the preference of the states for mediation or war, and, given that, we intend to contribute with analysis under the diplomatic prism. Thus, we can align the revisited theory to the diplomatic actions, collaborating with the international security system.
  • Topic: Conflict Prevention, International Relations, Security, Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: Brazil, Global Focus
  • Author: Aamer Raza
  • Publication Date: 12-2020
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Review of Human Rights
  • Institution: Society of Social Science Academics (SSSA)
  • Abstract: Coronavirus Pandemic has generated a discussion regarding the future of globalization. This article places this new wave of pessimism regarding the future of globalization in the broader tension surrounding globalization that has existed in international relations discourse since the end of the Cold War. The article points out some of the previous challenges endured by globalization. It also points out that whereas at this point popular media and news commentary portray pessimism as the dominant feeling, the trend towards multilateralism and global cooperation is also discernable in other responses to the pandemic.
  • Topic: Security, Globalization, Populism, Multilateralism, Coronavirus, COVID-19
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Filippa Lentzos
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: International treaties prohibit the development and use of biological weapons. Yet concerns about these weapons have endured and are now escalating. It is high time to take a hard look at technical and political developments and consider how the international security policy community should respond. ​ A major source of the growing concern about future bioweapons threats stem from scientific and technical advances. Innovations in biotechnology are expanding the toolbox to modify genes and organisms at a staggering pace, making it easier to produce increasingly dangerous pathogens. Disease-causing organisms can now be modified to increase their virulence, expand their host range, increase their transmissibility, or enhance their resistance to therapeutic interventions.[1] Scientific advances are also making it theoretically possible to create entirely novel biological weapons,[2] by synthetically creating known or extinct pathogens or entirely new pathogens.[3] Scientists could potentially enlarge the target of bioweapons from the immune system to the nervous system,[4] genome, or microbiome,[5] or they could weaponize ‘gene drives’ that would rapidly and cheaply spread harmful genes through animal and plant populations.[6] ​ Concurrent developments in other emerging technologies are also impacting potential future biological weapons threats. Developments in artificial intelligence and machine learning could speed up identification of harmful genes or DNA sequences. Artificial intelligence and machine learning could also potentially enable much more targeted biological weapons that would harm specific individuals or groups of individuals based on their genes, prior exposure to vaccines, or known vulnerabilities in their immune system.[7] Big Data and ‘cloud labs’ (completely robotized laboratories for hire) facilitate this process by enabling massively scaled-up experimentation and testing, significantly shortening ‘design-test-build’ timeframes and improving the likelihood of obtaining specificity or producing desired biological functionality.[8] Other developments provide new or easier ways to deliver pathogens or biological systems. Nanotechnology could potentially create aerosolized nanobots dispersing lethal synthetic microbes or chem-bio hybrids through the air,[9] or in vivo nanobots releasing damaging payloads inside human bodies.[10] Aerosol or spraying devices attached to swarms of small unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, could be another potential means to disperse biological agents. Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing, could circumvent barriers imposed by national export control systems on controlled laboratory equipment or dispersal devices. ​
  • Topic: Security, Health, Science and Technology, Treaties and Agreements, Biosecurity, Weapons
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Kristi Govella
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: For most of history, the domains of the global commons were unclaimed, largely because the technology to access and utilize them did not exist.[1] In areas such as the high seas and outer space, it was impossible for states to establish and maintain sovereign control. Even as the relevant technologies developed, costliness and controls kept them initially concentrated largely in the hands of just a few major powers such as the Unit- ed States and the Soviet Union. For the United States, “command of the commons” became the military foundation of its hegemony, granting it the ability to access much of the planet and to credibly threaten to deny the use of such spaces to others.[2] Bipolar competition between the United States and the Soviet Union strongly influenced developments in the maritime and outer space domains. In the case of cyberspace, a more recent addition to the traditional global commons, the United States was also initially dominant due to its role in pioneering associated technologies. However, over time and particularly since the end of the Cold War, continuing technological innovation and diffusion have made these domains accessible to a growing number of countries. ​ This technological progress was born of both cooperation and competition between states. While some states chose to develop certain technologies indigenously, many acquired knowledge and equipment from abroad. Globalization of industry has made it easier for states to obtain a variety of foreign technologies, even lowering the threshold for them to procure disruptive military capabilities. In addition, over the last two decades, American primacy has been increasingly challenged by the rise of China, which has impacted the dynamics of technological development and diffusion across multiple domains. As China has acquired the technology to become more active in the commons, it has prompted major regional powers, such as Japan and India, to accelerate their own technological advancement, and other mid-sized and smaller countries have also become increasingly engaged.[3] ​ The consequence of this multiplication of technologically sophisticated actors has been the erosion of American primacy in the global commons. Although the United States still remains the most dominant player, it is faced with a more densely populated field, and management of these spaces has become more difficult. This article examines this trend in the high seas, outer space, and cyberspace since the end of the Cold War, with attention to the ways in which the rise of China and the relative decline of the United States have catalyzed greater engagement with the commons, particularly among the countries in Asia that find themselves most affected by this power transition. I argue that advances in and diffusion of technology have transformed the global commons into increasingly crowded domains characterized by interstate competition and heightened tensions. Whether these tensions prevail depends on the creation and strengthening of regimes to manage interactions and promote shared rules and norms...
