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Political Science in Europe

Detecting and Reacting to Global and Regional Security Complexes: A New Approach to the Analysis of Interacting and Interdependent Security Issues in International Relations Theory

Cyber Politics
International Relations
Climate Change
Panel Number
Panel Chair
Alexander Niedermeier
Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Panel Co-Chair
Wolfram Ridder
Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

25/08/2018 14:00 - 15:40
Building: VMP 5 Floor: 2 Room: 2101
Significant changes are detectable in the way international security issues are analyzed. Especially, the complexity and interrelatedness of security issues has become salient within the field. An important step in conceptualizing this multidimensionality of security has been realized by differentiating national security into different dimensions like human, societal and regime security, as well as by identifying specific aspects such as financial, food, environmental or energy security. However important these steps were, the next necessary step is the analytical conceptualization of what we call “security issue complexes”. With this, we refer to the fusion of security dimensions and aspects into one analytical lens to enhance our ability to identify the foundations of complex security challenges. By working out which specific security dimensions and aspects are involved in a “security issue complex” and what the respective specific interrelatedness looks like, we are better able to understand the effects of this multidimensionality and develop remedies. The first paper by Loewen/Ridder/Niedermeier outlines the general conceptual und theoretical ideas on which the security complex approach is based and demonstrates possibilities and boundaries of the concept. The following three papers will illustrate the concept of security complexes by applying it to three salient security issues on the regional and global level. The paper by Niedermeier/Riemann/Guimaraes focuses on the clash of fundamentalisms and modernity and shows how fundamentalist ideas and modern technologies interact in newly created physical and virtual public spheres and in this vein may induce risks also for areas like critical infrastructures and cyberspace. Ridder and Nauhardt in their paper will look into the complex interactions between the issues energy, climate and crisis commodities and the security implications caused by this specific security complex for regional and international security. In their paper, Hoffmann and Albrecht focus on the security complex involving issues that concern the interaction of global public health and natural as well technological disasters. The last paper by Maor analyzes particular reaction patterns in the context of selected security complexes by referring to disproportionate policy perspective and the derived repertoire of intentional policy overreactions and thus in an explorative way opens one possible avenue for future conceptual refinement and the widening scope of applying the security complex approach.

Paper List

Title Details
Between Public and Virtual Spheres: Dialectics of Islamic Terrorism and the Security Issue Complex of Radical Fundamentalism, High Technology, Critical Infrastructure and Social Networks View Paper Details
Global Public Health and Natural Disasters as Security Issue Complex View Paper Details
Policy Overreaction in the Context of Security Issue Complexes: An Explorative Approach to Further Conceptual Theorizing View Paper Details
Security Issue Complexes as an Innovative Tool for the Analysis of Threats and Challenges in International Relations View Paper Details
The Security Issue Complex: 'Climate Change, Energy, Resources, and Crisis Commodities' View Paper Details
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