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Globalization, Science and Technology
  • Political Geography: China, Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Paul Rosenzweig
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Benjamin Franklin is famous, in part, for having said, “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Though historical evidence suggests Franklin’s quote has been misinterpreted,[1] the aphorism has come to stand for the proposition that privacy and security stand in opposition to each other, where every increase in security likely results in a commensurate decrease in privacy, and vice versa. ​ Couched in those terms, the privacy/security trade-off is a grim prospect. We naturally want both privacy and security to the greatest extent possible. But Franklin tells us this is impossible — that privacy and security are locked in a zero-sum game where the gain of one comes only at the loss of the other. ​ Of course, this characterization is assuredly flawed; it is certainly possible to adopt systems that maximize both privacy and security in a Pareto optimal way. That is one of the reasons why so many privacy and security experts simply revile the “balancing” metaphor — it obscures more than it illuminates... ​
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Cybersecurity, Privacy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Douglas Yeung
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Digital data captured from social media, cell phones, and other online activity has become an invaluable asset for security purposes. Online mapping or cell-phone location information can be used to collect intelligence on population movement, or to provide situational awareness in disasters or violent incidents. Social-media postings may be used to vet potential immigrants and job applicants, or to identify potential recruits who may be likely to join the military. ​ However, breakdowns in relationships between the tech industry and would-be consumers of technology’s handiwork could imperil the ability of security stakeholders to use this data. Ongoing issues have already begun to shape some technologists’ views on the ethical use of artificial intelligence and other technologies in war and conflict and their impact on human rights and civil liberties. It isn’t difficult to imagine a series of future incidents further souring collaboration between technologists and security stakeholders. ​ In contrast to its reluctance over security matters, the tech industry has been a willing partner for government agencies and communities that promote health and wellbeing—topics that present less of an ethical challenge. Although it may not be immediately apparent, wellbeing and security have much in common. Could the security community take a page from wellbeing efforts to improve their collaboration with the tech industry?...
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Business , Surveillance, Private Sector
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: John Borrie
  • Publication Date: 07-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: John Borrie is the research coordinate and program lead at the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. He’s currently working on continuing and expanding dialogues about disarmament and the impact of nuclear weapons on humanitarian affairs. He previously worked on weapons control for both the International Committee of the Red Cross and as a New Zealand diplomat. Borrie holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Bradford.
  • Topic: Security, Nuclear Weapons, Science and Technology, Interview
  • Political Geography: United Nations, Global Focus
  • Author: Silviu Petre, Ella Ciuperca
  • Publication Date: 08-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: AUSTRAL: Brazilian Journal of Strategy International Relations
  • Institution: Postgraduate Program in International Strategic Studies, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul
  • Abstract: This article aims to contribute to the theoretical clarification of certain widely used terms in scholarly literature as well as in public statements made by policymakers, pundits, media people but insufficiently exaplained, namely security producers and security consumers. Although frequently present, neither political science nor international relations literature have grappled with them, therefore rendering scholars incapable to grasp the complexity of inter-state position.
  • Topic: Security, Science and Technology, Manufacturing, Industry
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Neslihan Dikmen-Alsancak
  • Publication Date: 09-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The aim of this article is to discuss the differences between the theoretical outlooks of the Third World security approaches and the postcolonial security approaches to security studies. This article is composed of four parts. In the first part, the article investigates what the Third World security approaches and the postcolonial security approaches understand of the concepts of the Third World and postcolonialism. Subsequent three parts discuss differences between the critiques of these two approaches to security studies with respect to three concepts of state, culture, and modernity. Thus, this article compares the critiques of these approaches to security studies and their contributions to critical approaches to security.
  • Topic: Security, Post Colonialism, Third World
  • Political Geography: Turkey, Global Focus
  • Author: Ayşe Ömür Atmaca, Pınar Gozen Ercan
  • Publication Date: 01-2019
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Uluslararasi Iliskiler
  • Institution: International Relations Council of Turkey (UİK-IRCT)
  • Abstract: The discipline of International Relations (IR) has defined its boundaries through masculine terms, which makes women and gender relations hardly visible. Nevertheless, women have always been an inseparable part of interstate relations, and the world’s most important problems cannot be treated separately from gender politics. On grounds of the basic assumptions of feminist IR theories, the aim of this study is to analyse how feminism offers new ways to understand contemporary issues of international security. In this vein, feminist IR literature is analysed from the perspective of security, and feminist critiques are exemplified through the concept of the “Responsibility to Protect”.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Feminism, Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Sherri Goodman, Eli Stiefel
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Sherri Goodman is an experienced leader and senior executive, lawyer and director in the fields of national security, energy, science, oceans and environment. She is a Senior Fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center and CNA (Center for Naval Analyses), and a Senior Advisor for International Security at the Center for Climate and Security. At CNA, Goodman also served as Senior Vice President and General Counsel and was the founder and Executive Director of the CNA Military Advisory Board, whose landmark reports include National Security and the Threat of Climate Change (2007), and National Security and the Accelerating Risks of Climate Change (2014), Advanced Energy and US National Security (2017), and The Role of Water Stress in Instability and Conflict (2017), among others. Previously, she served as the President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. From 1993-2001, Goodman served as the first Deputy Undersecretary of Defense (Environmental Security).
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Environment, Geopolitics
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Ellen Scholl
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: The European Union (EU) has increasingly interconnected energy and climate policy, with the formulation of the Energy Union as one notable — if yet incomplete — step in this direction. In addition to the linkages between energy policy and efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet climate goals under the Paris Agreement, the EU has been increasingly vocal about the link between climate and security, and under- taken (at least rhetorical) efforts to incorporate climate security concerns into broader externally focused policy areas. ​ This shift toward a focus on climate security, however, raises questions of how energy security and climate security relate, the impact of the former on the latter, and how the Energy Union fits into this shift, as well as how the EU characterizes climate risk and how this relates to geopolitical risks in its broader neighborhood. It also begs the question of how to go beyond identifying and conceptualizing the security risks posed by climate change to addressing them. ​ This paper charts changes in the EU’s energy and climate security discourse, focusing on their intersection in the Energy Union and the EU’s promotion of the energy transition to lower carbon forms of energy, and the relevant risks in the European neighborhood. The paper concludes that while the EU has evolved to include climate priorities and climate risks into foreign and security policy thinking, the complicated relation- ship between climate change and security complicates efforts to operationalize this in the EU, in relations with the broader European neighborhood, and beyond...
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Energy Policy, Regional Cooperation
  • Political Geography: Europe, Global Focus, European Union
  • Author: Alice C. Hill
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Fletcher Security Review
  • Institution: The Fletcher School, Tufts University
  • Abstract: Human trafficking is a horrendous crime: it degrades human security and undermines the rights of people around the globe. Although the exact number of victims worldwide remains elusive, the extent of human trafficking stands to increase in coming years for several reasons, including the accelerating rate of climate change. A warming world will almost certainly bring more disasters that result in greater displacement of people from their homes and livelihoods. This, in turn, puts them at greater risk of trafficking. Human trafficking is a highly lucrative crime, with few perpetrators successfully prosecuted and transnational criminal and terrorist groups repeatedly using it as a source of revenue. These factors, in combination with worsening climate change impacts will, in all likelihood, yield ever more human trafficking victims. ​ At its core, human trafficking involves forcing another against his or her will to work, perform sex acts, or succumb to debt bondage. Despite its name, the crime does not necessarily involve movement: the key element is coercion. Over 170 nations have signaled their opposition to human trafficking by joining the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, and virtually all countries have registered official opposition to trafficking in humans. Despite these pronouncements, human trafficking occurs with staggering frequency. While precise estimates of the number of persons trafficked are difficult to obtain, the U.S. Department of State speculated in its 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report that there may be “tens of millions” of victims worldwide.[1] Other international organizations “estimate that about 25 million people are victims” of human trafficking in the world.[2] In all likelihood, those numbers will grow due in part to the increasing effects of climate change...
  • Topic: Security, Climate Change, Crime, Human Trafficking
  • Political Geography: Global Focus, United States of America
  • Author: Andris Banka, Adam Quinn
  • Publication Date: 07-2018
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Security Studies
  • Institution: Security Studies
  • Abstract: This article argues that when actors engage in controversial new security practices, it is misconceived to view secrecy as an opposed, counterproductive alternative to the pursuit of legitimation. Rather, we propose, deployment of “quasi-secrecy”—a combination of official secrecy with leaks, selective disclosure, and de facto public awareness—can be an effective strategy for achieving normalization and legitimation while containing the risks entailed by disclosure. We support this claim via a detailed case study of US targeted killing. First, we establish the existence of an American norm against targeted killing during the period 1976–2001. We then detail the process by which an innovation in practice was secretly approved, implemented, became known, and was gradually, partially officially acknowledged. We argue that even if quasi-secrecy was not in this instance a coherently-conceived and deliberately pursued strategy from start to finish, the case provides proof of concept for its potential to be deployed as such.
  • Topic: Security, Legitimacy, Normalization, Secrecy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus