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Dems will hold the Senate now—most accurate models
Logiurato 9-17-14 (Brett, staff writer, "Meet The New Nate Silver" Business Insider) www.businessinsider.in/Meet-TheNew-Nate-Silver/articleshow/42727612.cms
In 2012, as President Barack Obama fell behind in pre-election polls but not in election statistician Nate Silver's odds, this phrase
quickly caught on: "Keep calm and trust Nate Silver!" This
summer, Democrats have a new election guru to turn
to for comfort: Sam Wang, a neuroscientist and professor at Princeton University who runs a
model at Princeton's Election Consortium. Most of the 2014 election models - from The Washington
Post, The New York Times, and from Silver, among others - have for a while projected Republicans not only
furthering their grip on control of the House of Representatives, but also having a good chance of flipping Senate
control as well. But Wang's model has been the most bullish for Democrats. His model has two
forecasts: If the election were held today, Democrats would have an 80% chance of retaining
control of the Senate. Predicting for Election Day, he estimates slightly less bullish 70%
odds. He predicts that as of today, Senate Democrats and Independents that caucus with
the party will make up 50 seats in the chamber, enabling them to keep control by the thinnest of margins. (In
such a 50-50 situation, Vice President Joe Biden would cast the theoretical deciding vote.) On Tuesday, other models
began shifting toward a better chance for Democratic control of the Senate. The Washington
Post on Tuesday put Democrats' odds at 51%. The New York Times' new "Leo" model has
control of the Senate at a 50-50 tossup. And Silver's site, FiveThirtyEight, has Republicans' chances
slimming to about 53%. "My model is slightly more favorable because it relies on current polling
conditions" as its main factor, Wang said in a recent interview with Business Insider. The differences between their
models - and their differing predictions - has opened up a pseudo-rivalry between Wang and Silver in the lead-up to the midterm
elections. During an interview with WNYC's Brian Lehrer last week, Silver claimed Wang's model uses "arbitrary assumptions,"
something Wang rejected as an "out-and-out falsehood." In a blog post on Tuesday, Wang
playfully responded to a
comment from Silver in which he said he'd like to "place a large wager against" Wang. He
called Silver's forecast that day, which gave Republicans a 64% chance of swinging Senate control, into question,
saying the "special sauce" (or formula) Silver uses for his model is "messy stuff." But the
difference between Wang and Silver, Wang says, is substantive. It is predicated on the divide
between the models - Wang's relies only on a reading of the latest polls, while Silver's model
adds in the "fundamentals" of the race when making predictions. Those fundamentals vary by
state. They can take into account fundraising, the liberal-conservative ideology of individual candidates, and national factors like
presidential approval rating and the history of the president's party performing badly in the sixth year of his presidency, for example.
"When
he started in 2008, he brought lively commentary and the addition of econometric
assumptions to predict the future," Wang told Business Insider of Silver. "He made the hobby
fun for people to read about. All horse race commentators owe him a debt. "The difference
between us is substantive. In most years, adding assumptions doesn't alter the picture too
much: 2008, 2010, and 2012 were not hard prediction problems. However, this year's Senate
race is as close as 2004, and giving an accurate picture of the race is challenging. Adding
assumptions can bias an analyst's interpretation ." Nate Silver's model relies on more
than just polls. Somewhat similar to Silver, Wang's interest in political prognostication grew out of the insatiable need to
fuel what had been a hobby. He is the son of Taiwanese immigrants, grew up in California, graduated with a B.S. from the California
Institute of Technology by the age of 19, and subsequently graduated with a PhD from Stanford. He
began his model in
2004, when he was intensely following the presidential campaign that pitted President George
W. Bush against Democrat John Kerry. In the constant horse-race mentality and the overreporting on single polls, he said, he saw an opportunity to contribute a new, more
comprehensive and accurate element to the conversation. "I was motivated by the extreme closeness of the
Kerry-Bush contest, and the news stories about single polls were driving me crazy," Wang told Business Insider. "I thought a simple
way to summarize all the polls at once would improve the quality of coverage." Since then, his
model has nearly
nailed the result in every national election . In 2004, the model predicted Bush would
grab 286 electoral votes to Kerry's 252. That was off by only a single electoral vote . (He made a
personal prediction that turned out to be wrong.) The 2008 presidential election was similar - off by a single
vote in each direction. The model only missed Nevada's Senate race in 2010, a race in which nearly every poll was off the
mark. And the model in 2012 correctly predicted the vote in 49 of 50 states, the popular vote
count of 51.1% to 48.9%, and 10 out of 10 tight Senate races - including Montana and South
Dakota, which Silver missed. To Wang, it proves that a model that solely focuses on polls is a
reliable indicator of eventual electoral outcomes. And he thinks models based on
"fundamentals" like Silver's and like The New York Times' new model, dubbed "Leo,"
significantly alter the picture this year . "As of early September, both the New York Times's model 'Leo' and
the FiveThirtyEight model exert a pull equivalent to adjusting Senate polls in key races by several percentage points. In other words,
Republican candidates have slightly underperformed analyst expectations," Wang said. And this year, that could mean the
expected Republican "wave" might never materialize. Wang sees Democratic candidates
outperforming expectations all over the map.
Plan hurts the dems—even if legalization is popular in general, it’s unpopular
among LIKELY voters.
New Republic, 10/24/13, “Marijuana is America's Next Political Wedge Issue”
http://www.newrepublic.com/article/115334/marijuana-americas-next-great-political-wedge-issue
To date, Democrats
haven’t had many incentives to take a risk on the issue. Democrats are
already winning the winnable culture war skirmishes , at least from a national electoral perspective,
and they have a winning demographic hand. And let’s get perspective: Marijuana legalization
may be increasingly popular, but it’s not clearly an electoral bonanza. Support for legalization
isn’t very far above 50 percent, if it is in fact, and there are potential downsides. National surveys show
that a third of Democrats still oppose marijuana legalization. Seniors, who turnout in high
numbers in off year elections, are also opposed. Altogether, it’s very conceivable that
there are more votes to be lost than won by supporting marijuana . After all, marijuana
legalization underperformed President Obama in Washington State.
A GOP senate destroys the Iran deal
Julian
Pecquet, journalist, “GOP Senate Takeover Could Kill Iran Deal,” THE HILL, 1—23—14,
http://thehill.com/policy/international/196170-gop-senate-takeover-could-kill-iran-nuclear, accessed 5-31-14.
A Republican takeover of the Senate this fall could scuttle one of President Obama’s biggest
second term goals — a nuclear deal with Iran. Republicans have lambasted the interim
agreement with Iran, calling for the Senate to move an Iran sanctions bill. The House last year passed a
measure in an overwhelming and bipartisan 400-20 vote. Both the Obama administration and Iran have
warned moving such a measure could kill a final deal. A number of Democrats have also criticized the interim
accord, which lifted $6 billion in sanctions on Iran in exchange for a commitment to restrictions on enriching uranium. Critics in both
parties say the deal gave away too much to Iran. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has
given Obama cover by
refusing to bring sanctions legislation to the floor. If Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
becomes majority leader, sanctions legislation could move quickly to the floor and could
attract a veto-proof majority. “If Republicans held the majority, we would have voted already;
with Democrats in charge, Harry Reid denies the American people the bipartisan diplomatic insurance
policy they deserve,” a senior Republican Senate aide complained. The aide suggested Republicans would use the
issue of Iran to show how a GOP-run Senate would differ with the status quo. “So the question really
is, what kind of Senate would people rather have — one that puts politics over good policy, or one that holds Iran accountable and
A total of 59 senators — 16
Democrats and every Republican save two — have co-sponsored the sanctions bill from Sens. Robert
Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). Republicans need to gain six seats to win back the majority,
works overtime to prevent a world with Iranian nuclear weapons?” the aide asked.
something within their grasp this year. The party is a solid favorite to pick up seats in West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana, and
believes it could also secure wins in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina.
Causes Israel strikes
Perr 13 – B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University; technology marketing consultant based in Portland,
Oregon. Jon has long been active in Democratic politics and public policy as an organizer and advisor in California and
Massachusetts. His past roles include field staffer for Gary Hart for President (1984), organizer of Silicon Valley tech
executives backing President Clinton's call for national education standards (1997), recruiter of tech executives for Al
Gore's and John Kerry's presidential campaigns, and co-coordinator of MassTech for Robert Reich (2002). 12/24 (Jon,
“Senate sanctions bill could let Israel take U.S. to war against Iran” Daily Kos,
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/12/24/1265184/-Senate-sanctions-bill-could-let-Israel-take-U-S-to-war-againstIran#
As 2013 draws to close, the negotiations over the Iranian nuclear program have entered a delicate stage. But in 2014, the tensions will escalate
dramatically as a bipartisan group of Senators brings a
new Iran sanctions bill to the floor for a vote. As many others have warned, that
promise of new measures against Tehran will almost certainly blow up the interim deal reached by the Obama administration and its UN/EU partners in
Geneva. But Congress' highly unusual intervention into the President's domain of foreign policy doesn't just make the prospect of an American conflict
with Iran more likely. As it turns out, the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act essentially
empowers Israel to decide whether the
United States will go to war against Tehran. On their own, the tough new sanctions imposed automatically if a final deal isn't
completed in six months pose a daunting enough challenge for President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry. But it is the legislation's
commitment to support an Israeli preventive strike against Iranian nuclear facilities that almost ensures the
U.S. and Iran will come to blows. As Section 2b, part 5 of the draft mandates: If the Government of Israel is compelled to take
military action in legitimate self-defense against Iran's nuclear weapon program, the United States Government should stand with Israel and provide, in
accordance with the law of the United States and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force, diplomatic,
military, and economic support to the Government of Israel in its defense of its territory, people, and existence. Now, the legislation being pushed by
Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL), Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) does not automatically give the President an authorization to use force
should Israel attack the Iranians. (The draft language above explicitly states that the U.S. government must act "in accordance with the law of the
United States and the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of military force.") But there should be little doubt that an AUMF
would be forthcoming from Congressmen on both sides of the aisle. As Lindsey Graham, who with Menendez co-sponsored a similar, non-binding
"stand with Israel" resolution in March told a Christians United for Israel (CUFI) conference in July: "If nothing changes in Iran, come September,
October, I will present a resolution that will authorize the use of military force to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear bomb." Graham would have
plenty of company from the hardest of hard liners in his party. In August 2012, Romney national security adviser and pardoned Iran-Contra architect
Elliott Abrams called for a war authorization in the pages of the Weekly Standard. And just two weeks ago, Norman Podhoretz used his Wall Street
Journal op-ed to urge the Obama administration to "strike Iran now" to avoid "the nuclear war sure to come." But at the end of the day, the
lack
of an explicit AUMF in the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act doesn't mean its supporters aren't giving Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu de facto carte blanche to hit Iranian nuclear facilities. The ensuing Iranian
retaliation against to Israeli and American interests would almost certainly trigger the commitment of U.S. forces
anyway. Even if the Israelis alone launched a strike against Iran's atomic sites, Tehran will almost certainly hit back against U.S. targets in the
Straits of Hormuz, in the region, possibly in Europe and even potentially in the American homeland. Israel would face certain retaliation from Hezbollah
rockets launched from Lebanon and Hamas missiles raining down from Gaza. That's why former Bush Defense Secretary Bob Gates and CIA head
Michael Hayden raising the alarms about the "disastrous" impact of the supposedly surgical strikes against the Ayatollah's nuclear infrastructure. As the
New York Times reported in March 2012, "A classified war simulation held this month to assess the repercussions of an
forecasts that the strike would
Israeli attack on Iran
lead to a wider regional war , which could draw in the United States and leave hundreds of
Americans dead, according to American officials." And that September, a bipartisan group of U.S. foreign policy leaders including Brent Scowcroft,
retired Admiral William Fallon, former Republican Senator (now Obama Pentagon chief) Chuck Hagel, retired General Anthony Zinni and former
Ambassador Thomas Pickering concluded that American attacks with the objective of "ensuring that Iran never acquires a nuclear bomb" would "need
to conduct a significantly expanded air and sea war over a prolonged period of time, likely several years." (Accomplishing regime change, the authors
noted, would mean an occupation of Iran requiring a "commitment of resources and personnel greater than what the U.S. has expended over the past
10 years in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars combined.") The anticipated blowback? Serious costs to U.S. interests would also be felt over the longer term,
we believe, with problematic consequences for global and regional stability, including economic stability. A
dynamic of escalation ,
action, and counteraction could produce serious unintended consequences that would
significantly increase all of these costs and lead, potentially, to all-out regional war.
Escalates to major power war
Trabanco 9 – Independent researcher of geopoltical and military affairs (1/13/09, José Miguel Alonso Trabanco, “The Middle
Eastern Powder Keg Can Explode at anytime,” **http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=11762**)
In case of an Israeli and/or American attack against Iran, Ahmadinejad's government will certainly respond. A
possible countermeasure would be to fire Persian ballistic missiles against Israel and maybe even against American military bases in
the regions. Teheran will unquestionably resort to its proxies like Hamas or Hezbollah (or even some of its Shiite allies it has in
Lebanon or Saudi Arabia) to carry out attacks against Israel, America and their allies, effectively setting in flames a
large
portion of the Middle East. The ultimate weapon at Iranian disposal is to block the Strait of Hormuz. If such chokepoint is indeed
asphyxiated, that would dramatically increase the price of oil, this a very threatening retaliation because it will bring intense financial
and economic havoc upon the West, which is already facing significant trouble in those respects. In short, the necessary
conditions for a major war
of control
in the Middle East
and thus a relatively minor clash could
are given . Such conflict could rapidly spiral out
quickly
and
dangerously
escalate by engulfing the whole
region and perhaps even beyond. There are many key players: the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Arabs, the Persians and their
respective allies and some great powers could become involved
in one way or another (America,
Russia, Europe, China). Therefore, any miscalculation by any of the main protagonists can trigger something no one can stop. Taking
into consideration that the stakes are too high, perhaps it is not wise to be playing with fire right in the middle of a powder keg.
CP
Text: Nearly all states of the United States should institute ballot initiatives in
the 2014 elections to legalize marijuana.
Counterplan solves the aff – ballot initiatives for legalization will be approved
Andrea
Billups, staffwriter for News Max, 5/6/14, “Marijuana Initiatives Could Bump Youth Vote, Help Democrats”
http://www.newsmax.com/Newsfront/marijuana-youth-vote-Florida-election/2014/05/06/id/569803/
As for changes in public opinion, Walker says it is only a matter of time before full legalization
occurs, noting that one recent poll found that 75 percent of Americans think that it is "inevitable." Differences in support
are marked between seniors who oppose it in high numbers and younger voters, who support
it overwhelmingly.
"The success of marijuana reform has often been driven by going to the ballot ," he
has been the modus operandi of the reform movement . I think we are going
to see this play out big time over the next two elections" in 2014 and 2016.
said. " That
Counterplan solvency doesn’t prove their link turns – even if legalization is
popular, it isn’t important enough to make people vote FOR Democrats. The
counterplan incentivizes people who aren’t voting now but agree with
Democrats on most issues to come out in order to ensure that pot is legalized.
Waldman ‘14
(Paul Waldman, contributing editor for The American Prospect, 4/7/14, “What Marijuana Legalization Won't Be in 2016”
http://prospect.org/article/what-marijuana-legalization-wont-be-2016)
*gender modified
And with
the rapid movement of public opinion in favor of legalization, it would be easy to
predict that politicians are going to be changing their positions very soon, or as the Atlantic puts it in an
article today, "Weed Is the Sleeper Issue of 2016." OK, so we can put that headline down to an overzealous editor; the article itself,
which runs through the positions of a number of potential presidential candidates, shows that none
of them have
actually changed their minds. (And a note of warning: if you see a reference to Rick Perry and "decriminalization," don't
be confused. Though he has used the word himself out of what may be confusion, what heactually wants is for the cops to arrest
you for possession and then send you to rehab instead of to jail. Which is better than going to jail, but not as good as just not being
arrested in the first place.)
There's no question that the political profile of this issue is changing fast. But I doubt we're
going to see much change from presidential candidates about it. This is where the analogy with same-sex
marriage doesn't hold.
As we all know, public
opinion on marriage equality shifted rapidly, and politicians shifted in
response. In 2008, for instance, all the contending Democratic presidential candidate supported civil unions, but none supported
full marriage rights. In the next presidential primary, all the Democrats will support marriage equality, and most if not all of the
Republicans will probably be in favor of some form of civil unions.
Public opinion on marijuana legalization is very similar to that of marriage equality, both in
the pattern of change and the correlation with age. Here are two graphs from the Pew Research Center that
make it clear:
Just looking at that, you
might predict that Democratic politicians would already be stampeding
over each other to come out for legalization. But the ones with national ambitions aren't yet,
and they may not for some time. The reason is that neither they nor voters see pot as
nearly the kind of profound moral question that marriage equality is. Putting aside for the
moment the awful consequences of the drug war, what we're mostly talking about when we talk about full
legalization is whether people can use pot recreationally without breaking the law, which is
great for those who enjoy it, but doesn't rise to a question of their fundamental dignity as
human beings.
So it's hard to see cannabis legalization becoming a non-negotiable litmus-test
issue for Democrats in the way marriage equality has become. A Democrat today who
doesn't support marriage equality will be told that he (they) has (have) fundamentally different
values from liberal voters. A Democrat who doesn't support legalization? Well, he may be out step a
bit, or behind the times, or cowardly for worrying he'll be called soft on crime, or a general stick-in-the-mud. But not too many
people are going to say that he (they) can't honestly call himself (themselves) a liberal.
That might change if the Colorado and Washington experiments are successful and legalization spreads to other states. And
legalization might still be a powerful tool to get young voters to the polls
wherever it gets put on the ballot.
But I think we'll have to wait an election or two before the effects rise all the
way up to the presidential candidates.
Marijuana ballot initiatives can help Democrats keep the Senate – empirics
prove voter turnout increases when pot is on the ballot, and these voters will
vote for Democrats
Werleman ‘14
(CJ Werleman, staffwriter for San Diego Free Press and US political and social commentator and author of “Crucifying America,”
2/23/14, “Why Surging Support for Marijuana Is Hurting the GOP and Will For Years to Come”
http://sandiegofreepress.org/2014/02/why-surging-support-for-marijuana-is-hurting-the-gop-and-will-for-years-tocome/#.U_T9z7xdXpY)
With Republicans likely to remain opposed, marijuana could emerge as a big cultural wedge
issue winner in both the 2014 and 2016 elections. The GOP holds a majority in the House of
Congress and is threatening in the Senate come November, but in state elections, marijuana on
the ballot has big potential to harm Republican candidates . In January, the Florida Supreme Court
approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize medical marijuana, assuring that the initiative will appear on the state’s November
ballot. The
referendum on pot may, in turn, determine the winner of the state’s gubernatorial race. According
to the most recentQuinnipiac University poll, 70 percent of Floridians favor medical marijuana, which augers well for Democratic challenger Charlie
Christ, given Gov. Rick Scott opposes the bill. There
is considerable evidence that vote turnout rises when pot is
on the ballot, especially for young voters who would naturally favor a candidate who supports it.
K
Discourse of a terrorist threat locks in violence and ensures a self-fulfilling
prophecy
Jackson 7 (Volume 42, Issue 3, Pages 394-426 Published Online: 21 Jun 2007, Constructing Enemies: 'Islamic
Terrorism' in Political and Academic Discourse Richard Jackson)
In this case, for example, it can be argued that by denying the rational-political demands of insurgent groups,
demonizing them as fanatics and essentializing them as violent, irrational, savage and fanatical, the 'Islamic
terrorism discourse normalizes and legitimizes a restricted set of coercive and
punitive counter-terrorism strategies, whilst simultaneously making non-violent
alternatives such as dialogue, compromise and reform appear inconceivable and
nonsensical. This understanding of discourse further draws our attention to the ways in which discourse can be
deployed as a political technology in the hegemonic projects of various agents, such as state elites. In this case, it is
possible to describe a number of means by which the 'Islamic terrorism' discourse functions to reify and expand the
hegemonic power of particular states. For example, by locating the source of contemporary terrorism in religious
extremism, the discourse works to deny and obscure its political origins and the possibility that it is a response to
specific Western policies. That is, by assigning non-rational, cosmic aims to violent groups, the
discourse depoliticizes, decontextualizes and de-historicizes the grievances and
political struggles of groups and societies, thereby de-linking the motives of the
terrorists from the policies of Western states or their allies. Such socially constructed
'knowledge' of 'Islamic terrorism' thus facilitates or enables the uninterrupted
exercise of US and British power
in the international sphere
by obviating the need for policy reappraisal . At
the same time, it functions directly as a powerful discursive tool designed to de-invest insurgent groups of any political
authority or wider social-cultural legitimacy they may have, in large part by appealing to the secular prejudice of
Western societies.104 More prosaically, it can be seen that many of the policies made possible by the discourse also
function directly to extend and consolidate state power, and provide direct material and discursive benefits to
elements of the national security sector. For example, intrusive surveillance, expanded police powers, control orders,
theregulation of public speech, investigations of charities and the like, can and have been used to limit political dissent,
strengthen state security institutions and bring previously unregulated social arenas like charities and religious
activities under greater state control. Linked to this, the analysis of public discourse by politicians clearly demonstrates
that elites in the USA and Britain frequently deploy the discourse of 'Islamic terrorism' to legitimize or 'sell' a range of
international and domestic political projects, including: regime change in states like Afghanistan and Iraq; the
expansion of a military presence to new regions such as Central Asia; the control of strategic resources like oil;
increased military and political support for allies in strategic regions like the Horn of Africa and Central America;
increased resources and power for the military establishment; the construction of domestic and international
surveillance systems; the control of international institutions and processes; and more broadly, the preservation and
extension of a Western-dominated liberal international order. The frequency of narratives of 'Islamic terrorism' in
contemporary political speeches suggests that, following earlier patterns,105 the discourse is being used in a
deliberative fashion as a political technology. Beyond exposing the ideological functions of the discourse, another
purpose of second-order critique is to examine the ethical normative consequences of the discourse. In this case, it is
suggested that the 'Islamic terrorism' discourse is proving harmful to community relations, public morality and the
search for effective, proportionate and legitimate responses to terrorist acts. First, given the way the Western self has
been constructed in opposition to the Islamic other, and given the negative subject positioning and predication within
the discourse, the evidence of rising tensions between and within local, national and global communities does not
seem at all surprising. A recent survey of global opinion found that many Westerners see Muslims as fanatical, violent
and intolerant, while many Muslims have an aggrieved view of the West.106 There is also evidence of increasing levels
of Islamophobia across the European Union107 and increases in faith-hate crime in Britain and elsewhere.108 It seems
reasonable to assume that this situation is at least in part due to the ubiquitous public discourse that identifies Islam
and Muslims as a source of terrorism, extremism and threat. Related to this, it is possible to detect an erosion of public
morality in polling data that shows that significant proportions of the public in many Western countries, but most
notably in the United States, now agree that torturing terrorist suspects is justified in some circumstances.109 It can
also be seen in the absence of public concern or outrage at the public evidence of torture and abuse, the muted
response to human rights abuses committed by the security forces during counter-terrorism operations and the
ongoing and very serious public debate by academics, officials and journalists about the necessity and ethics of torture
and other human rights abuses against terrorist suspects. This erosion of public morality is, I would suggest, directly
linked to the social and political construction of a pervasive discourse of threatening, murderous, fanatical 'Islamic
terrorists' who must be eradicated in the name of national security.110 At a more practical level, it can also be argued
that the 'Islamic terrorism' discourse is proving to be counter-productive in its effects on the broader counter-terrorism
campaign of the war on terrorism. For example, it seems obvious that the discourse assists certain
militant groups in promoting their message that there is a fundamental conflict
between Islam and the West ; in this sense, the language works to co-constitute the
very threat it purports to counter . In addition , narratives of fanatical, murderous, suicidal 'Islamic
terrorists' functions to amplify rather than allay the social fear generated by terrorist
actions because it reinforces the perception that the attackers are inhuman killing
machines who cannot be deterred or reasoned with . In terms of foreign policy, the
construction of a global Islamic threat can contribute to support for governments who
actively suppress popular Islamic movements or cancel elections, thus creating a
self-fulfilling prophecy in which imprisoned, tortured and harassed activists decide
that the use of violence is their only recourse .111 More broadly, there seems little doubt
that Western counter-terrorism policies, based in large part on the productive
categories of the 'Islamic terrorism' discourse, are at least partly responsible for
intensifying cycles of violence and instability . That is, the Iraq invasion, the
destruction of Falluja, the Abu Ghraib abuses, the Guantanamo prison camp, the
practice of extraordinary rendition and public support for Israel's war against
Lebanon – among others – are helping to construct further political grievances that
could provide the justification for further acts of terrorism. In part, these patently
self-defeating policies persist because the discourse restricts and constructs the
legitimate 'knowledge' that is allowed to inform policy debate whilst simultaneously
establishing the parameters of legitimate action .
Security discourse is constructed and shapes policy- root cause of war, causes
dehumanization and extermination
Talbot 8 ( 'Us' and 'Them': Terrorism, Conflict and (O)ther Discursive Formations by Steven Talbot Defence Science and
Technology Organisation Sociological Research Online, Volume 13, Issue 1Published: 21/3/2008
As a point of departure, this paper aims to explore the significance of identity1formation and negotiation as it pertains
to various representations of terrorism. Particularly, this paper examines the ways in which adversarial
identities are socially constructed according to notions of difference which
simultaneously encourages a comparison to, and rejection of, [O]thers. Drawing upon the
notion of the Other, this paper examines some of the ways in which identity is constructed through a variety of social
and historical processes, and articulated within a range of discourses evoking different and often mutually exclusive
combinations of sameness and difference. Using a social constructionist lens, I argue that representations of
terrorism are constructed from within specific discourses which accentuate difference. My
analysis therefore positions identity formation within a dynamic and relational context where discursive representation, ways of knowing, power and language intertwine. 1.4 Consequently, the following discussion explores identity
formation and terrorism through an interpretive, constitutive and discursive lens. I start my discussion with an overview of the socially constructed or constituted nature of identity. This is followed by an exploration of the roles various
discursive frameworks play in shaping representations of identity. I then examine some of the implications for viewing terrorism and identities within dichotomous frameworks, particularly within notions of Self and Other, and
consequently, the discursive practice of ‘Othering.’ Finally, I interrogate the relational and discursive context of identity further by exploring the relationship between the above theoretical concerns as they pertain to polarised collective
identities and intractable conflicts. Socially constituted identities 2.1 Identity construction pertains to the creation, maintenance and articulation of social identities by individuals or groups. Rummens (2001), draws a distinction between
personal and social identities. Personal identity usually refers to the result of an identification of self, by self, or in other words the self-identification on the part of the individual. Social identity in contrast refers to the outcome of an
identification of self by others, or the identity that is assigned an individual by another (p.3). Both of these concepts differ from self-identity, the individual self which is reflexively understood and worked upon by the individual through selfmonitoring and self reflection (Beck, 1992; Giddens, 1991). 2.2 Sociological research into identity tends to focus on issues concerning the ascribed nature of identity, and the social construction and negotiation of group differences, whereas
psychological approaches are more inclined to look at identity development and formation within the individual (i.e. identity searching, self concept and identity crisis). However it is important to r emember that identities are not just
ascribed or ‘achieved’ through socialisation processes, but are also socially constructed and negotiated between social actors. Through a sociological lens, identities by definition are socially constituted phenomena. I n this sense, an
individual’s or group’s identity is created, negotiated, and actively recreated through interaction with others. Identity can therefore be viewed as being a verb – it is something that one does, or is accomplished through social interaction
(West and Zimmerman, 1987). 2.3 Identity underscores how humans organise and therefore understand their social world. The notion of collective identity has been examined i n classic sociological constructs like Marx’s (1977) ‘class
consciousness,’ Durkheim’s (1960) ‘collective conscience’ and Weber’s (1922) Verstehen (meaningful understanding). The commonality between these works is found in their emphasis on shared attributes, similarities, or the ‘We-ness’ of
groups (Cerulo, 1997, p.386). Thus, the construction of group identities often involves a normative component, or in other words, individuals need to be able to recognise themselves in certain qualities, characteristic or behaviours
associated with their group (Schulte-Tenckhoff, 2001, p.6). This recognition of ‘we-ness’ is important given the origins of the term identity. Identity finds its linguistic roots in the Latin noun identitas, with titas being a derivation of the Latin
adjective idem meaning the same. Thus, the term is comparative in nature in relation to sharing a degree of sameness with others (Rummens, 2001, p.3). Identity is therefore a relational construct, or as Connolly astutely asserts, ‘[t]here is
no identity without difference’ (1995, p.xx). 2.4 More significantly, identity constructions often emerge in response to the types of political systems governing that society. Political systems are extensions of societal identity. For example,
liberal democracy is a political structure that forms and reflects a part of a societal identity construction in that it proscribes certain ideals and practices which inform members of liberal democratic societies how to live together and treat
, the pursuit of political goals is also linked to the pursuit of identity (superpower
identities inform superpower interests). Consequently, a political system can also be viewed as a source of threat to societal identity (Hughes,
others. In turn
2004, p.26). As Hughes observes, for those societies who draw their identity from non-liberal democratic (Western) traditions, the liberal democratic structure, and the values contained
within this structure, may be perceived as a threat to group identity. The rhetoric of Osama Bin Laden is an example of this, with its emphasis on acts of violence against the Western, liberal
democratic influences and their perceived threat to Islamic identity. 2.5 Political structures and associated organising
principles exert influence on
political agendas, policy and collective self-definition. Moreover, political elites create,
manipulate and dismantle identities of nations and thus shape the subsequent construction
of allies and enemies (Corse, 1996; Gillis, 1994; Zerubavel, 1995 cited in Cerulo, 1997 p.390). Identity shifts can therefore also occur based on changing socio-political
factors, for example, as a result of changing policy, increased ethnic politics, and political activism. Constructivists would contend that identities, norms, and culture
play an integral role for understanding world politics (and related policy) and
international relations, particularly with its emphasis on those processes through which behaviour and
identity construction is conceptualised and legitimated by various political agencies.
The roles knowledge construction and discourse plays in facilitating this process will be explored in the following discussion. Discourse and identity 3.1 Cultural constructions of identity are
shaped by ‘a series of specific dialogues, impositions, and inventions’ (Clifford, 2004, p.14). Such a position invariably requires a closer examination of the relationship between identity
Hall, a discourse: ‘defines and produces the
objects of our knowledge. It governs the way that a topic can be meaningfully talked
construction, language, power, knowledge creation and associated discursive practices. 3.2 For
about and reasoned about. It also influences how ideas are put into practice and used to
regulate the conduct of others’ (1997, p.44). 3.3 The same discourse (which characterises a way of thinking or the given state of knowledge at one time) can appear throughout a range of
texts, across numerous sites. When these discursive events refer to the same object, say terrorism for example, and share a similar style and support a strategy, they are said to belong to the
It is through these discursive formations that things/practices
acquire their meaning. However, discursive representation is not a benign practice , for it
same discursive formation (Hall, 1997, p.44).
is often those in positions of power and authority who are able to construct ‘reality’ and
thus knowledge itself. As Klein (1994) explains: ‘[a] discourse, then, is not a way of learning ‘about’ something out there in the ‘real world’; it is rather a way of
producing that something as real, as identifiable, classifiable, knowable, and therefore, meaningful. Discourse creates the conditions of knowing’ (cited in George, 1994, p.30). 3.4 Foucault
Moreover,
Foucault argues that knowledge (when linked to power) assumes the authority of ‘the truth’
contends that knowledge is a form of power, and that power is present or exercised within decisions regarding what circumstances knowledge is applied or not.
and has the power to make itself true through a variety of regulatory and disciplining
practices (Hall, 1997, p.49). Knowledge (ways of knowing about others through discursive representations) therefore is constructed by humans through their interactions with the
world around them and is a reflection of existing social, historical and political factors, and as such, is never neutral. 3.5 In his analysis of the socially constructed nature of knowledge, Foucault
explores the production of knowledge through discourse, and particularly how knowledge about the social, the individual, and associated shared meanings are produced in specific periods. In
Madness and Civilization: A History of Insanity in the Age of Reason (1988) and The History of Sexuality Volume One (1981), Foucault provides examples of the shifting historical significance of
sexuality and mental illness and the emergence of deviant identities. In this respect, mental illness and sexuality did not exist as independent objects, which remained the same and meant the
same thing throughout all periods. Rather, it was through distinct discursive formations that the objects ‘madness’ or ‘heterosexuality’ emerged and appeared as meaningful constructs.
Sexual relations and desires have always been present, but the constructs ‘heterosexual’ and ‘homosexual’ were produced through moral, legal, and medical discourses and practices. Through
these discourses and practices, behaviours and acts were aligned with the construction of ‘types of’ people or identities - identities which were subject to medical treatment and legal
constraints designed to regulate behaviour. In this respect, social and self identities are a consequence of power reflected in historically and institutionally specific systems/sites of discourse.
3.6 As social constructs, it is important therefore to view knowledge and discourse production through the socio-historical conditions in which they are produced. In this respect,
discourses concerning terrorism, security dilemmas and threat , and world order, are produced
within specific historical, geographical and socio-political contexts as well as within social relations of
power . Furthermore, the controlling and legitimising aspects of discourse are such that
proponents of violence are not likely to construct a narrative that is contrary to their
values. For instance, Al Qaeda is unlikely to construct a narrative that posits them in a contrary manner to their own moral values by engaging in ‘terrorist’ activities. Rather, they
would position themselves as acting morally, and as victims of oppression or humiliation (Cobb, 2004). Similarly, the US and her coalition allies are also likely to construct a narrative which
posits their involvement in a ‘fight against terror’ within a discursive framework of liberty and democracy, rather than expansionist or imperialist terms. 3.7 This paper now turns its attention
to some of the ways in which identities are constituted through discursive practices which accentuate difference or sameness through the use of binaries. Dichotomous logic and identity
construction Self/Other binaries 4.1 Notions of self and other and their implications for identity formation have been explored through psychoanalytical and postcolonial inquiry. In his book
The Analysis of the Self: A Systematic Analysis of the Treatment of the Narcissistic Personality Disorders (1971), the founder of the psychology of the self Heinz Kohut extends Freud’s theory of
narcissism (which has a dual orientation) in his examination of narcissistic rage and accompanying desires for revenge, and introduces the idea of ‘self-object relationships and transferences’
associated with mirroring and idealisation. Lacan (2002) also draws upon the notion of mirroring in regard to the identity formation of infants. Lacan’s ‘mirror stage’ occurs when the infant
recognises its reflection and begins to view itself as being separate from its mother, or observes its mirrored image as viewed by the mother. The mirror stage represents the initial recognition
of self as a unified subject, apart from external world and the ‘Other.’ This ‘Other’ (the first ‘big Other’ in an infant’s life being the mother) is fundamental to the constitution of self, as well as
sexual identity. 4.2 In his foundational work Orientalism (1978), Edward Said examines the historical construction of the East (Them/Other) and West (Us/Self) as essentially different entities
through discursive practices. Drawing upon Foucault’s notion of discourse, Said contends that Orientalism is a discourse: by which European culture was able to manage – and even produce –
discourse draws
upon assumptions that are imperialist by design, privilege European sensibilities and representations of the Other, and reinforce ideas concerning the fixed nature
the Orient politically, sociologically, militarily, ideologically, scientifically, and imaginatively during the post-Enlightenment period (p. 3). 4.3 Such a
of states of being and difference (McDowell, 2003). Said argues that Orientalist ideas can be found in current representations of ‘Arab’ cultures as backward, lacking democracy, threatening
and anti-Western (2003). Similarly, Occidentalism2 can be found in stereotypical representations of an “imperialist, corrupting, decadent and alienating West” (Nadje Al-Ali cited in Freund,
2001). As I suggest later, these representations have become a feature of the current Western perceptions of terrorism. 4.4 As a practice, Othering is not solely a province of East versus West
relations, but also exists as a strategy within other non-Westerns nations. For example, Shah (2004), Kennedy-Pipe and Welch (2005) and Baev (2007) note how the ‘war on international
terrorism’
discourse has been used by Russia to legitimate it actions against former Soviet
republics like Chechnya . 4.5 Within a sociological context, identity discourse is often characterised by issues concerning essentialising and marginalising social groups,
as well as totalising and categorising individuals and groups (Gaudelli, 2001, p.60). Categorisation results as a response to diversity, wherein categorisation assists with making the diversity (of
people) more understandable. As a consequence of this, people become viewed as being more typical of certain categories (eg. a Muslim from Iraq is stereotypically viewed as being ‘Muslim’
in comparison to an Australian Muslim in Cronulla within some discursive frameworks). Following the construction and application of these categories, is a tendency to essentialise (belief in
Dividing
practices evident in the categorisation and essentialising processes which inform the production of binaries reflect
power struggles, as they primarily entail an external authority imposing a ‘condition of life
upon people’ (Gaudelli, 2001, p.74) that are supposed to have certain essences. These
essence) as is evident in notions of ‘the laconic Aussie,’ ‘the whingeing Pom,’ and the ‘fanatical terrorist.’ In this sense, the act of ‘naming’ is akin to ‘knowing.’ 4.6
power relations become evident in the abilities of claim-makers or particular agents to
make certain discourses, categories and labels acceptable and make them ‘stick’
as it were. In turn,
essentialism results in reifying culture by viewing cultural systems as being discrete and homogeneous units (nationally, ethnically and ideologically), which are ‘naturally given’ and fixed in
locality (Jones, 1999). Here it is important to remember, that it is not culture that is ‘found’ or ‘discovered’ out in the field, but individuals who act and interact and express their views of
culture (Schulte-Tenckhoff, 2001, p.5). This paper contends that it is the relations between groups and related boundary making practices (insider/outsider, Self/Other) rather than ‘traits’
which are important indicators and producers of identity. As discussed above,
binaries such as those of Self/Other have a tendency to
convey world views in concrete , simplified and often imperialist ways (Berry, 2006). The process
of ‘Othering’ is commensurate with identification (as culture, community, or nation) which further entails an act of
differentiation, authentication, and at times, exclusion – creating boundaries between members of the ‘in’ group and
outsiders. In this sense the: ‘Self/Other relation induces comparisons used by social actors to describe themselves or to
describe others, depending on their location. In locking a given group into a substantially
transformed identity, one constructs and immobilises this relation so that it operates
in favour of those to whose advantage it is’ (Schulte-Tenckhoff, 2001, p.11). 4.7 Self/Other relations are therefore ‘matters of power
and rhetoric rather than of essence’ (Clifford, 2004, p.14). Within this context, boundary-making practices are a way of ‘locking’ ‘imagined communities’ into strategically informed ontological
states of being. Moreover, these boundaries are inter-subjectively determined, that is, they are constructed through an emphasis on only a subset of many identity labels that apply (eg.
religion). President George Bush has described his war on terror as a ‘crusade’ and a ‘divine plan’ guided by God. These sentiments are similar to Islamic calls for Jihad, with religious terrorists
viewing themselves as God’s people and their enemies as God’s enemies, ‘infidels’, or sinners. As a consequence, for both sides, the conflict takes on the form of a ‘spiritual battle.’ Thus
religious doctrine acts as fuel for Islamic-based terrorism as it does for the US led ‘war on terror’. Inside this discursive framework, both would contend that each party’s religion is the only
construction of identity plays a key role in relation to the prospect for
religious and political violence. Hence, identity claims invariably informs interests. The call by
meaningful one (Berry, 2006 p.4). Indeed, the
fundamentalist Islamists for a Jihad on Western nations for example is a realisation of both interests and identities
simultaneously. In this sense, identities and interests are mutually reinforcing concepts and
incapable of being pursued separately (Hughes, 2004, p.7). 4.8 Identity negotiation highlights the
political nature of social identifications of Self and Others within and between groups. Contestation arises out
of those ascribed social or collective identities that do not align with an individual’s or group’s self-
definition, highlighting global and national tensions, as well as power dynamics which frequently
underplay such identification processes. Hence Self/Other struggles are ultimately struggles of
legitimacy and meaning, frequently enacting and fuelling conflict. Indeed, it is in the
creation of Self and an all-threatening Other that the state, or prominent figures within terrorist
networks like Al Qaeda, use their power and available resources for legitimated violence (Grondin,
2004). Enemies and Others 4.9 Identity boundaries are functional in that they allow us to distinguish humans from
animals, culture from nature, as well as differences between classes and nations. Using identity to
distinguish in this way is the foundation for insecurity and conflict . Such
boundaries allow the demarcation of ‘Us’ versus ‘Them’ and ‘domestic’ versus ‘foreign.’ Without the creation
of these distinctions, the ‘enemy’ could not be identified (Campbell, 1998 cited in Hughes 2004). 4.10 Sociology of the
enemy examines the social process of constructing enemies , and within the context of identity politics
and negotiation, creating Others for advantageous reasons . Politicians, other charismatic
leaders, social elites, and the military alike, are in prime positions to construct
particular representations of the enemy. In turn, these representations are also
influenced by a host of other actors (academics and intellectuals, advisors), and array of sources and
representations at their disposal. The proliferation of these representations through the internet, media
reports, government documents, books, articles, and film has led to an expansion of an enemy
discourse (as part of a deliberate and incidental public diplomacy3), assisting the articulation of a dualistic
collective moral righteousness which attempts to legitimate the destruction of the Other (Aho, 1994;
cited in Cerulo 1997; Berry, 2006; Hansen, 2004). 4.11 Orientalist and occidentalist inspired representations of ‘enemies’ can be seen at work within the current terrorism discourse. The
Australian and US national security ideology for example frames the terrorism discourse within a system of representations that defines Australian and US national identities through their
reference to the Un-Australian, Un-American, Un-Western Other, usually confined to a Muslim/Islamic centre located in the Middle East, but also extending by association to Muslim/Islamist
global diasporas. Similarly, representations of the Un-Eastern, Un-Muslim or Non-Islamic Other are employed by some Islamic fundamentalist groups to assert their identity and cause. Both
parties construct an enemy that reflect and fuel ideological strains within the American/Australian body politic and Islamist terrorist networks (Grondin, 2004, pp.15-16). The use of
dichotomous logic in these representations fails to account for degrees of ‘Otherness’ and ‘Usness,’ or diversity, within both populations. In this sense, the homogenising effects of such a
discourse fails to acknowledge an ‘other – Other,’ namely, a more moderate Muslim population located within an Islamic centre and its periphery. Similarly, distinctions can be drawn between
an Australian ‘Us’ and her United States counterpart. In either case, the
discursive construction of a homogenous West and ‘Rest’ has
the effect of silencing dissenting voices residing within both camps. 4.12 Using simple dichotomies like ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ or ‘friend’ or ‘foe’
ignore the multidimensionality of identity and fail to recognise the interconnectedness and complexity of modern life. The use of such terms also highlights the emotional underpinnings for
With their use of an enemy discourse which incorporates notions of religiosity, good versus evil,
and right and wrong, both the Taliban and US led ‘coalition of the willing’ appeal to beliefs over
issues of security.
empiricism (what is knowable, measurable and debatable) – belief systems grounded in notions of
faith where it is important to believe things to be true, rather than actually being true
(Berry, 2006, p.5). Similarly, claim making of this nature appeals to emotions (like hatred, revenge and fear) in contrast to logic in the sense that they encourage communities to feel in
particular ways which are less likely to be challenged than appeals to think in particular ways (Loseke, 2003, p.76). Hence, Berry (2006) contends, that because definitions of enemies are often
not empirically based, they can fluctuate according to the needs of the definers. 4.13 With the creation of ‘identifiable’ enemies, defining ‘Us’ automatically entails defining ‘Them,’ with
‘Them’ being the social foe or ‘evil’ (Huntington, 1996). As Burman and MacLure (2005) remind us, ‘there is always a hierarchy in these oppositions’ for there is an essence of a higher principle
or ideal articulated in one, and something lesser, or subordinate in the other (p.284). Thus, within this hierarchical value system of prioritised logic, good is seen as coming before evil, positive
before negative, Us before Them, and real over the written. Moreover,
to label a population as evil is to render the other
‘sub-human.’ We are told of the ‘Evil doers,’ Axis of evil,’ Osama Bin Laden the evil, America the evil, capitalism the evil, and terrorism the evil, and evil acts (Davetian, 2001).
eradication of this evil within the context of calls for jihad and a corresponding ‘war on
terror’ also implies a ‘promotion of war more willingly than accommodation’ (Armitage, 2003, p.202). However, as is the case with dichotomous logic, good and evil
The ensuing pursuit and
are two sides of the same coin, or mutually sustaining concepts. Thus, to speak of eradicating evil in this context is a nonsensical pursuit. As Baudrillard explains: ‘We believe naively that the
progress of the Good, its advance in all fields (the sciences, technology, democracy, human rights), corresponds to a defeat of Evil. No one seems to have understood that Good and Evil
advance together, as part of the same movement…Good does not conquer Evil, nor indeed does the reverse happen: they are once both irreducible to each other and inextricably interrelated’
(2002, p.13). Dichotomous logic can be applied to an examination of security and associated threat discourses. Threats and (in)security 4.14 Stern defines terrorism as ‘an act or threat of
violence against non-combatants with the objective of exacting revenge, intimidation, or otherwise influencing an audience’ (2003, p.xx). One of the aims of this act of violence is to instil fear
in the target audience. However, to better understand this notion of terrorism and threat, one also needs to understand the discursive power of claim makers, and those in positions of
authority (whether they be political parties, clerics and other elites or the military for that matter) in shaping or co-constituting them so. As Campbell (1998) alludes: ‘[d]anger is not an
objective condition. It is not a thing which exists independently of those to whom it may become a threat…nothing is a risk in itself;…it all depends on how one analyses the danger, considers
the event’ (pp.1-2). 4.15 To this end, the securitization school of thought developed by the Copenhagen School examines the socially constructed dimension of security threats by looking at
the ways in which processes like social interaction form as well as alter interests, and in the process, construct or constitute security. By using an inter-subjective lens to look at security,
proponents of this school explore the extent to which power relationships and language as expressed through
discourse shape understandings
of threats and subsequent security responses . They argue that by labelling something a security issue or threat, actors invoke the
right to use whatever means to stop that threat. Here language is akin to a ‘speech act,’ or in other words, relates to the act of speaking in a way that gets someone else to act (Hughes, 2004,
p.14). 4.16 Labelling something as a security issue, or some group or community as a threat can therefore be seen as a powerful political tool in terms of the behaviour of governments and
other interest groups. Indeed,
to label a problem a ‘security’ issue or a ‘threat’ gives this problem a
special status, and one which can legitimate extraordinary measures to tackle it. Within
the current climate of terrorism, threats to security are often characterised as emanating from
Others who view their global neighbours rapaciously and are ready to pounce at first
sign of weakness. 4.17 The following discussion examines the relational and socially constructed nature of
identity and its relevance to various discursive representations of terrorism through its analysis of polarised collective
identities and intractable conflict. Polarised collective identities and conflict 5.1 Protracted conflicts have
dominated the international arena and have resulted in much of the violence and
terrorism witnessed today. These types of conflict usually centre on deep-rooted issues such as struggles over
material, human needs, or an historical grievance. The relationships which feature in these forms of conflict
comprise of self-perpetuating spiral of violent interactions in which each party
develops a vested interest in the continuation of the conflict. They also characteristically
entail ‘polarised perceptions of hostility and enmity’ (Bercovitch, 2003). 5.2 In the case of polarised
collective identities and protracted conflict, conflict invariably centres on identity struggles,
categorisation, and perceived difference (and related issues concerning values and beliefs). Social and
collective identity construction is by nature a source of indirect and direct threat. As Hughes
explains: ‘[i]ndirectly, identity construction contains the possibility for identity threat since the adoption and practice of one identity necessarily precludes the fulfilment of another by the
same audience’ (2004, p.24). 5.3 Direct threats are expressed in terms of an identity’s stance toward the existence and identification of ‘others.’ These stances can occur along a continuum
ranging from accepting to eliminating (Hughes, 2004, p.24). It is important to note, however that identity contains the potential for, rather than the inevitability of conflict. Nevertheless, an
examination of the literature and theories concerning identity, Self-Other differentiation, highlights the extent to which individuals not only display a tendency for assigning people with whom
they interact into a class of Self/Other, but also show how individuals treat more favourably other individuals whom they consider Self, than those who they regard as Other. ‘Inclusive fitness’
and social identity theories for example have shown how sharing ‘genetic material,’ or having similar observable characteristics such as looks, religion, ethnicity (markers of ‘in-group’ and
‘out-group’ status) informs behaviour between groups/others (Ben-ner, McCall, Stephane, and Wang, 2006). 5.4 The concept collective identity refers to a ‘shared place’ in the social world, or
the ‘we’ aspect of identity that develops through a process of self-categorization, identification and social interaction. Moreover, whilst these identities can be chosen freely by individuals,
they can also be imposed by others who have the resources and authority to do so (as is the case with labelling Others evil, a threat, or enemies through the discursive practices highlighted
above). Collective identities serve many symbolic, practical and normative functions such as fulfilling needs for belonging, distinctiveness, respect, unity and status. They also provide a
justification for claims and a focus for the maintenance of a distinctive culture or way of life (Coleman, 2004). Such a position presumes or utilises a sense of ‘we-ness,’ or group homogeneity,
which discounts levels of heterogeneity that may exist. 5.5 As stated above, protracted conflicts are rooted in the perceived threat to basic human needs and values, as well as concerns over
group dignity, recognition, security and distributive justice. When these aspects of collective identities are denied or threatened in some way, intractable conflict occurs. As the conflict
intensifies, antagonistic groups become increasingly polarised through an in-group discourse and out-group hostilities focussed on the negation, defamation and vilification of the out-group
(Druckman, 2001; Fordham and Ogbu, 1984; Hicks, 1999; Kelman, 1999 cited in Coleman, 2004). 5.6 In his review of the literature, Coleman (2004) highlights a series of conditions, processes
and structural issues that are conducive to the development and maintenance of polarised collective identities and related conflict. Eight of these conditions include: 1. ‘Situations where there
is a pervasive belief in enduring hostilities where the disputants feel locked – into the intensity and oppression of the conflict relationship’ (Coleman, 2004, p.11; Fordham and Ogbu, 1984).
5.7 During his speech to the National Guard in February 2006, President George Bush talks of the ongoing nature and progress of the War on Terror: …On September the 11th, 2001, our
nation saw that vast oceans and great distances could no longer keep us safe. I made a decision that day -- that America will not wait to be attacked again. (Applause.) And since that day,
we've taken decisive action to protect our citizens against new dangers. We're hunting down the terrorists using every element of our national power -- military, intelligence, law
enforcement, diplomatic, and financial. We're clarifying the choice facing every nation: In this struggle between freedom and terror, every nation has responsibilities -- and no one can remain
neutral… 5.8 Implied within this discourse is the notion that if you are not with us, then you are against us, and thus a potential enemy. The discussion also makes it clear that there is no room
for negotiation with, or accommodation to, the enemy. The view that terrorists are also locked into a zero-sum battle has also been reported. R. James Woolsey has been quoted in the
National Commission of terrorism as saying, “today’s terrorists don’t want a seat at the table, they want to destroy the table and everyone sitting at it” (Morgan, 2004, pp.30-31). 2. The
involvement of ‘salient aspects of identity’ (cultural differences) ‘where the in-group and out-group can be easily differentiated’ (Coleman, 2004, p.12; Gurr, 2000). 5.9 The representation of
the Muslim/Islamic Other with its emphasis on radically different values systems, becomes evident in references to religious motivations for terrorist attacks – religious ideals which are
positioned in opposition to more ‘moderate’ Christian values. As argued above, both often use religious justifications as part of their claims making and their respective calls for a ‘Jihad’ on the
US and her Allies, and the US led ‘War on Terror.’ Similarly, Esmer (2002) and Norris and Inglehart (2002) note how hallmarks of Western democracies which are built upon principles of rights
(the ‘Land of the Free’), gender equality, sexual liberation pose a threat to traditional values extant in some Islamic cultures. Representations of this kind accentuate perceived cultural
differences. In this sense, culture can be viewed as having three components: an empirical aspect (culture understood as communities with their own sets of identifiable, observable, and
transferable cultural traits); an analytical aspect (culture used as a conceptual tool) and more significantly a strategic aspect (instrumentalisation of culture/religion to advance identity claims)
(LCC, 2001, p.4). 3. ‘Where there exists the perception of negative treatment or threat to an identity group of high centrality and importance’ (Coleman, 2004, p.12; Fordham and Ogbu,
1984). 5.10 There will be in most issues concerning security, a structure of two basic discourses, which articulate radically differing representations of identity (whether they be the humiliated
other, the freedom fighting champion, or fanatical terrorist). Many ethnic and religious conflicts that cover the globe are fuelled by stories of humiliation, which in turn, are the basis for
stories of revenge. Authors like Hassan (2004), Bendle (2002), Cobb, (2004) and Davetian (2001) have noted how (suicide) terrorist attacks offer self empowerment in the face of
powerlessness, redemption in the face of damnation and honour in the face of humiliation. 5.11 Group boundaries are also often delineated according to symbolic, spatial, religious and social
referents, ensuring collective identification within, while simultaneously ensuring the exclusion of outsiders. In this respect, the symbolic attacks on the Pentagon, Twin Towers, and the
planned attack on the Whitehouse, represent an attack on the pillars of Western democracy and capitalism, and as such, threats to ‘ways of life’ and identity. 4. ‘High mortality salience where
death-related anxieties motivate people to become more deeply committed to their cultural groups as a means of buffering such anxiety’ (Coleman, 2004, p.12; McCauley, 2001). 5.12
September 11th as reported by real time coverage on international television networks,
“was seductive in conjuring up the sense that we are living in an era of ubiquitous and even worldending violence” (2004: 3). The fear of apocalyptic violence posed by WMD was a major
justification for pursuing a pre-emptive war against Afghanistan and Iraq. In turn, a ‘death-related
Humphrey argues that the impact of
anxiety’ was felt by Western nations with the prospect of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) falling into the hands of Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda terrorist networks. These fears were
not alleviated when George W. Bush for example asserted the ‘terrorist groups’ would use WMD ‘without a hint of conscience’ (Bullimer 2002).
By linking these two
issues (terrorism and WMD) political discourses of this kind reified terrorism and WMD ,
setting into action a series of actions designed to control their proliferation. 5.13 Structural issues which act to reinforce and maintain polarised collective identities include: 5. ‘A negation of
the Other’ (Coleman, 2004, p.17). 5.14 This, according to Coleman is the ‘fundamental aspect of the in-group’s identity’ (17). Identity creation through negation entails making a statement of
in-group’ identity with reference to what it is not, or does not consist of, for example ‘I am a Christian, not a Muslim.’ Strategies employed in the negation of the Other also include:
marginalisation of ethnic and religious groups through naming; racialisation; criminalisation; and stigmatisation. Response strategies of the ‘out-group’ include: collective resistance to
ascribed identities; group empowerment; demands for collective group rights (territorial claims) in an attempt to secure greater autonomy, legitimisation and social control (Rummens, 2001,
p.18). 6. ‘The outgroup images become negative, homogeneous, abstract and stereotypical’…particularly in regards to the productions of ‘enemy images’ which ‘contain an emotional
dimension of strong dislike…these
images tend to become self-fulfilling and self-reinforcing , serving
important interests and needs’ (Coleman, 2004, pp.17-18; Stein, 1999; Toscano, 1998). 5.15 Implicit within ‘Us/Them,’
‘East/West,’ ‘Good/Bad’ and ‘Self/Other’ binaries is the notion that opposing identities are relatively homogenous. The
use of these non-specific yet all-inclusive tags also serves to dehumanise and depersonalise
a highly abstracted Other. In turn, depersonalisation allows social stereotyping, group cohesiveness and collective action to occur. The construction of absolutist
discourses of this kind are an important vehicle for understanding conflict: ‘[a]lthough generally described as integrated and homogensous, communities as loci of production, transmission,
and evolution of group membership foster conflict through the negotiation and manipulation of social representations’ (LCC, 2001, p.6). 5.16 Here, the demarcation of the common
Identity demarcation of this kind further allows the
mobilisation of audiences to carry out conflict. President Bush for example has made many references to ‘evil doers’. He has been
enemy/Other assists with the mobilisation of one group against another (Aho, 1994).
quoted as saying ‘we're on the hunt...got the evildoers on the run...we're bringing them to justice’ and ‘they kill without mercy because they hate our freedoms...’ (Sample, 2006, The White
House, 2001). The emotive language used in ‘speech acts’ of this kind are designed to elicit ‘in-group’ distinctiveness and cohesion through the negation and disparagement of the ‘out-group’
(terrorist organisations). The use of terms ‘evil doers,’ ‘them,’ and ‘they’ are interesting however in the sense that they refer to an enemy that extends beyond the confines of terrorist
organisations like Al Qaeda. 7. ‘A clear and simplified depiction of good (us) and evil (them) that serves many functions’ (Brown and Gaertner, 2001; Coleman, 2004, p.18). 5.17 By framing
their conflict within a discourse which accentuates a struggle between good and evil, both religious terrorist groups and their Western-led protagonists, view non-members of either camp to
be ‘infidels’ or ‘apostates’ (Cronin, 2003) and ‘immoral’ or ‘fanatical’ respectively. The maintenance of such a discourse can be seen as serving a dual purpose; namely, to dehumanise the
respective victims on both sides of the conflict, and sustain in-group and out-group identities. 8. ‘In extreme cases, pain and suffering for one’s group and one’s cause come to be considered
meritorious’ (Coleman, 2004, p.19; Zartman, 2001). 5.18 Martyrdom is a well documented motivation for engaging in terrorist activity. From 1996-1999, Nasra Hassan, a United Nations relief
worker in Gaza interviewed 250 aspiring suicide bombers. In one interview, the late spiritual leader of Hamas, Sheikh Yasin, told her that martyrdom was a way of redemption, "[l]ove of
martyrdom is something deep inside the heart. But these rewards are not in themselves the goal of the martyr. The only aim is to win Allah's satisfaction. That can be done in the simplest and
speediest manner by dying in the cause of Allah. And it is Allah who selects martyrs" (Hassan, 2004, p.1). Conclusion 6.1 This paper has explored some of the issues concerned with identity
formation, construction and negotiation. In doing so, this paper has focussed on the socially constructed aspects of identity, and in particular, the extent to which social identities are
subjectively constructed according to perceived differences in comparison to others. Hansen contends, identity is “always a relational concept, and it is constructed within discourses, not
given by the thing itself” (2004, p.4). 6.2 Meaning is therefore also relational, for the identification of/with difference between imagined communities like the East and West denotes, or holds
meaning. Consequently, identity construction involves a degree of ‘Othering’, and within this context, social identities can be constructed and understood as being more or less threatening
and different. Issues of Otherness are central to understanding terrorist activity, and are a feature of security discourses girding the current ‘war on terror.’ To this end, this paper has
examined the relationship between power and the formation, emergence, and mobilisation of culturally-based collective identities and their expression through representation, narratives,
discourse and language. 6.3 Using a social constructionist and a somewhat postcolonialist inspired analysis, this paper questions the utility of dichotomies like Self/Other, insider/outsider,
Us/Them, Good/Evil used within terrorist discourses. The ensuing discursive formation shapes the ways in which terrorism can be meaningfully talked about, understood, and tackled. In the
process of defining and establishing difference, the discourse of the Other is also highlighted, since such definitions invariably allude to an object in terms of what it is not. Such a practice
entails the social construction of some other person, group, culture or nation as being different and deficient from one’s own. Hence as Simon Dalby (1997) observes, “specifying difference is
a linguistic, epistemological and, most importantly, a political act; it constructs a space for the other distanced and inferior from the vantage point of the person specifying the difference”
(cited in Grondin, 2004, p.5-6). For Said, accentuating difference in this way is central to dichotomous representations of the Self and Other, and through the lens of Orientalism, the creation
When examining issues concerning what is terrorism, who practices it
and why, as well as appropriate responses to this activity, this paper contends that such issues are often
clouded by a rhetoric (discourse) that has deflected attention away from political and moral
concerns underlying political violence. This paper has also argued that utilising dichotomous logic in the
construction of an enemy is a counterproductive strategy for grappling with terrorism. The use of binaries like
Good/Evil and Us/Them assist with the construction of a dehumanised Other who cannot be
reasoned with, thus repudiating calls for negotiation, and in the process, reducing incentives to
understand difference. Demonising the enemy in such a manner, amplifies fear and alarm,
and perpetuates cycles of revenge and retaliation which necessitate more violent
of a self serving discourse which privileges the world-view of the West. 6.4
responses to perceived injustices. In this sense , the production and maintenance of a West and Rest
dichotomy, a dichotomy which characterises current terrorist and security discourses, has also lead to the
creation of mutually sustaining antagonisms ensuring further conflict. 6.5
Consequently, it is important to rethink the binary oppositions employed within the social
constructions of other socio-cultural groups, enemies or threats, and national identities. When employed within a
national security context, these dichotomies not only serve to reify imagined differences between communities, but
also may inflame hostilities through the continuation of oppositional identities and relations
which are viewed as being fixed, and thus resistant to change . A way around this binary
impasse is the construction of counter-discourses which contain dual positions for both
parties as victims and as agents of conflict. As long as both sides represent themselves as being victims, rather than
perpetrators of violence, more violence will ensue. Moreover, another way to challenge the legitimacy of
dichotomous logic is to create a counter-discourse highlighting the diversity extant within ‘socalled’ homogenous populations.
Role of the ballot is to either accept or reject the affs securitization—prior to
action
Saltera 8 (Securitization and desecuritization: a dramaturgical analysis of the Canadian Air Transport Security
Authority Mark B Saltera School of Politics, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1N 6N5. E-mail:
[email protected], , 2008
This model of settings for securitizing moves fits cleanly with Paris School interventions on the trope of risk (Aradau and van Munster 2007; Aradau et al. 2008). However, it is precisely
because security plays differently to each audience, is used differently by different speakers, and changes in its meaning that we need to expand our analysis of how securitizing moves are
accepted or rejected. Bigo (2006: 7) uses the notion of 'field' to demonstrate how 'these professions do not share the same logics of experience or practice and do not converge neatly into a
single function under the rubric of security. Rather, they are both heterogeneous and in competition with each other'. This article offers a way into that field analysis of securitization, that is
not reduced to linguistic analysis, through a dramaturgical analysis of setting: within each securitizing move, we must consider who may speak, what may be spoken, and what is heard. Top of
page Securitization Securitization theory has been an incredibly fruitful approach for the study of security. Having disaggregated 'state security' into several sectors (military, political, societal,
economic, and ecological), Buzan argues that 'the question of when a threat becomes a national security issue depends not just on what type of threat it is, and how much the recipient state
perceives it, but also on the intensity with which the threat operates' (1991: 133–4). This was expanded by Buzan, Waever, and de Wilde in the formal model of securitization: 'the
The
attempt at securitization is called a 'securitizing move', which must be 'accepted' or
rejected by the target audience. The authors argue that the conditions for success are (1) the internal grammatical form of the act, (2) 'the social
intersubjective establishment of an existential threat to have substantial political effects...to break free of procedures or rules he or she would otherwise be bound by...' (1998: 25).
conditions regarding the position of authority for the securitizing actor — that is, the relationship between the speaker and the audience and thereby the likelihood of the audience accepting
the claims made in a securitizing attempt, and (3) features of the alleged threats that either facilitate or impede securitization' (1998: 33). There is room within the original cast of the theory
to expand the notion of facilitating conditions or impediments for securitizing moves — but little direction as to what those might be. In this reading, the second factor — these social
conditions — is under-determined and must be explored further. In the debate between the CS, so named in a response by McSweeney (1996, 1998), subsequent replies (Buzan and Waever,
1997), and a provocative intervention by Williams (2003), a number of critiques of the model of securitization were raised. The CS was faulted by McSweeney for appearing to give an
ontological pre-existence to the 'speaker' and 'audience' that is at odds with a more processual or constructivist perspective of identity (1996: 83). Williams argued that different kinds of
speech might constitute an act, and made an important theoretical connection to Schmittian politics of sovereign exceptionality. Williams wrote that the CS process of securitization —
notably that securitization implies depoliticization — can be found in other theories of sovereign authority, and that securitizing moves are an attempt by the sovereign to decide the
exception and thus remove the sector from democratic debate (2003). Buzan, presented a spectrum of how issues might be weighted: 'nonpoliticized... through politicized... or securitized'
(1998: 23). Within this account, the CS appears to represent securitization as a threshold — particularly within a democratic society. Either a threat is represented and then accepted as a
security issue, or it remains contested within the realm of normal, deliberative politics. Successful securitization is at root a political process, but the actual politics of the acceptance are left
radically under-determined by this model. The authors argue that
'the issue is securitized only if and when the audience
accepts it as such... ( it must) gain enough resonance for a platform to be made from
which it is possible to legitimize emergency measures...' (1998: 25). It is precisely the
dynamics of this acceptance, this resonance, this politics of consent that must be
unpacked further. The Copenhagen School, certainly open their model to consideration of the 'external,
contextual, and social roles and authorized speakers' of the speech act 'and, not least, under what conditions (i.e. is the
securitization successful)' (1998: 32). But, within their model, there is no frame for how securitizations are successful or
fail. A subsidiary point that is worth noting: these external and internal conditions for securitization
appear to work in reverse for the process of desecuritization (Wæver 1995). The speaker
proposes that there is not a threat, or at least not a threat that is existential, and that the
problem can be comprehended or managed within the rubric of normal politics.
There are a number of
assumptions within articles about securitization theory about the differential ease or difficulty of securitization and desecuritization. These unexplored assumptions arise because there is no theory for the actual process of the success or failure for a securitizing or desecuritizing move. The statist model of securitization
does not match the complexity of contemporary social dynamics of security. First, other non-state actors must be included in the model, as demonstrated by Bigo (2006) and others. Security is not contained solely within the traditional boundaries of the state and the authority to make securitizing moves not limited to
state actors. Second, two temporal dimensions must be added to considerations of securitization and desecuritization: the duration of the securitization and the entropy of the public imagination. Some issues, such as the war on drugs, rose and faded in the public imagination, largely independent from the 'actual' or
empirical degree of threat (Campbell 1993; Aradau 2001). Third, securitization is not an instantaneous or irrevocable act. Rather securitization reflects the complex constitution of social and political communities and may be successful and unsuccessful to different degrees in different settings within the same issue area
and across issues. Floyd demonstrates convincingly that desecuritization is entirely 'issue-dependent rather than static' (2007: 349). Nor is securitization an act that removes an issue from deliberative politics forever. Rather, studies of securitization need to account for the movement of issues into and out of the
security sector over time. An issue that has faded from the public view may rest within the security frame or enjoy a kind of 'entropy' where the public, elite, technocratic, or scientific communities assume that exceptional security measures have lapsed in the face of a threat that no longer seems pressing or relevant.
Hysteria over the presence of communists and homosexuals within government departments no longer seems a national security threat, in the way that McCarthy and others described. For example, a securitization act may be successful with a scientific or technocratic community, and yet fail in the elite and popular
realm, such as the debate over global warming during the 1980s and 1990s. A process of desecuritization may occur within popular politics, while elites and professionals remain unconvinced, such as transportation safety. Doty examines how the Minutemen along the US–Mexico border consider themselves to be
acting in a 'decisionist' mode, even though they are not sovereign actors (2007: 129–31). A particular group has successfully securitized illegal migration at the border for a segment of the population, while simultaneously human rights groups — by placing water in the desert and advocating for amnesty — act as if the
issue is politicized. John McCain (Arizona Senator and Republican Presidential nominee) proposed legislation (with Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy, for whom 'all politics are local') that would provide a 'path to citizenship' and border security — only to withdraw it in the face of public criticism. In this case, the
issue was the subject of intense 'normal' political debate, and the securitizing move was incomplete and heterogeneous across the political landscape. The model provided by the CS gives us no way to measure the success or failure of a securitizing move. In this article, I gauge the success or failure of a securitizing
move by ranking the degree to which policies, legislation, and opinion accords with the prescriptions of the speech act: 1. To what degree is the issue-area discussed as part of a wider political debate? 2. Is the description of the threat as existential accepted or rejected? 3. Is the solution accepted or rejected? 4.
Are new or emergency powers accorded to the securitizing agent? Unfortunately we are unable to provide accessible alternative text for this. If you require assistance to access this image, please contact [email protected] or the author This scale of success–failure is particularly useful in assessing the persistence of a
security issue within different audiences. A more nuanced notion of success and failure also gives us a purchase on whether an issue remains securitized over time so that we may develop a theory of the public imagination in the future. Two recent contributions to securitization theory stand out for my analysis.1
Balzacq and Stritzel share my excitement about the potential of the CS, and my worry about the under-developed social aspect of securitization. Stritzel leads the theoretical debate, and provides a strong grounding for this present article. He argues 'too much weight is put on the semantic side of the speech act
articulation at the expense of its social and linguistic relatedness and sequentiality' (2007: 358). He critiques the under-theorization of the speaker–audience relations, stating that 'in empirical studies one cannot always figure out clearly which audience is when and why most relevant, what implications it has if there
are several audiences, and when exactly an audience is "persuaded"' (2007: 363). Stritzel proposes an embedded analysis of securitization: '(1) the performative force of the articulated threat texts, (2) their embeddedness in existing discourses, and (3) the positional power of actors who influence the process of
defining meaning' (2007: 370). By this, he argues, the discourse of securitization must be understood as situated within a relationship between speaker–audience and within a context that predates the actual securitizing act. What makes a securitizing move successful is, for Stritzel, the extent to which the actor has the
power to make the threat and the discursive weight of that threat (has it been well established, or is this a new threat?). Stritzel's general model of embedded securitization is productive, but does not explain the success or failure of securitizing moves with any greater clarity than the CS. It is a useful framework that
can guide empirical work, but it does not allow us to generate any hypotheses about the politics of securitization and, in particular, about securitizing moves that fail to garner acceptance or resonance. Adding the range of success/failure, as detailed above, helps Stritzel's embedded analysis disaggregate 'persuasion'
into multiple steps of audience acceptance. Balzacq also offers a model of the social aspect of securitization that includes 'the context, the psycho-cultural disposition of the audience, and the power that both the speaker and the listener bring to the interaction' (2005: 172). In posing the question of strategic or
pragmatic practice, Balzacq argues that 'the positive outcome of securitization, whether it be strong or weak, lies with the securitizing actor's choice of determining appropriate times within which the recognition, including the integration of "imprinting" object — a threat — by the masses is facilitated' (2005: 182). His
examples demonstrate that these choices are constrained by history, memory, and discursive tropes. What a dramaturgical analysis adds is the notion that — just as there are different national and psycho-cultural contexts — so too are there different sociological, political, bureaucratic, and organizational contexts
within a populace. A popular audience will 'accept' securitization of threats differently to an elite or scientific audience. Global warming as an environmental securitization, for example, has had creeping success — but on radically different grounds with scientists, bureaucrats, elite politicians, and the populace (both
within states and between states). It is unclear to me if 'securitizing agents always strive to convince as broad an audience as possible' (2005: 185), particularly within the context of security professionals (Balzacq 2008). In the case study below, the securitization of Canadian civil aviation security was pitched to narrow,
specific audiences — and there was little effort to securitize the issues for the general public. At a base level, popular politics (at least in democratic societies) operates differently than scientific politics; technocratic politics from elite politics. In short, in addition to the 'régime of truth, [a society's] "general politics" of
truth' (Foucault 1980: 131), there are also specific politics of truth. Foucault hints at these specific regimes of truth in discussing the relationship between the specific intellectual and 'direct and localised relation[s] to scientific knowledge and institutions' (1980: 128). I return to these notions of direct and localized
relations in the case study. This is why a dramaturgical approach to the actual evolution of particular securitizing moves is so productive; the language and political games at stake in each setting are radically different. Balzacq has gone on to argue that 'securitization sometimes occurs and produces social and political
consequences without the explicit assent of an audience' (2008: 76). He uses the new governance literature to propose a new investigation into policy tools that are 'instruments of securitization' (2008: 79). Both Balzacq's work and this article are attempting to remedy the same flaw in the CS's methodology: an
overreliance on speech acts to the neglect of the social. A dramaturgical analysis of setting, however, provides the audience that Balzacq displaces. It is crucial to our analysis that
form of securitizing move.
the audience is determinative of the
Even if those audiences are internal or organizational, as Goffman explains: 'no audience, no performance' (1974: 125). He argues, "if one individual attempts to direct the activity of others by means of example,
enlightenment, persuasion, exchange, manipulation, authority, threat, punishment, or coercion, it will be necessary, regardless his power position, to convey effectively what he wants done, what he is prepared to do to get it done and what he will do if it is not done. Power of any kind must be clothed in effective
means of displaying it, and will have different effects depending upon how it is dramatized. (1959: 241, emphasis added)" Viewing securitizing moves as a kind of performance, we can see the importance of 'front' and 'backstage': that the same securitizing speech acts may be framed differently within the professional
team and in front of an audience. Among themselves, (security) agents may speak in one way, but use other ways to conform to the expectations of a popular audience — and there are some that are always totally excluded from the securitizing process (1959: 145). The audience is not always the public. There is a
network of bureaucrats, consultants, parliamentarians, or officials that must be convinced that securitization is appropriate, efficient, useful, or effective. Balzacq identifies a series of backstage securitizing moves that have public effects, though are never securitized publicly. Rather than disappear the audience, a more
flexible notion of the setting of securitization allows for micro-sociologies of the particular securitizing moves. Top of page Dramaturgical Analysis Dramaturgical analysis uses the vocabulary of the theatre to understand social settings, roles, and performances of identity. Sociologist Goffman also introduced the notion
of the 'framing' of identities and issues, to which much critical scholarship is indebted (1974).2 Much post-structuralist work relies on notions of performance, and critical work in international relations often assumes that key political divisions such as inside/outside, order/anarchy, self/other must be continually
performed and reinforced to have effect. In this research programme, I am interested less in the national application of Butler's notion of the performativity of gendered and other identities (1990), Campbell's (1993) notion of foreign policy as an articulation of danger that acts as an identity function, Sylvester's
analysis of 'dramaturgies of violence' (2003a) or 'development' (2003b), important and provocative though they may be. Instea d, this dramaturgical theory argues that the setting of a securitizing move is determined by the actors and their roles, the rules of the discourse permissible within that space, and the
expectations of the audience. When we push this theatrical metaphor, we can classify the different types of securitizing moves that all share similar conventions, narratives, characters, and tropes. The use of specialized language, procedural forms, and common conventions all suggest a common setting.3 For example,
terms, precedents, or issues whose specialized meanings both speaker and audience share.4 Buzan et al. themselves use dramatic language: 'the staging of existential issues in politics to lift them above politics...an issue is dramatized and presented as an issue of supreme priority...' (1998: 26). Huysmans alludes to the
'security drama' and leads to this focus on 'the processes of security' (1995: 66). Rather than classify securitizing moves as comedies, tragedies, and histories, we can classify them according to the setting: popular, elite, technocratic, and scientific settings. Each of these settings structures the speaker–audience
relationship of knowledge and authority, the weight of social context, and the success of the securitizing move. The setting of a securitizing act includes the stage on which it is made, the genre in which it is made, the audience to which it is pitched, and the reception of the audience. What is particularly useful about
Goffman's dramaturgical analysis is precisely the mutual constitution of self and audience. The characters in the drama must use information to convince the audience of a particular story: 'the over-communication of some facts and the under-communication of others... a basic problem for many performances, then, is
that of information control' (1959: 141). The setting of a performance, then, communicates the ground-rules for who may speak, what may be said, and what is heard. For example, when Shakespeare was originally staged, groundlings, who paid little admission and sat in the stalls below the stage, might speak to and
throw food at the actors — something probably frowned upon at Stratford-upon-Avon today. British pantomime has a particularly interactive audience–actor relationship (oh no it doesn't, oh yes it does), as does the Rocky Horror Picture Show, both of which rely on the audience knowing the call-and-answer structure
of the drama. This is to say that in addition to an awareness of the language, tropes, metaphor, plots, and devices that are embedded in the process of securitization, dramaturgical analysis also directs our attention to the constitution of the actor–audience in a particular discursive relationship. Also, Goffman argues
that the presentation of the self changes from different social settings, and that an understanding of the setting can illuminate the exigencies of different performances. For him, the character and audience join together in a 'working consensus' to create 'the belief that ([he performer] is related to [the audience] in a
more ideal way than is always the case' (1959: 48). Any social scene, such as the setting of securitizing moves, involves the presentation of a self, the setting for that narrative, and audience reception. Speech-act models of securitizing miss the crucial aspect of the 'setting' of the narrative. In particular, the setting of a
political speech act includes the stage upon which the securitization is attempted (national, organizational, bureaucratic, or scientific) and also the past narrative history of failed and successful securitizations by lauded or derided characters (Merelman 1969: 225).5 Securitizing moves in popular, elite, technocratic, and
scientific settings are markedly different — they operate according to different constitutions of actor and audience. A securitizing move is not the same in all contexts, because it is not simply made up of the internal grammatical elements. Krebs and Jackson analyse the importance of public rhetoric, while bracketing
the questions of motivation (2007: 41). Whether the intention of the speaker is entirely calculative or emotive, the rules of the setting remain the same (Goffman 1959: 66). A securitizing move made for political gain or from fear adheres to the same logic, but the effect of the message may be different. This focus on
the reflexive relationship between speaker and audience is particularly important for theories of securitization. Securitizing moves follow an internal grammar that is determined not simply by internal rules (i.e. the invocation of an emergency or exception to normal politics), but also to a common, social grammar (i.e.
the universe of tropes, images, metaphors, histories that can be invoked). Securitizing moves occur within the universe of the audience imagination. It is not simply a power relationship — but a knowledge-authority game. A popular securitizing move may be prompted by an informal authority such as a civil society
group (like the Minutemen along the US–Mexico border); but, civil society groups may be ineffective in scientific settings (Minutemen and similar groups do not participate in academic or professional arguments about border security). A scientist will use different authority to convince her colleagues than her
bureaucratic counterparts. For example, the case for the presence of weapons of mass destruction in the lead-up to the most recent American invasion of Iraq illustrates how ambiguity was leeched from the technocratic discourse as it was marshalled in the popular sphere. Uncertainty was purged as the reports were
summarized, as technocrats aimed to convince the political elite, and in turn as the elite aimed to convince the general populace. In short, the 'acceptance' of the audience and the 'resonance' of an existential threat is different within different spheres. I argue that we can distinguish these distinct settings by the grand
narratives by which truth is authorized, the characters who are empowered to speak, and the relationships between characters and audience. Within the security sphere, different narratives are deployed for security threats in different sectors; different characters may attempt a securitizing speech act; and the
. There is a
consensus among critical scholars that the amount of social life that is governed by 'security' claims has
increased since 9/11 — but not all securitizing moves have been successful. In studying the evolution of civil
relationship between the audience and the performer structure how those speech acts are made and received. This model of different settings for securitization stems from research into the widening of public security in post-9/11 politics
aviation security, it was clear that the rules of the speech act were different in different settings: who could speak, who could hear, and what could be said all varied radically — even on the
same issue within the same sector. Using the case of the CATSA below, I argue that there are four key settings for these securitizing moves. This is not to say that, in other contexts, more
settings are not possible, but rather that the four settings are the fewest number of categories that allow for significant differentiation within this case. The changing nature of perceptions of
the aviation sector over the past 40 years demonstrates the importance of time and entropy within securitization studies. The gradual and increasing securitization of international aviation
has been a long process, one in which terrorist groups rather than government elites have been the organizational and discursive entrepreneurs. The travelling public has a short memory,
politicians aim at the next election cycle, and bureaucrats are risk averse.
Securitization has occurred at once or necessarily as a
result of one speech act that is accepted or rejected but often through the imposition of
new regulations or international standards. The setting of securitization is clearly crucial. The success of a securitization act is dependent not
exclusively on the formal syntax or on the informal social context, but also on the particular history, dominant narrative, constitutive characters, and the structure of the setting itself. A
popular appeal to national security is often effective in popular and elite politics, but may be less convincing in a scientific realm. The restrictions of mandate and bureaucratic thinking will
predominate in technocratic politics in (at least potentially) different ways to the decision making of elites bent on maintaining power or gaining reelection. The setting also determines the
characters that may attempt a securitizing speech act. Imams and ministers have an authority to name cultural and moral threats to society within the setting of popular politics, but there is a
different stage presence about scientific truths. For example, American librarians had a surprise entry onto the popular scene due to their perceived scientific interest in privacy and free
speech, which trumped elite policy demands in the realm of popular politics during the debate surrounding the total information awareness proposal (Abdolian and Takooshian 2003;
Monahan 2006). The disproportionate effect of librarians in this public debate cannot be explained simply by power differentials as in Stritzel or Balzacq. Different actors possess different authorizations to speak in different political settings. In the following case, the same securitizing move (to expand aviation security and airport passenger security) was made by different actors, to different audiences, with different claims to authority, in different
languages, with different effects. This was evident over time as the securitizing move was accepted or rejected by the target audience. Top of page Securitization and CATSA CATSA provides an excellent case for dramaturgical analysis.6 There is a clear and accepted securitizing move in response to the attacks of 9/11: the creation of CATSA. Because the 9/11 attacks were directly connected to failures in airport security, specifically passenger screening, the securitization of civil
aviation was relatively straightforward: the external threat of terrorists using planes as weapons of mass destruction had a deep resonance across the populace, political elite, technocrat, and scientific audiences.7 In particular, the real-time broadcast of the second plane hitting the World Trade center, and the repetition of those images, gave aviation security a dominant position in the public imagination of homeland security. Previous to 9/11, in Canada (and the United
States) aviation passenger screening was done by airlines according to national standards set by the transportation authority . Airport security was not a realm of emergency or crisis, and could be handled by non-state entities (like airlines or airport authorities). It was depoliticized, expressed in terms of cost and regulations and t echnical standards. To nationalize airport security — make it part of the governmental structure, through CATSA — represented an expansion of
governmental powers that was due to a perceived emergency and existential threat.8 The securitizing move was successful, even easy. However, this does not tell us enough about the process of securitization. During 2004–2007, there were several other securitizing and desecuritizing moves. There are clear popular, elite, technocratic, and scientific communities that engaged in these (de)securitization processes. Popular sentiment can be evaluated through public media,
particularly in 2006. Furthermore, in 2004, CATSA engaged the scientific community in an examination of its security strategy , the proceedings of which were then published in 2006. Elite, technocratic, and scientific settings are evidenced through a 5-year governmental review of the CATSA Act in 2005–2007 and an Auditor-General Special Examination of CATSA in 2006. In these reviews, experts, bureaucrats, and policy-makers evaluated the security function of CATSA. In
particular, the CATSA Act Review, conducted by Transport Canada with a wide range of public consultations, provides a thick slice of public, scient ific, technocratic, and elite opinion after 5 years of operation. During these two critical reviews, the CATSA executive attempted to convince the elite of the need for an expansion of their mandate. In other words, a further securitization of airport security was called for. This was rejected by the technocrats, experts, and the elite.
The CATSA case thus provides us with a clear sector that is successfully securitized, popular and expert challenges to that securitization, and a rejection of an expansive securitizing move. There is thus a prima facie case for a successful securitization move in the area of aviation security in Canada. Before 9/11, passenger screening was done by airports and airlines according to standards set by Transport Canada. Despite Vancouver-based attacks on Air India in 1985, there had
been a general trend towards the depoliticization of airport security. It was a subject accessible to public debate, but not politically salient (referenced in political campaigns or in parliamentary debates). Transport Canada was the owner/operator of the majority of airports, and consequently was responsible for passenger screening. Airport policing, which had been the responsibility of the federal police force (RCMP), was conducted by regional forces. Following the 9/11
attacks, Finance Minister Paul Martin submitted a budget that included the creation of the CATSA. The CATSA Act received royal assent on 27 March, 2002, as a new crown corporation responsible for 'effective, efficient and consistent screening of persons accessing aircraft or restricted areas through screening points, the screening of the property in their possession or control, and the screening of the belongings or baggage they give to the air carrier for transport' (CATSA Act
Review 2006: 13).9 On 31 December 2002, CATSA undertook responsibility for all passenger screening. The creation of CATSA and its initial responsibilities was supported by the Minister of Transport and Finance Minister Paul Martin, who shortly thereafter became t he Prime Minister and issued Canada's first National Security Strategy. There was a clear case for securitization: the threat of terrorism particularly to civil aviation was acute, the previous system of privatized or
deregulated screening might lead to inconsistencies among Canadian airports which fundamentally threatened the integrity of the system, and, finally, running counter to the trend towards deregulation in civil aviation, the government had a security role. This opinion was exemplified in the National Security Strategy (Canada. Office of the Auditor General 2006: 36). In the following sections, this article parses the four settings of securitizing moves in the civil aviation security
sector during 2004–2007. The traditional CS explanation would go this way: the Canadian state made a securitizing move to define the terror threat to civil aviation as an existential threat that required extraordinary action; this move was accepted by the public, and CATSA was formed in 2001–2002 with new powers and authorities (in evidence through the changes to the Aeronautics Act). The Canadian state has not att empted any significant securitizing moves since the
formation of CATSA. However, a close reading of the evolution of CATSA, and, in particular, the reviews in 2005–2006, demonstrates a much more complex picture of securitizing moves and counter-moves. Within the elite setting, political and bureaucratic actors actively debated the roles and responsibilities of CATSA and attempted to increase or decrease the powers and authorities of the organization. Within the popular scene, CATSA became the subject of a number of
journalistic and public government reports by a Senate committee that questioned the nature of the threat to aviation security and the appropriate policy responses. Within the scientific setting, academics and experts attempted to desecuritize the work of CATSA through a critical appraisal of the risk management approach. Within a technocratic setting, the ability of CATSA to provide and measure security was radically questioned by the Auditor-General, leading to a
desecuritizing move. Running throughout all of these settings, there is a common thread: the CATSA executive wanted to increase its mandate, including more counter-terror operations in its operational purview. This particular securitizing move followed the same pattern: existential threat and new powers needed. However, this same securitizing move was made in different ways in different settings. Elite The CATSA Act Review provides a productive snapshot of the
securitizing moves in play between 2005 and 2006. The Minister of Transport, later Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, appointed an expert advisory panel in November 2005 to report on CATSA after 5 years of operation, which was tabled in Parliament on 12 December 2006.10 The Advisory Panel had a wide remit to 'examine the provisions and operations of the CATSA Act to ensure that the legislation provides a sound and adequate statutory basis for CATSA's
aviation security mandate, provide advice on future aviation security requirements and other developments that may impact on CATSA's future operations...on other important issues that come to [the Panel's] attention' (CATSA Act Review 2006: 15). In the preparation of their report, the panel conducted a number of public consultations and received submissions from over 40 agencies, institutions, airports, organizations, and individuals. CATSA itself also prepared a number
of position papers. This is a complex situation for the study of securitization: the three experts on the advisory panel are the primary authors of the report; they are guided and supported by a bureaucracy from Transport Canada; the final audience is the Minister of Transport. Because the audience of this legislative review was the Minister of Transport, Communities and Infrastructure (and other political decision-makers), I analyze this process as part of the elite process. The
Auditor-General's Special Examination, though it occurred in a similar timeframe and with consequences for CATSA's Board, was conducted with reference to the Office of the Auditor-General which has a defined mandate. Thus, I examine the Special Examination below as part of the technocratic audience. It was clear that the mandate of CATSA was in contention. There was a potential within the social space for a securitizing move. The Panel notes: 'it is apparent to the
Panel and to many stakeholders that clarification is needed concerning the operation mandate of CATSA and Transport Canada... CATSA thinks it should determine the "hows" [of security functions], while Transport Canada insists they are to be determined within the [Security Screening Order]' (CATSA Act Review 2006: 146). CATSA argued in their submissions that Transport Canada's Security Screening Order was extremely detailed in its prescription, and made security
screening inflexible. CATSA made a clear securitizing move: a threat, which was existential, that required extraordinary action — in this case the expansion of its mandate and the transformation of an aviation screening corporation into a counter-terrorism agency (CATSA 2006a: 4). In particular, it was argued before the Advisory Panel that the CATSA Act, Canadian Aviation Security Regulations, and the security screening order, gav e CATSA an extremely clear, but restricted
mandate in its passenger screening. CATSA screeners were responsible for and authorized to detect and to interdict prohibited items only, or to validate the identity of some non-passengers entering into secure air-side operations. In other words, CATSA could not use any profiling, risk-management, or policing methods in their security screening. CATSA argued that its ability to use these tools — such as behavioural profiling or risk management — would make the civil
aviation security system much more secure. CATSA sought increased access to intelligence, a greater flexibility in screening-point staffing, and screening procedures. These moves were rejected by the expert panel and the Minister in the CATSA Act Review.11 In 'Our vision for aviation security', submitted to the Review, CATSA makes its case for an expanded mandate. CATSA can provide 'a national approach and consistency', 'public security', 'accountability', 'access to
intelligence', and 'international networks' (CATSA 2006b: 5–6). The desire for national consistency among Canadian airports was one of the chief reasons for the creation of CATSA. The form of the organization balances accountability across a Board of Directors, the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, and the Treasury Board (which approve, among other aspects, CATSA's budget and corporate plans). However, these other three priorities (public security,
access to intelligence, and international networks) represent an expansion of its mandate. Airports, in their submissions to the CATSA Act Review, argue that screening can be handled efficiently and effectively by their own private security staff — essentially a desecuritizing move (Aéroports de Montréal 2006; Canadian Airports Council 2006). They argue that security screening is not an existential threat and does not require additional powers or authorities. Aéroports de
Montreal concludes: 'ADM strongly opposes any expansion of CATSA's mandate to encompass, for example, access control or policing functions, since this could be a further infringement of airports' control over their operations. Furthermore, the Minister should not be able to grant CATSA new responsibilities without consulting the airports' (2006: 3). The Canadian Airports Council writes: 'With the exception possibly of cargo security, airports are not in favour of an expanded
mandate for CATSA, and airports should be consulted thoroughly before any expansion to CATSA's mandate takes place. Some airports have expressed an interest in taking over or sharing some of CATSA's functions at airports' (2006: 1). Against the argument that airports might be able to provide security screening, CATSA argues 'public security is the #1 priority — CATSA's legislated mandate is air transport security — period. We are not in the business of operating parking,
leasing space to businesses, airport cleaning and maintenance, or other areas of interest to airport authorities. Public security is compromised when screening operations are "cross-collateralized" with other airport operations' (5). Within this complex discursive environment, securitization/desecuritization is not simply a binary (on/off) condition but more processual. An examination of the submissions to the Advisory Panel illustrates who 'counts' as a stakeholder for the
process, who counts as expert, whose voice is heard. While CATSA, the Advisory Panel, and the Review Secretariat clearly had primary speaking roles (with stakeholders in supporting roles) in this particular securitization drama, the important audience was the Minister. This is a failed securitizing move: CATSA attempted to expand their mandate, to widen their security footprint, to convince the political elite that, due to the terror threat, more powers should accrue to the
security service. CATSA publications emphasize the threat of terror, memorialize past attacks, and have instituted a training programme on terror for senior staff (David 2006). The attempt by CATSA to expand their mandate and securitize other areas of airport security was rejected by both the expert panel and the political elite. Both elite and experts were convinced of the threat, but none were convinced that special or expanded powers were needed. The Minister argued
specifically that 'Responsibility for aviation security will continue to rest with the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities... CATSA's activities will be focused on its core aviation security-screening role: the effective and efficient screening of persons who access aircraft or restricted areas through screening points, the property in their possession or control, and the belongings or baggage that they give to an air carrier for transport' (Cannon 2007). Experts and
elites argued that the public–private system, structured by rules from Transport Canada, could secure the system. In other words, the existential threat was accepted by the audiences, but not an expansion of powers. Consequently, the securitizing move was not accepted by the key audiences, the Advisory Panel and the Minister. Popular Within popular politics, the securitization of airport screening was easy to accomplish, particularly in countries that had 'focusing events'
such as 9/11 (Birkland 1997, 2004). As Lyon observes, 'apart from short-term responses to some notorious hijackings over the past 30 years, airport security was never a topic that engaged the public imagination in Canada (or elsewhere for that matter)' (2006: 398). In 1985, the attack on Air India flight originated in Canada. Invest igations determined that it was a result of weak baggage screening and the lack of reconciliation between passengers and luggage. However,
passenger screening was not seen as such an important issue — the majority of hijacking or terror attacks occurred in the United States, particularly with reference to Cuba, or in Europe and the Middle East.12 In January 2003, the Standing Senate Committee on National Security and Defence tabled a report in Parliament titled The Myth of Security at Canada's Airports that called for a reinstatement of the RCMP presence and a wide-ranging overhaul of the system. Despite
frequent interviews in the popular press by its author, this report did not resonate with the public, the policy, or the political audiences: it represents another failed securitizing move.13 However, the success of the securitization of aviation security can be seen in the popular reaction to two cases of investigative journalism. First, a journalist from the French-language paper Journal de Montréal infiltrated the secure, air-side areas at Trudeau airport in Montreal on a number of
occasions through different access points. The journalist entered a catering company's facilities (Cara Foods) and gained access to restricted areas through a disused hanger. The reporter 'found a place to slip under the airport's perimeter fence, but there's no need to get your knees dirty: he also just walked in, repeatedly, as if he belonged. In prohibited zones he gained easy access to the outside of aircraft, to carts full of meals about to be loaded onto planes, and to a truck
used to provide water to aircraft' (Gazette 2006). Though none of the checkpoints he passed were staffed by CATSA employees, or indeed the actual regulatory responsibility of CATSA, it was CATSA that was held publicly responsible. While CATSA has responsibility for key elements of aviation security, such as passenger and non-passenger screening at identified checkpoints, it is not responsible for overall perimeter security or security of air-side services. An editorial opined:
'Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon and CATSA chief Maurice Baril have got some explaining to do. Security can't be perfect, but it should surely be better than this'. Minister Cannon summoned Maurice Baril (who was CATSA's Chairman of the Board of Directors, who subsequently resigned) and CATSA President and CEO Jacques Duchesneau to Ottawa 'for further discussions' (Cannon 2006). In Canada, the responsibility for airport security, and the maintenance of air-side
security, is shared among a number of different players in the airport and coordinated by Transport Canada through the Aviation Security Regulations. Thus, CATSA is responsible only for its six stated tasks, mandated in the CATSA Act. However, the popular response was that CATSA should be responsible for all of airport security — that all aspects of airport security were the responsibility of the government, because of the existential threat, because of the need for
emergency powers. The (inappropriate) critique of CATSA — for, in essence, having a restricted mandate — is a clear demonstration that the public expected that CATSA would be responsible for all airport security (perhaps because of its much larger American counterpart the Transportation Security Administration or a 'misleading' corporate identity). For securitization theory, this implies that the audience, in this case the popular audience, may not simply accept
securitization but also initiate an expansion of government powers. The second popular case that demonstrates how the wider public may not simply support, but widen securitization, is the 'revelation' by a Canadian television news programme that CATSA itself had security problems. CBC's investigative journalism programme, The Fifth Estate, broadcast 'Fasten Your Seatbelt' on 5 November 2005 (CBC 2005). A whistle-blower argued that 'customer service' was prioritized
over security in passenger screening, and then a security expert, Steve Elson, demonstrated how to circumvent screening points (CBC 2006). The 'security expert' was described as being a former TSA inspector who currently consults on security matters (validating his expertise in both government and liberal economic terms). Once again, a complex web of regulations and responsibilities was simplified (and misconstrued). The whistle-blower was a CATSA employee, and the
programme highlighted the role of CATSA in passenger screening and the random nature of non-passenger screening. Within the programme, there was little discussion of the role of the actual regulator and ministry responsible for aviation security: Transport Canada. However, in an unaired portion of the interview with Senator Colin Kenny, one of the authors of The Myth of Security at Canada's Airports said, 'The problem is with Transport Canada. They set the regulations,
CATSA simply follows them' (CBC n.d.). CATSA has specifically mentioned their attention to public pressure (Auditor-General 2006), and continuously measures passenger satisfaction rates. Within the popular realm, journalists and government representatives had the roles as experts to 'speak authoritatively'. In these cases, CATSA representatives — who were experts on the legislated mandate of CATSA — were unable to convince the populace through press releases,
interviews, etc. that CATSA was not responsible for the security breeches. The socio-political context of Canada also determined 'what might be said'. In particular, the extremely complex interplay of authorities and responsibilities at the airport was radically simplified: CATSA was represented as being solely responsible for aviation security. Any failures of airport security, by themselves or their subcontractors, were laid at the feet of CATSA — as demonstrated by the Minister
of Transport calling the President of CATSA back to Ottawa immediately after the Montreal incidents. The success of the securitization of aviation security within this realm is clear in the public criticism of CATSA for not using enough emergency measures to contain this existential threat. The travelling public, which is frequently surveyed by CATSA about its customer service, plays a large role in CATSA's internal discussions, but a smaller role in its discussions with external
agencies. These conclusions demonstrate why more nuance is needed in current models of securitization. More is going on than a simple politics of blame or bureaucratic infighting, although plainly some of those dynamics are in play. Rather, CATSA was being responsibilized for all of aviation security in Canada, despite its limited mandate. The popular pressure, I argue, is a representation of the 'facilitating conditions' in the popular imagination: the public was open to
securitizing moves by the government. There is also the restriction of 'what might be said': in short, an over-simplification of complex regulatory systems and a misrepresentation of the level of attainable security. No system is completely secure — a fact that is often and easily acknowledged among experts in aviation security. But, this was not portrayed in the popular scene. Investigative journalists, in this case, had the position to speak authoritatively in a way that a Senator
and other security experts did not. The public could only express their satisfaction with CATSA's screening as a customer service to CATSA, or in the popular media as a policing and counter-terrorism agency. The failure of the expansion of the security mandate of CATSA in the elite realm and the simultaneous popular critique of CATSA's mandate indicate that the setting matters. Scientific In addition to a set of technical debates, CATSA is also engaged with the scientific
community on how to effectively and efficiently screen passengers. I want to focus on the primary adoption of the risk management model, since this has been exam ined in the Auditor-General's Special Examination and CATSA Act Review process. CATSA was responsible for the purchase and implementation of a wide-scale technological upgrade to explosive detection systems, to meet Canadian and international standards. It has also won awards for its technological
innovation for the RAIC programme that uses biometric identification.14 There is also a robust debate in expert circles regarding the use of private firms for security screening, whether airport security can be left to the private sector or should be provided by the government (Frederickson and Laporte 2002; Hainmüller and Lemnitzer 200 3; Seidenstat 2004).15 CATSA is mandated to secure key elements of the civil aviation infrastructure through passenger screening. CATSA,
however, provides screening according to the 'Security Screening Order', under the Aeronautics Act and the Canadian Aviation Security Regulations. As a crown corporation, CATSA is also bound by government policy to implement a 'risk management strategy', the key elements of which are the evaluation of potential impact and frequency of exposures to different risks. It then formulates a strategy that accepts, avoids, transfers, or mitigates that risk. Within this framework,
'It is government policy to identify, and reduce or eliminate risks to its property, interests and employees, to minimize and contain the costs and consequences in the event of harmful or damaging incidents arising from those risks, and to provide for adequate and timely compensation, restoration and recovery' (Canada. Treasury Board of Canada 2001). CATSA actively engaged the academic and expert communities in formulating its risk management strategy (Brodeur
2006),16 and its proposed Security Management Systems approach (Salter 2007). The CATSA executive asked for training in risk management and, in 2005, the International Centre for Comparative Criminology organized two seminars (in Paris and in Montréal) on risk management. The academic experts at these workshops represented the fields of surveillance studies, criminology, sociology, public health, environmental studies, and risk management itself. The core issues
for the experts were the following: 'uncertainty theoretically supersedes risk and rule-based and risk-based models are not mutually exclusive in the promotion of security. Not only can they be reconciled in practice, but they m ust' (Brodeur 2006: 324). This poses two problems for CATSA, which later became evident in the CATSA Act Review and the Auditor-General's Special Examination: uncertainty within the public security fields makes measurement impossible; following
security regulations alone would be insufficient to demonstrate risk management. Among the social scientists represented at the Montréal seminar, there was a consensus that the tactic of risk management, used often in environmental planning and other scientific realms, cannot be easily transferred to the social realm (Zedner 2006: 424). Ericson, an internationally renowned criminologist who pioneered the critical study of risk management, argued, 'risk management
systems can restrict freedom, invade privacy, discriminate, and exclude populations. Such self-defeating costs and the uncertainties they entail can be minimized only by infusing risk management systems with value questions about human rights, well-being, prosperity, and solidarity' (2006: 346). These experts questioned not only the empirical reliability of risk management (Manning 2006: 457), but also the ideological function of screening by risk (O'Malley 2006: 420). These
experts agreed that the move to a risk-based model of airport screening would require more specific intelligence and the widening of CATSA's mandate. But, they also stressed that because of the radical incalculability of the threat of terror, risk-based security screening had to be combined with rules-based screening. Since risk management could not prevent terror, and may cause potential problems, the problem of airport security had to be made explicitly political. Within
these seminars, the setting was academic: experts were selected because of their scholarly credentials and the discourse was in an academic mode.17 At root, the experts attempted a desecuritizing move: since uncertainty trumps risk, the lack of metrics makes measurement (and thus management of risk) impossible. Thus, the security screening process must be political. Since a risk-based approach cannot guarantee security, and the risk- and rule-based systems were in
some conflict, CATSA (and by implication Transport Canada, the regulator) must deal with these uncertainties and risks, sensitive to the politics of the situation. Screening procedures could not be an emergency, existential threat that required extraordinary powers or policies. Because security was unobtainable, the process had to remain steadfastly political. Though there was a consensus among the scientific field, this desecuritizing move failed — none of the other audiences
were convinced, as demonstrated below in the review of the technocratic setting. Technocratic While the CATSA Act Review had the political elite as its audience, the Auditor-General's Special Examination had only the Office of the Auditor-General as its audience. It was also presented to the CATSA Board of Directors, with clear implications for the Minister — but the authors of the report were a team of auditors not politicians. A Special Examination of CATSA was
undertaken by the Auditor-General of Canada during November 2005–June 2006 (a similar time period to the CATSA Act Review process). The Auditor-General appraised the extent to which CATSA was fulfilling and measuring its mandate, as well as other financial and management standards.18 It is beyond the mandate of the Auditor-General's Special Examination to analyse the mandate of the organization (Canada. Office of the Auditor General 2006: 9). CATSA tried to use
the Special Examination as another venue to expand its mandate, which, as I argue above, is a securitizing move — accruing more governmental power to manage an existential threat. Just as CATSA attempted this with respect to the elite audience of the CATSA Act Review, they also attempted this in the technocratic setting. As the report concludes: 'CATSA does not wish to be constrained by its limited mandate. CATSA would like to have more control over the way screening
operations are conducted, the allocation of screening staff, and the selection of screening equipment; and it would like direct access to intelligence information' (3). The case for the expansion of CATSA's mandate is made in terms of security, emergency, and extraordinary powers: it satisfies the internal criteria for a securitizing m ove. Here is the key moment: 'CATSA's view is that counterterrorism is a key aspect of its work. This is evident in CATSA documents . Transport
Canada has stated that CATSA's current mandated responsibilities do not specifically include counter-terrorism' (14). The CATSA Act Review Advisory Panel also notes this troubled relationship: 'there appears to be a high level of frustration and mistrust between Transport Canada and CATSA at the national level' (CATSA Act Review 2006: 137). The Auditor-General's report is relatively neutral in this bureaucratic in-fighting but that neutrality stands as a rejection of the
securitizing move. In short, the securitizing move fails because it does not accept 'security' as a legitimate justification for reevaluating the mandate of CATSA: 'This Special Examination did not question CATSA's mandate; rather it assessed CATSA's systems and practices within its mandate and the regulations that govern the aviation security system' (9). Despite the best efforts of CATSA to make the mandate part of the audit, in order to use the report as a tool in their
securitizing move, the Auditor-General did not accept the move. Within the Auditor-General's review, who may speak and what may be said is radically different. CATSA officials prepared reports for the Auditor-General's team who also consulted with an expert team.19 The terms of reference for the report, however, were specific to the crown corporation model and its relevant legislation regarding financial administration. Essentially, security was not the object of study:
however, risk management was under scrutiny. Thus, while similar messages were made by CATSA and Transport Canada, they were expressed in different, more managerial language. The audience for this report was primarily the Board of Directors, and indirectly the responsible Minister, Treasury Board Secretariat, and the Parliament of Canada to which the Auditor-General reports. However, the review results were also marshalled in the CATSA Act Review process, in order
This dramaturgical analysis of CATSA during the crucial 2005–
2006 period has demonstrated the need for an analytical disaggregation of the actor–audience model in securitization theory. Within
different settings (popular, elite, scientific, and technocratic), different actors were empowered to speak, and different audiences
constituted — the rules of those discursive relationships were also impacted by setting. Stakeholders from the CATSA Act Review had no
voice in the experts' academic workshop; reports on the measurement of security for the Advisory Panel were not used in the AuditorGeneral's Special Examination. These different settings also defined the content of securitizing moves: though there was a common
desire to expand CATSA's security mandate, it was done with different arguments in the expert workshop, the Special Examination, and
the CATSA Act Review. Finally, the CATSA case demonstrates the need to parse the success/failure of securitizing moves in a more
to bolster the case for a refusal of the securitizing move to increase CATSA's mandate. Thus, the same securitizing/desecuritizing moves are played out, but in a totally different register within different sectors. Settings for Canadian Aviation Security
nuanced way. CATSA's
securitizing was premised on the acceptance of an existential
threat (which is commonly believed), the description of a crisis or emergency (accepted by some and rejected by others), and the accrual of new executive power (which was
move
completely rejected). Top of page Conclusion The CS model of securitization is provocative and productive of many political and research agendas. Making the model more sensitive to who
may speak, who can hear, and what can be said within particular settings allows us to evaluate the politics of successful moves to securitize or desecuritize an issue. This kind of analysis
necessarily involves an examination of a particular setting over time, a factor often downplayed in CS analysis. Sector studies in public safety, security studies, migration, trafficking, minority
rights, and disease can all benefit from a clearer consideration of audience–speaker co-constitution of authority and knowledge, the weight of social context, and the degree of success of
Desecuritization is seen a priori as more politically preferable than securitization (Wæver 1999:
335). Deliberative politics are by definition more democratic than exceptional politics. This
particular moves.
has led to the important debate led by Aradau (2001, 2004, 2006), Alker (2006), Taureck (2006), Behnke (2006), Huysmans (2006), and Floyd (2007) on the ethical relationship of emancipation and politicization to securitizatio n. This follows
analysts
and experts must understand the political dynamics of successful securitization and
from a productive discussion on the role of security experts (Eriksson 1999; Goldmann 1999; Wæver 1999; Williams 1999). While this article does not engage this debate extensively, we would argue that, tactically,
desecuritization processes if they wish to intervene. In this, I once again take the lead from Foucault who says that his own
analysis has sprung from his personal experiences and a kind of a malaise with objective, abstract, Archimedian theory. In building from his insider knowledge of and outsider status within
institutions (such as the clinic, human sexuality, or the penal system), Foucault conducts a 'history of the present' — to ask not 'what does the prison mean' but 'how does the prison mean?'
the
process of successful securitization and desecuritization operates differently within different
settings. If, as security experts, it is part of our role to intervene in the
With particular experience in different realms of security studies, it seems that securitization theory might contribute to this kind of history of the present. This is to say that
securitization /desecuritization process, then we must gain a tactical knowledge of the conditions for success
and failure. There is an assumption in this debate about securitization/desecuritization that experts are significant or
important voices. It is true that 'in writing or speaking security, the analyst him/herself executes a
speech act, this speech act is successful if the problem raised becomes recognized
as a security problem in the academy and/or in the wider policy making discourse'
(Floyd 2007: 336).
Case
organizations
New upgrades prevent grid collapse
Kemp 12 -- Reuters market analyst (John, 4/5/12, "COLUMN-Phasors and blackouts on the U.S. power grid: John Kemp,"
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/04/05/column-smart-grid-idUSL6E8F59W120120405)
The hoped-for solution
to grid instability is something called the North American SynchroPhasor Initiative (NASPI), which
sounds like something out of Star Trek but is in fact a collaboration between the federal government and
industry to improve grid monitoring and control by using modern communications
technology. More than 500 phasor monitoring units have so far been installed across
the transmission network to take precise measurements of frequency, voltage and other
aspects of power quality on the grid up to 30 times per second (compared with once every four
seconds using conventional technology). Units are synchronised using GPS to enable users to build up a
comprehensive real-time picture of how power is flowing across the grid (www.naspi.org/Home.aspx
and). It is a scaled-up version of the monitoring system developed by the University of Tennessee's Power Information Technology
Laboratory using inexpensive frequency monitors that plug into ordinary wall sockets. Tennessee's FNET project provides highly
aggregated data to the public via its website. The systems
being developed under NASPI provide a much
finer level of detail that will reveal congestion and disturbances on individual transmission
lines and particular zones so that grid managers can act quickly to restore balance or
isolate failures
().
Terrorism is not an existential threat – at most it will kill a few hundred people
a year – the fear of terrorism is overblown.
Mueller ‘11
John Mueller is Professor of Political Science at Ohio State University. He is the author of Atomic Obsession. “The truth about al
Qaeda”. August 5, 2011. CNN’s Global Public Square. http://globalpublicsquare.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08/05/the-truth-about-alqaeda/
Outside of war zones, the amount of killing carried out by al Qaeda and al Qaeda
linkees, maybes, and wannabes throughout the entire world since 9/11 stands at
perhaps a few hundred per year. That's a few hundred too many, of course, but it
scarcely presents an existential, or elephantine, threat. And the likelihood that an
American will be killed by a terrorist of any ilk stands at one in 3.5 million per year,
even with 9/11 included. That probability will remain unchanged unless terrorists are
able to increase their capabilities massively - and obtaining nuclear weapons would allow
them to do so. Although al Qaeda may have dreamed from time to time about getting
such weapons, no other terrorist group has even gone so far as to indulge in such
dreams, with the exception of the Japanese cult Aum Shinrikyo, which leased the
mineral rights to an Australian sheep ranch that sat on uranium deposits, purchased some
semi-relevant equipment, and tried to buy a finished bomb from the Russians. That
experience, however, cannot be very encouraging to the would-be atomic terrorist.
Even though it was flush with funds and undistracted by drone attacks (or even by much
surveillance), Aum Shinrikyo abandoned its atomic efforts in frustration very early on. It
then moved to biological weapons, another complete failure that inspired its leader to
suggest that fears expressed in the United States of a biological attack were actually a
ruse to tempt terrorist groups to pursue the weapons. The group did finally manage to
release some sarin gas in a Tokyo subway that killed 13 and led to the group's terminal
shutdown, as well as to 16 years (and counting) of pronouncements that WMD
terrorism is the wave of the future. No elephants there, either.
Claims of an existential risk from terrorism are false
Fettweis, Professor of Political Science, ‘10
Chris, Professor of Political Science @ Tulane,Threat and Anxiety in US Foreign Policy, Survival, 52:2
Conventional war, much less outright assault, is not the leading security challenge in the
minds of most Americans today. Instead, irregular or non- state actors, especially
terrorists, top the list of threats to the West since 11 September 2001. The primary
guiding principle of US foreign policymaking, for better or worse, is the continuing
struggle against terrorism. President Bush repeatedly used the term ‘Islamofascists’ to
describe the enemy that he re-oriented the US defence establishment to fight,
transforming al-Qaeda from a ragtag band of lunatics into a threat to the republic itself. It
is not uncommon for even sober analysts to claim that Islamic terrorists present an
‘existential threat’ to the United States, especially if they were ever to employ nuclear,
biological or chemical weapons. Perhaps it is Parkinson’s Law that inspires some analysts
to compare Islamic fundamentalists with the great enemies of the past, such as the Nazis or
the Communists, since no rational analysis of their destructive potential would allow such
a conclu- sion. Threat is a function of capabilities and intent; even if al-Qaeda has the
intent to threaten the existence of the United States, it does not possess the capability to
do so.
Terrorism doesn’t pose an existential risk
Fettweis, Professor of Political Science, ‘10
Chris, Professor of Political Science @ Tulane,Threat and Anxiety in US Foreign Policy, Survival, 52:2
Even terrorists equipped with nuclear, biological or chemical weapons would be incapable
of causing damage so cataclysmic that it would prove fatal to modern states. Though the
prospect of terrorists obtaining and using such weapons is one of the most consistently
terrifying scenarios of the new era, it is also highly unlikely and not nearly as dangerous as
sometimes portrayed. As the well-funded, well-staffed Aum Shinrikyo cult found out in
the 1990s, workable forms of weapons of mass destruction are hard to purchase, harder
still to synthesise without state help, and challenging to use effectively. The Japanese
group managed to kill a dozen people on the Tokyo subway system at rush hour. While
tragic, the attack was hardly the stuff of apocalyptic nightmares. Super-weapons are simply
not easy for even the most sophisticated non-state actors to use.31 If terror- ists were able
to overcome the substantial obstacles and use the most destructive weapons in a densely
populated area, the outcome would of course be terrible for those unfortunate enough to be
nearby. But we should not operate under the illusion that doomsday would arrive. Modern
industrialised countries can cope with disasters, both natural and man-made. As
unpleasant as such events would be, they do not represent existential threats.
No Mexican or Latin American failed state—reject media hype
by Martín
Paredes ·El Paso News February 28, 2014 “George Friedman: Mexico is not a Failed State”
http://elpasonews.org/2014/02/george-friedman-mexico-failed-state/ ac 8-27
A failed state read the headlines. Doom
and gloom, Mexico was about to implode led the news cycles
starting around 2008. A revolution as about to start south of the US border, it was just a matter of days. Fast
forward to today and the notion that Mexico is on the verge of becoming a failed
state is as idiotic today as it was then . The news reporters happily interviewed the
dubious characters predicting Mexico’s failures because to lead with Mexico’s imminent
demise was an easy sell for the US appetite for sensational headlines .¶ I understand that
the news media has to attract eyeballs in order to stay in business. Eyeballs sell advertising
and the more eyeballs the more financially stable the news outlet is. Most of the time when I am
discussing the state of the news media with a reporter and news outlet executive the topic of tabloids leads to heated discussions
about ethics in journalism. That discussion invariably leads to how blogging
has destroyed the profession of the
professional news outlet. I always counter that the demise of the newspapers and news outlets to Internet delivered news
is a direct result of the failure of the traditional news outlets adhering to the basics of fair and ethical news reporting.¶ The
demise of the traditional news media came about when sensationalism became the accepted
practice rather than the exception. I don’t blame the so-called experts on everything drug
cartel related because they are nothing more than individuals looking to make a
quick buck by proclaiming themselves experts on the drug traffickers in Mexico.¶ The
notion of the imminent failure of Mexico was started by information peddler George
Friedman in May of 2008 with his self-serving, make-another-dollar opinion that was nothing
more than another charlatan peddling his goods to those willing to buy. The problem with
people like Friedman is that the news media is too happy to label them “experts” in order to
ply their sensational headlines to their audience.¶ George Friedman’s company and raison
d’ete is his company Stratfor. Stratfor peddles “strategic analysis” about geopolitics. In essence,
the company has self-proclaimed itself as an expert in global security in order to sell its
publications to individuals and governments. It peddles self-proclaimed expertise in security.
The problem though is that their security “expertise” apparently doesn’t include their own
operations because in 2011, the hacker group Anonymous broke into their systems. In February
2012, Wikileaks began publishing the stolen emails.¶ Friedman’s Stratfor has taken the position that you can’t trust the released
emails because they will not confirm which ones are authenticate and which ones may be doctored after they were stolen. To me,
this position is nothing more than a desperate attempt to discount the theft of their emails. Regardless, for a so-called expert on
“security” the theft of their emails shows a distinct failure in their ability to protect themselves and thus the security of their clients.¶
For his part, George Friedman, born in Budapest Hungary is a former professor and now an author and owner of Stratfor. He peddles
information to those willing to buy it. I am sure you are all aware of the famous phrase; “those who can’t, teach”. Most appropriate
for Friedman.¶ A
Failed State is generally defined as a country that has lost some or all control over
its sovereignty. The fact is that Mexico, even at the height of the Mexican Drug War never
relinquished control over its sovereignty. I am sure some of you will argue that there were and are pockets of
criminality in Mexico that seem to surpass the government’s ability to maintain control. However, all of that rhetoric
ignores a fundamental reality; a failed state has a failed economy and an ineffective
government. So, let’s take a look at those two functions.¶ Has the Mexican economy faltered?¶ The World
Bank ranks Mexico’s economy as the second largest economy south of the Rio Bravo (Rio
Grande), behind Brazil. This month Moody’s rated Mexico as A3, the first time the country has received an “A” rating in its
entire history. Keep in mind that the rating is derived from actions taken by two administrations under two different political
parties.¶ I
wish George Friedman would explain to everyone how it is that a country on the verge
of collapse is able to attain an A rating for its economy. Somehow, I don’t expect he will, as it isn’t something
he can sell to the news outlets and his subscribers looking for doom-and-gloom coming from Mexico.¶ Somehow, a country
on the verge of collapse, according to George Friedman is on the road to becoming the United
States’ number one automobile exporter this year. Again, how is it that a country on the verge
of collapse continues to build enough automobiles to outpace Canada and Japan?¶ Clearly, the
Mexican economy is not on the verge of collapse and therefore the country’s government is in
full control. So, let’s a take a look at the transition of power. ¶ On December 1, 2012, President
Enrique Peña Nieto took office. Mexico had effectively transitioned power from one government
to another. Former President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, who initiated the Mexican Drug War,
democratically relinquished power in a transition from one party to another. Both US president
Barack Obama and leftist president Hugo Chavez both agreed that the transfer of power was properly completed.¶ In other words,
two opposing political ideologies both agreed that Mexico’s electoral process was completed
properly under the law. In fact, Mexico has now transitioned power from one party, to another
and back to the original party making Mexico a two-party country.¶ So much for the notion
that Mexico was on the verge of collapse.¶ The problem of the drug cartels is a significant
problem for Mexico but it is a geopolitical problem with many facets at work at the same
time. For the most part Mexico has risen to the occasion and has demonstrated that far from being
a failed state, it is in fact an economically growing country in full control of its sovereignty. As
much as the naysayers want it to be, the facts are that Mexico is not some backwards country
on the border holding the US back. Rather it is a country that the US should be proud to call a
friend.¶ Unfortunately, for people like George Friedman and those who subscribe to his
voodoo research the facts are just inconvenient things that should be ignored.
Proliferation is slow, doesn’t cascade, and doesn’t cause conflict – 60 years of
empirics prove
DeGarmo 2011
Denise, professor of international relations at Southern Illinois University, “Proliferation Leads to Peace”
Unfortunately, while the fear of proliferation is pervasive, it is unfounded and lacks an
understanding of the evidence. Nuclear proliferation has been slow . From 1945 to 1970, only
six countries acquired nuclear weapons: United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China, and Israel. Since the
Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty came into effect in 1970, only three countries have
joined the nuclear club: India, Pakistan, and North Korea. In total, only .05% of the
world’s states have nuclear weapons in their possession. Supporters of non-proliferation seem
to overlook the fact that there are states currently capable of making nuclear weapons and have chosen not to
construct them, which illustrates the seriousness with which states consider their entrance into the nuclear club.
Included on this list are such actors as: Japan, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Iran, South Korea, Taiwan, and South Africa. The
attraction of nuclear weapons is multifold. Nuclear weapons enhance the international status of states that possess
them and help insecure states feel more secure. States also seek nuclear capabilities for offensive purposes. It is
important to point out that while nuclear weapons have spread very slowly, conventional
weapons have proliferated exponentially across the globe. The wars of the 21st
century are being fought in the peripheral regions of the globe that are undergoing
conventional weapons proliferation. What the pundits of non-proliferation forget to mention are the
many lessons that are learned from the nuclear world. Nuclear weapons provide stability just as they did during the
Cold War era. The fear ofMutual Assured Destruction (MAD) loomed heavily on the minds of nuclear powers through
out the Cold War and continues to be an important consideration for nuclear states today. States do not strike first
unless they are assured of a military victory, and the probability of a military victory is diminished by fear that their
actions would prompt a swift retaliation by other states. In other words, states with nuclear weapons are deterred by
another state’s second-strike capabilities. During the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union could not destroy
enough of the other’s massive arsenal of nuclear weapons to make a retaliatory strike bearable. Even the prospect of a
small number of nuclear weapons being placed in Cuba by the Soviets had a great deterrent effect on the United
States. Nothing can be done with nuclear weapons other than to use them for deterrent purposes. If deterrence
works reliably, as it has done over the past 60 plus years, then there is less to be
feared from nuclear proliferation than there is from convention warfare.
econ
Growth ensures overshoot and extinction--tech can't save us, only rapid
collapse spurs consciousness shift
Barry, president, Ecological Internet and PhD, Land Resources, University of Wisconsin-Madison, "Ecology Bubble
Bursts," Earth Meanders, 7--25--11, www.ecoearth.info/blog/2011/07/earth_meanders_ecology_bubble.asp#more, accessed 2-2-13.
Dr. Glen
Ever since the human family embraced a growth based mentality and obsequious faith in liberal economics, we have witnessed a
series of bubbles. The most recent boom-bust cycle has been the still unresolved financial and mortgage bubbles, but bubbles go as
far back as the Dutch tulip mania of 1637. Exuberant yet clearly unsustainable growth, or inversely destruction, appears to be
inherent to industrial, speculative, and growth obsessed capitalism. Bubbles represent the human proclivity for greed, to grow too
fast, overshooting demand, while often exhausting key resources. Global ecology, the biggest bubble of all, is
now collapsing and will soon burst. Voracious economic and human growth have raged for three centuries upon
the back of dismantling ecosystems globally. Humanity’s economic outputs have been over-valued relative to the
ecologically mediated resources incautiously razed for their production. Earth’s carrying capacity - meaning ecology's finite
ability to provide ecosystem services and absorb pollution – has been surpassed. Having grown beyond what Earth can bear,
the human family is said to be in "overshoot", which can only lead to collapse. Earth is a living being and like all
life can die . Earth is dying now as virus-like humanity destroys its host's ecosystem organs. Every day we
scrape Earth of its plants and animals, dig and drill into toxic “resources” not meant to be unearthed, and crap our wastes into air,
land and water. Systems biology tells us an exponentially growing system in positive feedback – such as the
super-sized economy feasting upon finite and precious global ecology – always eventually destroys itself. This is particularly
so given perilous lag times of many ecosystem processes and losses. The ecological systems underlying
human existence are beginning to burst like bubbles . Virtually every type of ecosystem and their
output – fish, food, water, air, climate, forests, land, wetlands, soil, etc – are now collapsing locally and regionally. We are
witnessing this steady biological impoverishment, of virtually every life-giving ecosystem, aggregate to the whole biosphere – the
thin mantle of life surrounding an otherwise lifeless Earth. When speaking of a biosphere bubble burst it is accurate to say Earth is
dying. And that it need not be that way, if only we were able to change to maintain ecosystems that foster all
human and life’s being. Ecology has provided a constant stream of services to humanity and other life, making Earth habitable, for
what seems like eternity. Food offers one illustrative example of humanity’s utter dependence upon ecology: sun, water, soil,
climate, seeds and healthy agro-ecological systems are where food comes from - not grocery stores and mini-marts. That we need
air, water, soil and other ecosystems are demonstrable truths – unlike beliefs in unknowable ancient messiahs, which have guided so
much of Earth ecology’s destruction. Industrial capitalism is dependent upon destroying ecosystems as
resources for temporary increases in the well-being of some. While climate change is one of several global ecosystems that are
collapsing due to human over-use, it is important to remember there are other collapsing ecological systems – including soil, water,
forest, wetland, nitrogen, ocean, toxic, ecosystem, poverty, food and others - that singly and together threaten continued human
and ecological being. It is these potentially cumulative impacts of several assaults upon key global ecosystems that are most
problematic and potentially chaotic. And it’s not even done fairly, as 2.5 billion live on under $2 a day. The industrial growth
machine’s rampant misuse of inappropriate technology to rip apart Earth’s life-support systems
for endless
frivolous wants by some as others starve and eke out a living must yield to some basic truths. If we are to
sustain the required ecosystem habitats necessary, we cannot cut and burn them simultaneously, or multiply to such numbers that
we overwhelm them. If you’ve ever seen an over-grazed pasture you know what over-population does to a limited land and resource
base – human population must be urgently and humanely reduced. Hubristic faith in technological solutions to Earth being
beyond its carrying capacity is fanatical madness . Continued technological reliance to “solve” Earth’s ecological carrying
capacity problem will only inflate the bubble further and result in a bigger bursting , and less remnants
from which to try to reconstitute an ecologically based future. Inane techno-optimism such as geoengineering is ecocide right up to the end – pushing Earth to the wall, raping her, before killing her. It is far
preferable to begin to adjust human demands upon ecology to reasonable limits. Not only is ecology truth, and you cannot eat
money, but collapsing ecosystems are not substitutable with technology. What to do? We need knowledge based solutions to
sustaining global ecology that are also just, equitable and enhance human dignity - not superstitious, illogical, greedy, and ignorant
responses of god's self-chosen ruling elites.
It is too late to stop the global ecology bubble from
bursting . Yet a short window exists, perhaps, to lessen the impact of the ecology bubble burst, and
provide for some manner of decent existence and potential for restoration and regeneration of a new
human/nature project post-collapse. But if we continue to do nothing, or next to nothing, the cumulative
impacts of global ecological collapse will intensify and prove to be unrecoverable, unless met with
opposing force to end the ecocidal activities surpassing ecology's limits. It is time for us to return to the land, air, water and oceans
and fight for their and our protection and restoration. Simply we must embrace ecological restoration, ecosystem protection,
industrial power down, escalating protest and a people’s power Earth Revolution. For continued shared survival the human family
must protect and restore natural ecosystems as the keystone response to biodiversity, ecosystem, climate, food, water, poverty and
rights crises. Few are doing so as rigorously as is necessary. Both the perpetrators and greenwashers of ecosystem destruction must
be confronted with a wave of people power protests for ecologically sufficient policies like ending primary forest logging, fossil fuels
and industrial agriculture. Existing non-violent, direct action protest is fine and must be enlarged, though it has not yet, nor is it likely
to be, scaled to an extent able to win on its own. We will need to further intensify our efforts to use the wide myriad of civil and
uncivil disobedience tactics known that disrupt ecocide. And if these appeals are not responded to affirmatively after 40 years of
stonewalling, we may need to escalate tactics to sabotage, carefully targeted insurgency, and as a last resort, guerrilla warfare. We
face a planetary ecological emergency. Misery and premature death from ecological collapse is all our fates unless we together and
all at once resist ecocide. If we all rush and dismantle a coal mine or old forest logging operation, and when asked who did, we
respond we all did, we will have won. To speak of sustaining ecology while pursuing anything less than the destruction and
overthrow of the industrial growth machine is greenwash and subject itself to being destroyed. The only hope for
surviving and regenerating from ecology’s burst bubble is to stop destroying ecosystems and change how
we live – including more sustainability, equity and justice. Maybe people aren’t ready for what I have to say,
but I am going to keep saying it because it is ecology truth vital for shared human and all life’s survival. At times it is hard to be heard
because I and my organization Ecological Internet refuse to sugar coat our message as we take on difficult issues with ecological
science based diagnoses and recommendations. In a world of so much hurt, pain and illness; it is outrageous to futilely cling to an
industrial consumer way of living that destroys ecology, people and all that is good and necessary to simply live. Do not wait for
others to heal yourself or your relationship with Earth. You have to start now and work harder at both, doing what your conscience
tells you is necessary, and taking full responsibility for doing so.
Collapse spurs transition which solves
Lewis, Instructor, UC-Boulder, “Global Industrial Society: The Necessary Collapse,” ON THE EDGE OF SCARSITY, ed. M.
Dobkowski & I. Walliman, Syracuse University Press, 2002, p. 25-26.
Chris H.
The First World’s failure to modernize and civilize the world should be seen not as a tragedy,
but as an opportunity. With the increasing recognition of the inability of development to resolve
the economic and political contradictions it creates, whether you call it sustainable or not,
peoples and communities will be once again forced to draw on their own cultures, histories,
religions, and intimate knowledge of their local environments to improve their lives and ensure
a “reasonable life” for their children. For most of history, successfully adapting to changing local and regional environments was the
fundamental challenge facing human societies.
The only alternative we now have is to recognize the very real, imminent collapse of global
industrial civilization. Instead of seeing this collapse as a tragedy, and trying to put “Humpty-Dumpty” back together
again, we must see it as a real opportunity to solve some of the basic economic, political, and
social problems created and exacerbated by the de velopment of global industrial civilization
since the I 600s. Instead of insisting on coordinated global actions, we should encourage selfsufficiency through
the creation of local and regional economies and trading networks (Norgaard 1994). We must help political and
economic leaders understand that the more their countries arc tied to the global economic system, the more risk there is of serious economic and political collapse.
The First World~s effort to impose the WTO and globalization on the rest of the world in the 1990s and early 2000s is a last-ditch effort to keep global industrial
civilization from unraveling. Who knows, but the recent collapse of the WT() Third Ministerial meeting in Seattle in No— vember 1999, the Jubilee 2000 movement
Indeed, we are
witnessing the increasing collapse of global industrial civ- ilization. My guess is that sometime
between 2010 and 2050 we will see its final collapse.
to cancel all Third World debt, and increasing challenges to World Bank and IMF policies might be harbingers of this global collapse.
econ decline solves war
Daniel Deudney, Hewlett Fellow in Science, Technology, and Society at the Center for Energy and Environmental Studies at
Princeton, , “Environment and Security: Muddled Thinking”, BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS, April 1991p. 27, google books,
umn-rks
Poverty Wars. In a second scenario, declining living standards first cause internal turmoil. then war. If groups at all levels of
affluence protect their standard of living by pushing deprivation on other groups class war and revolutionary upheavals could result.
Faced with these pressures, liberal democracy and free market systems could increasingly be replaced by authoritarian systems
capable of maintaining minimum order.9 If authoritarian regimes are more war-prone because they lack democratic control, and if
revolutionary regimes are warprone because of their ideological fervor and isolation, then the world is likely to become more
violent. The record of previous depressions supports the proposition that widespread economic
stagnation and unmet economic expectations contribute to international conflict. Although
initially compelling, this scenario has major flaws. One is that it is arguably based on unsound
economic theory. Wealth is formed not so much by the availability of cheap natural resources as
by capital formation through savings and more efficient production. Many resource-poor
countries, like Japan, are very wealthy, while many countries with more extensive resources are
poor. Environmental constraints require an end to economic growth based on growing use of raw materials, but not necessarily an
end to growth in the production of goods and services. In addition, economic decline does not necessarily
produce conflict. How societies respond to economic decline may largely depend upon the rate
at which such declines occur. And as people get poorer, they may become less willing to spend
scarce resources for military forces. As Bernard Brodie observed about the modein era, “The
predisposing factors to military aggression are full bellies, not empty ones.”’” The experience of
economic depressions over the last two centuries may be irrelevant, because such
depressions were characterized by under-utilized production capacity and falling resource
prices. In the 1930 increased military spending stimulated economies, but if economic growth is
retarded by environmental constraints, military spending will exacerbate the problem. Power Wars. A third
scenario is that environmental degradation might cause war by altering the relative power of states; that is, newly stronger states
may be tempted to prey upon the newly weaker ones, or weakened states may attack and lock in their positions before their power
ebbs firther. But such alterations might not lead to war as readily as the lessons of history suggest, because economic
power and military power are not as tightly coupled as in the past. The economic power positions of
Germany and Japan have changed greatly since World War 11, but these changes have not been accompanied by war or threat of
war. In the contemporary world, whole industries rise, fall, and relocate, causing substantial
fluctuations in the economic well-being of regions and peoples without producing wars. There
is no reason to believe that changes in relative wealth and power caused by the uneven impact of
environmental degradation would inevitably lead to war. Even if environmental degradation were to
destroy the basic social and economic fabric of a country or region, the impact on international order
may not be very great. Among the first casualties in such country would be the capacity to
wage war. The poor and wretched of the earth may be able to deny an outside aggressor an easy conquest, but they
are themselves a minimal threat to other states. Contemporary offensive military operations
require complex organizational skills, specialized industrial products and surplus wealth.
2NC
Rejection opens up space for alternatives
Burke, School of Political Science and International Studies, University of Queensland 2002 [Anthony, Aporias of Security,
Alternatives 27]
It is perhaps easy to become despondent, but as countless struggles for freedom, justice, and social transformation
have proved, a sense of seriousness can be tempered with the knowledge that many tools are already available—and
where they are not, the effort to create a productive new critical sensibility is well advanced. There is also a
crucial political opening within the liberal problematic itself, in the sense that it assumes
that power is most effective when it is absorbed as truth, consented to and desired—
which creates an important space for refusal. As Colin Gordon argues, Foucault thought that the
very possibility of governing was conditional on it being credible to the governed as
well as the governing. This throws weight onto the question of how security works as
a technology of subjectivity. It is to take up Foucault's challenge, framed as a reversal of the
liberal progressive movement of being we have seen in Hegel, not to discover who or what we are so
much as to refuse what we are. Just as security rules subjectivity as both a totalizing
and individualizing blackmail and promise, it is at these levels that we can intervene.
We can critique the machinic frameworks of possibility represented by law, policy,
economic regulation, and diplomacy, while challenging the way these institutions
deploy language to draw individual subjects into their consensual web. This
suggests, at least provisionally, a dual strategy. The first asserts the space for agency, both
in challenging available possibilities for being and their larger socioeconomic
implications. Roland Bleiker formulates an idea of agency that shifts away from the lone (male)
hero overthrowing the social order in a decisive act of rebellion to one that
understands both the thickness of social power and its "fissures," "fragmentation,"
and "thinness." We must, he says, "observe how an individual may be able to escape the
discursive order and influence its shifting boundaries. ... By doing so, discursive
terrains of dissent all of a sudden appear where forces of domination previously
seemed invincible." Pushing beyond security requires tactics that can work at many-levels—
that empower individuals to recognize the larger social, cultural, and economic
implications of the everyday forms of desire, subjection, and discipline they
encounter, to challenge and rewrite them, and that in turn contribute to collective
efforts to transform the larger structures of being, exchange, and power that sustain
(and have been sustained by) these forms. As Derrida suggests, this is to open up aporetic
possibilities that transgress and call into question the boundaries of the self, society,
and the international that security seeks to imagine and police. The second seeks
new ethical principles based on a critique of the rigid and repressive forms of identity
that security has heretofore offered. Thus writers such as Rosalyn Diprose, William Connolly, and Moira
Gatens have sought to imagine a new ethical relationship that thinks difference not on the
basis of the same but on the basis of a dialogue with the other that might, allow space
for the unknown and unfamiliar, for a "debate and engagement with the other's law
and the other's ethics"—an encounter that involves a transformation of the self rather
than the other. Thus while the sweep and power of security must be acknowledged, it
must also be refused: at the simultaneous levels of individual identity, social order,
and macroeconomic possibility, it would entail another kind of work on "ourselves"—a political
refusal of the One, the imagination of an other that never returns to the same. It would
be to ask if there is a world after security, and what its shimmering possibilities might
be.
Method comes first
Smith ‘96
[Steve, Professor of International Politics at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, “Positivism and Beyond,” International theory: Positivism
and beyond, New York: Cambridge University Press, 12-1 3]
The stakes are high in such a debate. This much is clear from the way that mainstream theorists have responded to the
rise of the approaches that Lapid groups together as post-positivist (and which I above called ‘critical theories’). One
particularly important response has been that of Robert Keohane, who, in his Presidential Address to the International
Studies Association in 1988, spoke of the need to evaluate the rival research paradigms of rationalist (i.e. traditional
neo-realism and neo-liberalism) and reflective 9i.e. what I termed ‘critial’) approaches in terms of their testable
theories, without which ‘they will remain on the margins of the filed ... [since] it will be impossible to evaluate their
research program’ (1989, pp. 173-4). As is noted below, this form of response reveals the dominance of positivism,
since Keohane issues the challenge on ground that are themselves positivist. Thus, positivism is precisely what is at
issue in what Lapid calls the third debate because of its role in underpinning theory, and ultimately, serving as the
criterion for judgin between theory. Crucially, Keohane’s criterion for judging between rationalist and reflective
theories takes place on criteria that not only favor rtaionalism, but, more importantly, are exactly the criteria that
reflective accounts are attacking. But note that a failure to come up to the (positivist) mark will result in reflective
work being confined to questions as to what counts as knowledge but also involve the standing of theories and
theorists within academia. All of this makes it very important to be clear as to how positivism operates in international
theory, and to show how it is seen not merely as one explicit alternative among many but rather as the implicit ‘gold
standard’ against which all approaches are evaluated. But the stakes are also high because of the
links between theory and practice. International theory underpins and informs
international practice, even if there is a lengthy lag between the high- point of
theories and their gradual absorption into political debate. Once established as
common sense, theories become incredibly powerful since they delineate not simply
what can be known but also what it is sensible to talk about or suggest. Those who swim
outside these safe waters risk more than simply the judgement that their theories are wrong; their entire ethical or
moral stance may be ridiculed or seen as dangerous iust because their theoretical assumptions are deemed as
unrealistic. Defining common sense is therefore the ultimate act of political power. In this
sense what is at stake in debates about epistemology is very significant for political
practice. Theories do not simply explain or predict, they tell us what possibilities exist
for human action and intervention they define not merely our explanatory possibilities
but also our ethical and practical horizons. In this Kantian light epistemology matters, and
the stakes are far more considerable than at first sight seem to be the case.
It’s legit to reject bad theory… policy based on false assumptions is disastrous in
unpredictable ways
James 05
(Harold, “Empire and Its Alternatives,” Annual Review of Political Science, June, Vol. 8: 23-48)
How Theory Can Aid Policy (in Theory)
Although many policy makers dismiss academic theorizing and many academics criticize the actions of government
officials, theory and policy are inextricably linked. Each day, policy makers must try to
figure out which events merit attention and which items or issues can be ignored, and
they must select objectives and choose policy instruments that will achieve them.
Whether correct or not, they do this on the basis of some sort of theory.¶ Furthermore, policy
debates in both domestic and foreign affairs often hinge on competing theoretical
claims, and each participant believes his or her preferred policy option will produce the desired result. For example,
competing prescriptions for halting the ethnic conflicts in Bosnia and Kosovo rested in part on different theories about
the underlying causes of these wars. Those who favored intervening to establish a multiethnic democracy in Bosnia
(and Kosovo) tended to blame the fighting on the machinations of autocratic leaders such as Slobodan Milosevic,
whereas those who favored ethnic partition blamed the conflict on a security dilemma created by intermingled
populations (cf. Kaufmann 1996, Stedman 1997, Sambanis 2000). More recently, the debate over war against Iraq
hinged in part on competing factual claims (did Iraq have weapons of mass destruction or not?) but also on competing
forecasts about the long-term effects of the war. Advocates believed war would lead to a rapid victory, encourage
neighboring regimes to “bandwagon” with the United States, hasten the spread of democracy in the region, and
ultimately undermine support for Islamic terrorism. Their opponents argued that the war would have exactly the
opposite effects (Sifry & Cerf 2003), and these disagreements arose in part because of fundamentally different views
about the basic dynamics of interstate relations.¶ History also shows that bad theories can lead
directly to foreign policy disasters. Prior to World War I, for example, Admiral Von Tirpitz's infamous “risk
theory” argued that German acquisition of a large battle fleet would threaten British naval supremacy and deter Great
Britain from opposing German dominance of the continent; in fact, the building of the fleet merely accelerated Britain's
alignment with Germany's continental opponents (Kennedy 1983). During the Cold War, Soviet policy in
the Third World was justified by Marxist claims that the developing world was
evolving in a socialist direction, and that this evolution would naturally incline these
states to ally with the USSR. This theory of cooperation was flawed on both counts,
which helps explain why Soviet efforts to build influence in the developing world were costly and disappointing
(Rubinstein 1990). Similarly, U.S. intervention in Indochina and Central America was justified
in part by the so-called domino theory, even though the logic and evidence
supporting the theory were dubious at best (Slater 1987, 1993–1994). All of these examples
show how bad IR theories can lead policy makers astray.
Securitization causes us to lurch from one constructed threat to another while
ignoring real issues- this causes extinction
Carafano 9 (Mar 5, 2009 6:50 PM., Moderator James Jay Carafano, Ph.D., is Senior Research Fellow for National
Security and Homeland Security in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Pol-icy Studies, a division of
the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute for International Studies)
Trying to keep America safe, free, and prosperous by picking the next danger of the day—is
just plain stupid. The right answer is to focus on building a nation that is strong and competitive—and then we’ll be able to out run, out compete, out fight, and out last
anything that comes along. Lemming Security Washington wants to worry about the danger of the day competing with China, taming Iraq, reacting to Russia, reassuring skittish global
financial markets. Sure, the next president will need to deal with these. But if the White House sets
its national security priorities by lurching from one crisis to the next, there will be no
priorities beyond the morning headlines on CNN . On the flip side, some in Washington
want to pick which problems to address and ignore others (usually the ones they pick are the
ones that best fit their ideology…and their answer to meeting the preferred challenges turn out to be exactly how they
want to handle the threat and cost exactly what they are willing to spend). This amounts to playing
Russian roulette with national security. We have done this through out our history….and we often lose (remember The Maine, Pearl Harbor, Just Cause, Desert Storm,
and 9/11 to name a few occasions when we wound-up fighting enemies at times and places we did not expect). Washington whipsaws back and
forth between Manichean extremes (worrying about today’s headlines or fixating on
watching out for burglars while the house is on fire). It is just idiotic to sit in Washington and try to play Nostradamus. We
Have Met the Enemy In short, the real danger is us. The greatest proliferation threat to human
existence is not weapons of mass destruction, but policymakers
with mass disruption on their mind - officials
who would label every matter , from avoiding bird flu to procuring fresh water, a “national security” issue . To make
matters more confusing, international organizations such as the United Nations have created terms such as “human security,” arguing for a collective responsibility to keep people free from
want and fear. The problem with that approach is the tendency, in dealing with security interests, to centralize power and decision-making and restrain individual freedoms and free markets.
The
concept of national security needs to be put back in the box, reserved for moments of peril in dealing with people
It also justifies military solutions for everything from dealing with AIDS to oil. Making every global challenge a security issue trumps free markets and limits personal freedoms.
(either states or non-states) who threaten through the use of violence to take away the political freedoms that governments are supposed to protect. We need to put an end to national-
Rather than fixating on threats we ought to be focusing on
expanding our capacity to keep the nation safe, free, and prosperous regardless of the
enemies that rise up against us. What would we should be asking ourselves is what we can do to advance that agenda. The answer to that question is easy. First, focus on the
security proliferation. "Real" Security
instruments of national power. They all have to be strong from defense to diplomacy. They must be multi-faceted too—able to tackle enemy states and the enemy within. Yes, great powers
need to able to “walk and chew gum” at the same time, dealing with different threats in different places. Second, we need to keep the nation strong. Unless Washington adopts an
unashamedly pro-competitive agenda in the near term, America will cease to be a first-rate global competitor in the long term. Not even the most competitive liberal democracy can hope to
overcome a government that works against the best interests of its citizens. It would be like world-class sprinters who tie their own shoelaces together. Sustaining America's competitive edge
is a vital part of ensuring a successful national security. Nobody respects a loser. Promoting free trade, educating the U.S. workforce, unshackling innovation, and investment are key to
keeping this a nation a force to be reckoned with. As long as we remain free, safe, and prosperous we will able to outrun any state or non-state threat and…. ....we won’t have to waste our
time answering stupid questions. Opposing view: CAP Argument Rebuttal to Opening Arguments: Priorities for National Security I think the Nina Hachigian post is a great example of exactly
the wrong approach to take national security. As a way of rebuttal, I would say, "read my post." I did not know what Nina was going to write when I drafted my comments, but my comments
were directed at refuting exactly the kinds of things she proposes—treating every world problem as a national security issue.
I am not suggesting that we ignore climate change, poverty,
There are concrete steps to address
global issues like these including: Poverty, corruption, and lack of civil society.
pandemics, or any other global issues. I am just arguing let us not treat them as national security problems.
Predictions fail—complex systems prove
Overcoming Our Aversion to Acknowledging Our Ignorance by Dan Gardner and Philip Tetlock 11 Lead Essay July
11th, 2011 http://www.cato-unbound.org/2011/07/11/dan-gardner-and-philip-tetlock/overcoming-our-aversionto-acknowledging-our-ignorance/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+catounbound+%28Cato+Unbound%29
But only to some extent, unfortunately. Natural science has discovered in the past half-century that the dream of evergrowing predictive mastery of a deterministic universe may well be just that, a dream. There increasingly
appear to be fundamental limits to what we can ever hope to predict. Take the earthquake
in Japan. Once upon a time, scientists were confident that as their understanding of
geology advanced, so would their ability to predict such disasters. No longer. As with
so many natural phenomena, earthquakes are the product of what scientists call
“complex systems,” or systems which are more than the sum of their parts. Complex
systems are often stable not because there is nothing going on within them but
because they contain many dynamic forces pushing against each other in just the
right combination to keep everything in place. The stability produced by these
interlocking forces can often withstand shocks but even a tiny change in some
internal conditional at just the right spot and just the right moment can throw off the
internal forces just enough to destabilize the system—and the ground beneath our
feet that has been so stable for so long suddenly buckles and heaves in the violent
spasm we call an earthquake. Barring new insights that shatter existing paradigms, it will forever be
impossible to make time-and-place predictions in such complex systems. The best we can hope to do is get a sense of
the probabilities involved. And even that is a tall order. Human systems like economies are complex
systems, with all that entails. And bear in mind that human systems are not made of sand,
rock, snowflakes, and the other stuff that behaves so unpredictably in natural
systems. They’re made of people: self-aware beings who see, think, talk, and attempt to predict each other’s
behavior—and who are continually adapting to each other’s efforts to predict each other’s behavior, adding layer after
layer of new calculations and new complexity. All this adds new barriers to accurate prediction.
When governments the world over were surprised by this year’s events in the Middle East, accusing fingers were
pointed at intelligence agencies. Why hadn’t they seen it coming? “We are not clairvoyant,” James R. Clapper Jr,
director of national intelligence, told a hearing of the House intelligence committee. Analysts were well aware that
forces capable of generating unrest were present in Tunisia, Egypt, and elsewhere. They said so often. But those forces
had been present for years, even decades. “Specific triggers for how and when instability would
lead to the collapse of various regimes cannot always be known or predicted,” Clapper
said. That is a considerable understatement. Remember that it was a single suicidal protest by a lone
Tunisian fruit seller that set off the tumult, just as an infinitesimal shift can apparently
precipitate an earthquake. But even after the unrest had begun, predicting what would
follow and how it would conclude was a fool’s errand because events were
contingent on the choices of millions of people, and those choices were contingent
on perceptions that could and did change constantly. Say you’re an Egyptian. You’re in Cairo. You
want to go to the protest but you’re afraid. If you go and others don’t, the protest will fail. You may be arrested and
tortured. But if everyone goes, you will have safety in numbers and be much likelier to win the day. Perhaps. It’s also
possible that a massive turnout will make the government desperate enough to order soldiers to open fire. Which the
soldiers may or may not do, depending in part on whether they perceive the government or the protestors to have the
upper hand. In this atmosphere, rumors and emotions surge through the population like electric charges. Excitement
gives way to terror in an instant. Despair to hope. And back again. What will people do? How will the government
react? Nothing is certain until it happens. And then many pundits declare whatever happened was inevitable. Indeed,
they saw it coming all along, or so they believe in hindsight. So we are not blind but there are serious limits to how far
we can see. Weather forecasting is a useful model to keep in mind. We joke about weather forecasters but they have
some good mental habits we should all practice: making explicit predictions and revising them in response to clear
timely feedback. The net result is that weather forecasters are one of the best calibrated of all professional groups
studied—up there with professional bridge players. They have a good sense for what they do and do not know. But
well calibrated does not mean omniscient. As weather forecasters well know, their accuracy extends out only a few
days. Three or four days out, they are less accurate. Beyond a week, you might as well flip a coin. As scientists learn
more about weather, and computing power and sophistication grow, this forecasting horizon may be pushed out
somewhat, but there will always be a point beyond which meteorologists cannot see, even in theory. We call this
phenomenon the diminishing marginal predictive returns of knowledge. In political and economic forecasting, we reach
the inflection point surprisingly quickly. It lies in the vicinity of attentive readers of high-quality news outlets, such as
The Economist. The predictive value added of Ph.Ds, tenured professorships and Nobel Prizes is not zero but it is
disconcertingly close to zero. So we should be suspicious of pundits waving credentials and
adopt the old trust-but-verify mantra: test the accuracy of forecasts and continually be on the lookout for new
methods that improve results. We must also accept that even if we were to do this on a grand
scale, and our forecasts were to become as accurate as we can possibly make them,
there would still be failure, uncertainty, and surprise. And The World In Whatever-The-Next-Year-Is
would continue to look quite different from the world in whatever the next year is.
First, scenario planning is worthless – any action can have disastrous
consequences, but the aff’s claims are remote and disprove by years of history
Hanson, 05 [Sven Ove - Professor of Philosophy and History at the Royal Institute of Technology, “The Epistemology of Technological
Risk,” Volume 9, Winter 2005] http://scholar.lib.vt.edu/ejournals/SPT/v9n2/hansson.html
However, it would not be feasible to take such possibilities into account in all decisions that we make. In a sense, any decision may
have catastrophic unforeseen consequences. If far-reaching indirect effects are taken into account, then – given the unpredictable
nature of actual causation – almost any decision may lead to a disaster. In order to be able to decide and act, we therefore have to
disregard many of the more remote possibilities. Cases can also easily be found in which it was an advantage that far-fetched
dangers were not taken seriously. One case in point is the false alarm on so-called polywater, an alleged polymeric form of water. In
1969, the prestigious scientific journal Nature printed a letter that warned against producing polywater. The substance might "grow
at the expense of normal water under any conditions found in the environment," thus replacing all natural water on earth and
destroying all life on this planet. (Donahoe 1969 ) Soon afterwards, it was shown that polywater is a non-existent entity. If the
warning had been heeded, then no attempts would had been made to replicate the polywater experiments, and we might still not
have known that polywater does not exist. In cases like this, appeals to the possibility of unknown dangers may stop investigations
and thus prevent scientific and technological progress. We therefore need criteria to determine when the possibility of unknown
dangers should be taken seriously and when it can be neglected. This problem cannot be solved with probability calculus or other
exact mathematical methods. The best that we can hope for is a set of informal criteria that can be used to support intuitive
judgement. The following list of four criteria has been proposed for this purpose. (Hansson 1996) 1. Asymmetry of uncertainty:
Possibly, a decision to build a second bridge between Sweden and Denmark will lead through some unforeseeable causal chain to a
nuclear war. Possibly, it is the other way around so that a decision not to build such a bridge will lead to a nuclear war. We have no
reason why one or the other of these two causal chains should be more probable, or otherwise more worthy of our attention, than
the other. On the other hand, the introduction of a new species of earthworm is connected with much more uncertainty than the
option not to introduce the new species. Such asymmetry is a necessary but insufficient condition for taking the issue of unknown
dangers into serious consideration. 2. Novelty: Unknown dangers come mainly from new and untested phenomena. The emission of
a new substance into the stratosphere constitutes a qualitative novelty, whereas the construction of a new bridge does not. An
interesting example of the novelty factor can be found in particle physics. Before new and more powerful particle accelerators have
been built, physicists have sometimes feared that the new levels of energy might generate a new phase of matter that accretes
every atom of the earth. The decision to regard these and similar fears as groundless has been based on observations showing that
the earth is already under constant bombardment from outer space of particles with the same or higher energies. (Ruthen 1993) 3.
Spatial and temporal limitations: If the effects of a proposed measure are known to be limited in space or time, then these
limitations reduce the urgency of the possible unknown effects associated with the measure. The absence of such limitations
contributes to the severity of many ecological problems, such as global emissions and the spread of chemically stable pesticides. 4.
Interference with complex systems in balance: Complex systems such as ecosystems and the atmospheric system are known to have
reached some type of balance, which may be impossible to restore after a major disturbance. Due to this irreversibility, uncontrolled
interference with such systems is connected with a high degree of uncertainty. (Arguably, the same can be said of uncontrolled
interference with economic systems; this is an argument for piecemeal rather than drastic economic reforms.) It might be argued
that we do not know that these systems can resist even minor perturbations. If causation is chaotic, then for all that we know, a
minor modification of the liturgy of the Church of England may trigger a major ecological disaster in Africa. If we assume that all
cause-effect relationships are chaotic, then the very idea of planning and taking precautions seems to lose its meaning. However,
such a world-view would leave us entirely without guidance, even in situations when we consider ourselves well-informed.
Fortunately, experience does not bear out this pessimistic worldview. Accumulated experience and theoretical reflection strongly
indicate that certain types of influences on ecological systems can be withstood, whereas others cannot. The same applies to
technological, economic, social, and political systems, although our knowledge about their resilience towards various disturbances
has not been sufficiently systematized.
They can’t “take back” their speech act- operating outside security is key
Trombetta 8 (Maria Julia Trombetta, (Delft University of Technology, postdoctoral researcher at the department of
Economics of Infrastructures) 3/19/08 http://archive.sgir.eu/uploads/Trombettathe_securitization_of_the_environment_and_the_transformation_of_security.pdf
This is problematic for the School, which argues that “ transcending a security problem by
politicising it cannot happen through thematization in security terms, only away from
such terms .”(Wæver 1995: 56) For the School, once the enemy logic has been inscribed in a
context, it is very difficult to return to an open debate.
Nevertheless the various politicizations of environmental issues that
followed the appeal to security – those the CopS dismissed as failed securitizations - seem to reinforce the argument, suggested by Edkins, that there is a tendency to politicize issues through
their securitization. (Edkins 1999: 11) This represents another signal that securitization, within the environmental sector, can take a different form, and that the problematic aspects of evoking
security are not so evident. Securitization theory, for the CopS, is meant to be descriptive, however the environmental sector suggests that some of its aspects prevent it from providing an
adequate instrument for analysis. To understand why this occurs, it is necessary to explore in more detail the conceptualization of security by Wæver, who has introduced securitization within
the School and is the strongest opponent of any attempt to securitize the environment. Wæver’s formulation of securitization is influenced by what is called a generic interpretation of
language. (Huysmans 2002: 45) This approach suggests that the meaning of a word is captured not by looking at its definition but by analysing its common use and the practices that it
produces.13[13] In Wæver’s words, “from a study of the discursive practices using the concept of security it is argued, that there is a particular logic of security.” Accordingly, he suggests
“distilling this definite usage of the concept of security from security practice.”(Wæver 1997: 361) This approach could be very receptive to the transformations in the use of words and
emphasises the transformative potential of discourses. However, this does not seem to be the case with securitization. The following analysis will show how a static and de-contextualised
understanding of speech acts contributes to justifying this assumption. Wæver’s understanding of speech acts is based, as noted earlier, on the philosophy of language of Austin. However,
Wæver’s reading of Austin is influenced by Derrida’s interpretation14[14]. To clarify the point it is necessary to note that Austin’s work has suggested two interpretations. The first one, largely
based on Searle’s work, argues that performative communication is the communication of an intentional meaning: “understanding the utterance consists in recognizing the illocutionary
intentions of the author” (Searle 1977: 202) and “these intentions may be more or less perfectly realised by the words uttered” (Searle 1977: 202). The second tradition is that of continental
philosophy whose position is clearly expressed by Derrida, who cannot accept Searle’s assumptions on communication and intentionality. Derrida in “Signature Event Context,”(1982) an essay
on Austin’s speech act theory, recognizes in Austin the great merit of challenging the traditional theory of communication, opening it up “to what is other than the transmission of thoughtcontent.”(Payne 1995: 9) and accordingly outlining the capability of words of establishing meanings that are not yet in the context, transforming the latter beyond the intention of the speaker.
The problem, for Derrida, is that Austin fails to live up to his initial promise, since he still demands “the conscious presence of the intention of the speaking subject” as well as “an exhaustive
As a result, “performative communication remains the communication of an
intentional meaning, even if this meaning has no referent in the form of a prior or exterior thing or state of things.”
(Payne, 1995: 9) For Derrida, on the contrary, a performative can be successful independently
determinable context.” (Derrida 1982: 322)
from the intention and presence of the speaker. It just needs to conform to a
repeatable model . To Austin’s contextualised understanding of
13[13] “In this
approach, the meaning of a concept lies in its usage and is not something we can define
analytically or philosophically according to what would be ‘best’ ” (Buzan et al., 1998: 24). 14[14]
See Ceyhan, 1998. performative, Derrida “opposes … the irreducible absence of intention which is inescapable in all
language.”(Payne, 1995: 9) For Waever “A speech act is interesting exactly because it holds the insurrecting potential to break the ordinary, to establish meaning that is not already in the
context” (Wæver, 2000: 286, fn7). Wæver, following Derrida, believes that
the intention of the speaker and the contextual
analysis are irrelevant ( see Ceyhan 1998: 7) since security is a self-referential practice . In
other words, the meaning of security held by the speakers (national security or common security) and
their intentions (militarising the environment or promoting emancipation) drop out of the picture, the
only relevant aspect being the practices (exceptional measures, breaking of the
rules, agonistic perspectives) associated with the realist logic of security and
brought into presence by a felicitous performative: securitization .
As a result of de-contextualizing the
analysis and ignoring the intentions of the speaker, the meaning of security needs to be fixed and itereable, independently from the context, because it cannot change and be specified
according to the context in which it is to be used. In this way, a set of specific practices becomes the yardstick to identify what security is within different sectors and for different actors. On
recognising that the speakers, or writers cannot control the
meaning of their utterance. The origin of every speech act can only be more or less
anonymous societies, and their results are, to some extent, unpredictable.15[15] Securitization is
the one hand, Waever, following Derrida, has the great merit of
not only about the strategic use of the word security and the success of securitization moves are uncertain and unpredictable. On the other hand, Waever, seems to limit the unpredictability
of securitization to its success, since he seems to assume that to make communication possible, if context and intention are irrelevant, meaning should be fixed and iterable. However, even if
signification is possible only through iteration, iterability “supposes a minimal remainder…in order that the identity of the selfsame be repeatable and identifiable in, through and even in view
of its alteration.” (Derrida, quoted in Zehfuss 2002: 200) Waever is aware that the logic of security he has described refers to a specific disciplinary discourse and tradition and he has shown
that
securitization depicts the national security paradigm that emerged after the Second World War (Wæver
2002), capturing a concept that “radically transformed ‘security’ by marrying it to the homeless concept with no name:
Raison d’état.”(Wæver 2002: 44). Nevertheless, Waever has provided a mechanism that essentializes
a set of security practices, perpetuating the logic of national security and the
understanding of the political that lays
15[15] In this way Waever can explain,
for instance, the paradoxical effects that turn the attempts to transform and green security into militarization of the
environment. bbehind it.
Perm leaves fundamental assumptions unchallenged and wards off critique
Burke 7 (Anthony Burke, Senior Lecturer @ School of Politics & IR @ Univ. of New South Wales, ‘7 [Beyond
Security, Ethics and Violence, p. 231-2]
However, the reasons for pursuing a critical analysis relate not only to the most
destructive or controversial approaches, such as the war in Iraq, but also to their
available (and generally preferable) alternatives . There is a necessity to question not
merely extremist versions such as the Bush doctrine, Indonesian militarism or Israeli
expansionism, but also their mainstream critiques - whether they take the form of
liberal policy approaches in international relations (IR), just war theory, US realism,
optimistic accounts of globalisation, rhetorics of sensitivity to cultural difference, or
centrist Israeli security discourses based on territorial compromise with the
Palestinians. The surface appearance of lively (and often significant) debate masks a
deeper agreement about major concepts , forms of political identity and the
imperative to secure them . Debates about when and how it may be effective and
legitimate to use military force in tandem with other policy options, for example, mask
a more fundamental discursive consensus about the meaning of security, the
effectiveness of strategic power, the nature of progress, the value of freedom or the
promises of national and cultural identity. As a result, political and intellectual
debate about insecurity, violent conflict and global injustice can become hostage to
a claustrophic structure of political and ethical possibility that systematically wards
off critique.
***
Displacement DA: The perm only trades one form of securitization for
another—also leaves underlying assumption unchallenged
Ronnie D. Lipschutz 2-k, Associate Prof at UC-Santa Cruz, “The Insecurity Dilemma,” AFTER AUTHORITY, State
University of New York Press: Albany, 2000,, page 56-7.
Finally, we might ask why "redefine security?" Who advocates such an idea? During the 1980s, at the time
this argument was first made (Ullman, 1983; Mathews, 1989), the individuals comprising this group were an
amorphous lot, lacking an integrated institutional base or intellectual framework (a situation that has slowly changed
during the 1990s). Most tended to see consensual definitions and dominant discourses of security as failing to properly
perceive or understand the objective threat environment, but they did not question the logic whereby
threats and security were defined. In other words, the redefiners pro-posed that the "real"
threats to security were different from those that policymakers and defense
authorities were generally concerned about, but that the threats were "really out
there." The redefiners argued further that the failure to recognize real threats could have two serious
consequences: First, it might underminine state legitimacy, inasmuch as a national defense that did not serve to
protect or enhance the general welfare (which is what "security" often comes to mean) would lose public support.
Second, it would repro-duce a response system whose costs would increasingly outweigh benefits. At the same time,
however, the redefiners did not propose a shift away from state-based conceptions of
security; rather, their arguments sought to buttress eroding state authority by
delineating new realms for state action . Thus, for example, discussions of "environmental
security" focused on the need for governments to establish themselves as
meaningful actors in environmental protection as it related to state maintenance. This
would mean establishing a sovereignty claim in a realm heretofore unoccupied, and
defining that realm as critical in security terms.23
Profiteers of the drug war use Mexican failed state imagery to continuously
create enemies and maintain violence
Todd
Schack Aug 11
(Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism at Ithaca College, PhD in Media Studies from the University of Colorado; “Twentyfirst-century drug warriors: the press, privateers and the for-profit waging of the war on drugs,” Media, War & Conflict, Vol. 4 No. 2,
pg. 142-161, Sage Journals)
Here we come to the heart of the matter: the media
hype, hyperbole and moral panic have actual
consequences , and it is worthwhile asking the cui bono question: who, exactly, is benefitting, because there are billions of
dollars at stake, and the question of funding or not funding certain contracts explains more about what’s really happening than all
the sensational reports based on exaggeration, un-sourced claims, and lack of statistics. Crucial to understanding this question of
funding is one final point: that politicians in favor of the militarized response to the ‘drug war’ (which includes privatizing the effort)
must hold at all times the simultaneously contradictory position that, while the problem is worse than ever, they are actually
succeeding in their goals. Carlsen (2009: 1) points out that: Through late February and early March, a blitzkrieg of declarations
from U.S. government and military officials and pundits hit the media, claiming that Mexico was
alternately at risk of being a ‘Failed State,’ a ‘Narco-state’, on the verge of ‘Civil War’, and as posing a
direct threat to US National Security through ‘spill-over’ … In the same breath, we’re told that President Calderon
with the aid of the US Government is winning the war on drugs, significantly weakening organized crime,
and restoring order and legality. None of these claims are true. In fact, this rhetorical double-bind is not only
stock-in-trade for the entire drug control establishment, and has been for years, but is familiar to a variety of
what Howard S Becker (1963: 157) famously termed ‘moral entrepreneurs’: Enforcement organizations, particularly when they are
seeking funds, typically oscillate between two kinds of claims. First, they say that by reason of their efforts the problem they deal
with is approaching solution. But, in the same breath, they say the problem is perhaps worse than ever (though through no fault of
their own) and requires renewed and increased effort to keep it under control. This rhetorical situation has defined the war on drugs
since at least Nixon, and the enforcement organizations – the drug control establishment – have grown into what Reeves and
Campbell (1994) call the ‘narco-carceral complex’ which, with the rise of privatization, has become the for-profit industrialization of
the drug war. In other words, there
is nothing new regarding the rhetorical situation whereby this
industry justifies itself, only pages taken out of a well-worn playbook and applied to the newest chapter in the continuing
saga that is the drug war. What is new, however, is the fact that the private security contractors stand to benefit most – and that is
precisely the point of this article: The motivations behind the recent hype vary. Alarmist cries of
a Mexican collapse
help clinch the passage of measures to further militarize the southern border and obtain juicy
contracts for private defense and security firms. Local politicians are finding they can be a cash cow for federal
aid. (Carlsen, 2009: 2) So too are the five firms who won the $15 billion dollar Pentagon contract in 2007, and aiding the effort was
every breathless, over-hyped report of Mexico as a ‘failed state’, or of ‘spill-over’ violence, reports that are especially useful during
yearly funding cycles, as happened in 2009: The formation
of local, state and national budgets at the beginning of the year
provides an opportunity for politicians to exaggerate the threat posed by Mexican drug cartels
and thereby receive more funding for local police forces … Indeed, Texas Homeland Security Director Steve McCraw
stressed that the spillover had already occurred in asking state lawmakers to approve a $135 million increase in funding requested
by Texas Governor Rick Perry. (Arana, 2009) Therefore this is not simply a matter of press hype and sensationalism – if it were it
would be a matter of cultural relevance perhaps, but not political and economic. Using Becker’s term ‘moral entrepreneurs’, Reeves
and Campbell (1994: 150) write that this
synergy between the press and those who profit from a crisis is
a well-established tactic in war profiteering: In the political economy of drug control,
journalism is a market force that often raises the stock of moral entrepreneurs who profit from escalations in the war on
drugs … Like the merchants of war devoted to perpetuating the power of the military-industrial complex, the moral
entrepreneurs … – and their journalistic comrades – are in the hysteria business. This is precisely where moral panic
theory and the concept of disaster capitalism converge, in the advancing of the three aligning interests: the press, which is
perpetuating – and profiting from – the notion that the situation is at ‘crisis’ levels; the private security contracting industry, which is
financially self-interested in perpetuating the ‘crisis’; and government, which is seeking methods of absolving itself from public
accountability for carrying out unpopular policy, and plausible deniability for when things go wrong. What is crucial, and what moral
panics have proved to be so proficient at doing,
is the creation and maintenance of
the notion of
‘crisis’,
and the creation of an inextinguishable source of renewable enemies that justify
the existence of these moral entrepreneurs-turned-industrialists.
Writing about the crack
cocaine scare in the 1980s, but relevant here, Reeves and Campbell (1994: 20) conclude that: Consequently, with
nothing to
gain and everything to lose from declaring a victory in the war on drugs, the drug control
establishment’s networks of power, knowledge, and discipline have a vested interest in
maintaining a perpetual sense of urgency, even a sense of hysteria, about cocaine pollution. It is in this way that
the increasing use of private contractors, and the re-conceptualization of the wars on terror and drugs as for-profit endeavors can be
likened to an addiction: ‘Our military outsourcing has become an addiction, and we’re headed straight for a crash’ (Singer, 2007). It
is an addiction of policy that – if recent history in Colombia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Mexico are any guide – will result in
impunity, plausible deniability, will make the 21st-century drug warriors very wealthy, and will not in any measurable manner result
in gains made against the global flow of drugs.
Discourse of economic catastrophe is a self-fulfilling prophecy
Ferguson 9 ( 'There will be blood' Harvard economic historian Niall Ferguson predicts prolonged financial hardship,
even civil war, before the ‘Great Recession' ends HEATHER SCOFFIELD Globe and Mail Update February 23, 2009
at 6:45 PM PURPLE
Niall Ferguson: “One possibility is that they don't believe these numbers either. They feel that it's good for morale.
The truth about the crisis is that it is in large measure psychological. We're not
dealing here with mathematics. We're not dealing here with human beings as
calculating machines. We're dealing with real people whose emotions influence their
individual decisions, and the swing from greed to fear is a very spectacular thing
when it happens on this scale . “One possibility is that policy makers are lying in order to
encourage people and prevent depression from become a self-fulfilling
psychological conditions . That's why it's called a depression … Maybe they don't really
believe this, but they're saying it in order to cheer people up, and if they're sufficiently consistent, perhaps people will
start to believe it, and then it will magically happen.” Niall “The other way of looking at that is to say every time a
politician uses a word like ‘catastrophe' or ‘depression' to pressurize legislators into
passing a stimulus package, for example, the signal goes out to the public that this is
bad. And it gets worse . That's one of the interesting things that both President Bush and President Obama
have done. Bush used that wonderful phrase, “this sucker's going down.” Obama talks about
catastrophe at the critical moment when he wanted Congress to pass the package. It reminds me of a
wonderful headline that the Onion had last year, in about October. The headline was,
Bush calls for panic . I love it because it completely called the situation. There he was
calling for panic ... to make people come out of denial. I've been talking a while about this being the Great Repression.
It took ages, ages, for people to realize this thing had fallen apart. “August, 2007, was when this crisis began. And if
you were really watching the markets carefully, April is when it began, when the various hedge funds started to
hemorrhage. The stock markets carried on until October of that year. And in many ways, consumer behaviour in the
U.S. did not change until the third quarter of 2008. So there was a massive denial problem. It was like Wile E. Coyote
running off a cliff, and they'd run off a cliff and they didn't look down so they didn't start falling. As soon as people
realized it was bad, the behaviour switched. Now, people have to try to unscare them before this
thing becomes a self-perpetuating downward spiral. I think that's why you have to say ‘growth will
return in 2010' with your fingers crossed behind your back.”
Alliances are instruments of security – contradictory responses to constructed
threats
Dillon And Reid 2000 (PHD; researches the problematisation of politics, security and war & PhD in Politics (Michael
And Dillon, “Global Governance, Liberal Peace, and Complex Emerge” Alternatives: Local, Global, Political Vol. 25 Issue 1 Jan-Mar
2000 JSTOR http://www.jstor.org/stable/40644986)
Emerging political complexes in Africa and Eurasia have therefore become the "strange
attractors" around which novel security-development alliances of states, international
organiza- tions, international nongovernmental organizations, and local nongovernmental
organizations have formed within the domain of liberal peace and at the interface of its
turbulent border ter- rain.9 Global liberal governance thus responds to the turbulence of emerging political
complexes by forming its own emerging strategic complexes as a means of dealing with the instances of violence that the
densely mediated polities of the West periodi-cally find unacceptable there, or in response to the security threats that they
are generally said to pose. The resultant assem-blages are often coalitions of the willing, the accidental, and the ready to
hand. Their
formation and intervention are selective, in-fluenced by media attention, and by
economic and geostrategic interests at least as much as by the calculation or anticipation of
need. Such diverse multiple international/interagency networks pose novel strategic and
political questions not only for their own con-tingent formations but also to the order of
liberal peace as such. Their accounts of the sources of disorder are varied and conflict- ing,
yet they also offer new rationales for Western armed forces and their allied arms
economies. The outcome can be quite con-tradictory: military attachés can be committed both to
selling arms and to selling "security reform" measures designed to intro- duce Westernstyle policing, the rule of law, and demilitarization. Through the advent of such emerging strategic
de-velopment analysts have become as interested in conflict, war, and security as
security specialists have become interested in develop-ment economics, civil society, and
conflict resolution.10 In the process, the liberal peace of global governance. exposes its allied face of humanitarian
war. An additional feature of these strategic complexes is, however, also a deep and profound
confusion about military purpose and military strategy. That in turn promotes a new liberal bull market
complexes,
for strategic ideas in the aftermath of the dissolution of Cold War discourse.11
1NR
Multiple structural factors check war
Christopher J Fettweis, National Security Decision Making Department, US Naval War College, December 06, “A
Revolution in International Relation Theory: Or, What If Mueller Is Right?”, International Studies Review, Volume 8,
Issue 4, Wiley, umn-rks
The obsolescence-of-major-war argument is familiar enough to need little introduction (Mueller 1989, 1995, 2004; see
also Rosecrance 1986, 1999; Ray 1989; Kaysen 1990; Van Evera 1990–1991; Kegley 1993; Jervis 2002; Mandelbaum
2002). In its most basic and common form, the thesis holds that a
broad shift in attitudes toward
warfare has occurred within the most powerful states of the international system,
virtually removing the possibility for the kind of war that pits the strongest states
against each other. Major wars, fought by the most powerful members of the international system, are,
in Michael Mandelbaum's (1998/1999:20) words, “somewhere between impossible and unlikely.”
The argument is founded upon a traditional liberal faith in the possibility of moral progress within the
society of great powers, which has created for the first time “an almost universal sense
that the deliberate launching of a war can no longer be justified” (Ray 1989:425; also Luard
1986, 1989). To use Francis Fukayama's (1992) phrase, it is the “autonomous power of ideas” that
has brought major war to an end. Whereas past leaders were at times compelled by the
masses to use force in the defense of the national honor, today popular pressures
urge peaceful resolutions to disputes between industrialized states. This normative
shift has all but removed warfare from the set of options before policymakers,
making it a highly unlikely outcome. Mueller (1989:11) has referred to the abolition of
slavery and dueling as precedents. “Dueling, a form of violence famed and fabled for
centuries, is avoided not merely because it has ceased to seem ‘necessary,’ but
because it has sunk from thought as a viable, conscious possibility. You can't fight a
duel if the idea of doing so never occurs to you or your opponent.” By extension, states
cannot fight wars if doing so does not occur to them or to their opponent. Major war
has become, in Mueller's words, “sub-rationally unthinkable.” Obviously, the obsolescence-of-majorwar argument is not without critics. First, and most basic, the literature is sometimes quite vague
about what constitutes a “major war” and who exactly the “great powers” are. In
Retreat from Doomsday, Mueller (1989) alternately describes his data set as consisting of
“developed countries” (p. 4), the “first and second worlds” (p. 256), the “major and not-somajor countries” (p. 5), and the 44 wealthiest states (p. 252). Others refer to the great powers as
those states with a certain minimum standard of living, especially those in Europe (Luard 1986:398); modern,
“industrial societies” (Kaysen 1990); the “leading global powers” (Väyrynen 2006:13); or merely “the most powerful
members of the international system” (Mandelbaum 1998/1999:21). What constitutes a “major” war is also often left
unclear. Some analyses use arbitrary quantitative values (for example, 1,000 battle deaths); others study only world
wars, those fought by the most powerful members of the international system, drawing on all their resources, with the
potential to lead to outcomes of “revolutionary geopolitical consequences including the birth and death of regimes, the
redrawing of borders, and the reordering of the hierarchy of sovereign states” (Mandelbaum 1998/1999:20).
Definitions are often the last refuge of academic scoundrels—many IR theories deal with potentially contradictory
information by simply refining or redefining the data under consideration. Perhaps the best way to avoid this pitfall is
to err on the side of inclusion, expanding the analysis as broadly as possible. While the
obsolescence-ofmajor-war argument clearly covers the kind of catastrophic wars that Mandelbaum analyzes,
any big war between industrialized, powerful states would render the proposition false. At its essence, like
pornography, one knows major war when one sees it. Major
powers will likely occasionally deem it
in their interest to strike the minor, and at times small, states, especially those led
by nondemocratic, unenlightened leaders. But societal unease at the continuation of
small wars—such as those in Afghanistan and Iraq or between poor, weak states like Ethiopia and
Eritrea—should be ameliorated by the knowledge that, for the first time in history, world war
is exceedingly unlikely. Determining which states are great powers is slightly more complicated, but not by
much. Two decades ago, Jack Levy (1983:10) noted that the importance of the concept of “great
power” was not matched by anything approaching analytical precision in its use and
the field has not progressed much since. Relevant states for this analysis are those with the
potential to be great powers, whether that potential is realized or not. The choice not to
devote a large portion of one's national resources toward territorial defense was not available to most states in other,
bygone eras. If
today's rich states can choose not to prepare for war without
consequence, then the nature of the system may well have changed. Broadly speaking,
there is an indirect relationship between the relative level of development and the chances of being involved in a
major war against a peer. In its most basic, inclusive, and falsifiable form, the obsolescence-of-major-war argument
postulates that the most
advanced countries—roughly speaking, those in the global
north—are unlikely to fight one another ever again. Precise determination of which countries are
in the “north” and which are not is less important than it may seem at first, since current versions of the argument do
not restrict themselves to the great powers. As will be discussed below, if the
logic behind the
obsolescence-of-major-war argument is correct, a drastic diminution of all kinds of
war everywhere may be on the horizon. It is important to note that this argument does not
suggest that competition is coming to a conclusion, only that the means to compete
have changed. Rivalry will continue; envy, hubris, and lust for power will likely never
disappear. Rogues and outlaws will probably always plague humanity, but very rarely as leaders of
powerful states, especially in the northern democracies. The Mueller argument merely holds
that war need not follow from any of this, especially major wars. States can compete
in nonviolent ways, addressing the logic of war with the grammar of commerce, to
paraphrase Edward Luttwak (1990:19). The conflicts of the future may be fought in boardrooms
rather than battlefields, using diplomacy, sanctions, and the methods of commerce
rather than brute force. One of the obvious strengths of the obsolescence-of-major-war argument is
that it carries clear routes to falsification. It can be proven incorrect by virtually any big
war in Western Europe, in the Pacific Rim, or in North America. If Japan attacks
Australia, if the United States moves north, or if Germany rises again and makes
another thrust at Paris and Moscow, Retreat from Doomsday will join The Great Illusion (Angell [1909]
1913) in the skeptical realist's list of utopian fantasies. Until that happens, however, scholars are left to
explain one of the great anomalies in the history of the international system.Most IR
scholarship carries on as if such an anomaly simply does not exist. This is especially
true of realists, whose theories typically leave little room for fundamental systemic change (Lebow 1994). “The
game of politics does not change from age to age,” argued a skeptical Colin Gray (1999:163), “let alone from decade to
decade.” Indeed, the
most powerful counterargument to Mueller—and one that is ultimately
unanswerable—is that this period of peace will be temporary and that someday these
trends will be reversed. Neorealists traditionally contend that the anarchic structure
of the system stacks the deck against long-term stability, which accounts for “war's dismal
recurrence throughout the millennia,” in the words of Kenneth Waltz (1989:44). Other scholars are skeptical about the
explanatory power of ideas, at least as independent variables in models of state behavior (Mearsheimer 1994/1995;
Brooks and Wohlforth 2000/2001; Copeland 2003). However,
one need not be convinced about the
potential for ideas to transform international politics to believe that major war is
extremely unlikely to recur. Mueller, Mandelbaum, Ray, and others may give primary credit for the
end of major war to ideational evolution akin to that which made slavery and
dueling obsolete, but others have interpreted the causal chain quite differently. Neoliberal
institutionalists have long argued that complex economic interdependence can have
a pacifying effect upon state behavior (Keohane and Nye 1977, 1987). Richard Rosecrance (1986, 1999)
has contended that evolution in socio-economic organization has altered the shortest,
most rational route to state prosperity in ways that make war unlikely. Finally, many
others have argued that credit for great power peace can be given to the existence of
nuclear weapons, which make aggression irrational (Jervis 1989; Kagan et al. 1999). With so
many overlapping and mutually reinforcing explanations, at times the end of major war may
seem to be overdetermined (Jervis 2002:8–9). For purposes of the present discussion, successful
identification of the exact cause of this fundamental change in state behavior is probably not as important as belief in
its existence. In other words, the outcome is far more important than the mechanism. The importance
of
Mueller's argument for the field of IR is ultimately not dependent upon why major
war has become obsolete, only that it has. Almost as significant, all these proposed
explanations have one important point in common: they all imply that change will be permanent.
Normative/ideational evolution is typically unidirectional—few would argue that it is
likely, for instance, for slavery or dueling to return in this century. The complexity of
economic interdependence is deepening as time goes on and going at a quicker pace.
And, obviously, nuclear weapons cannot be uninvented and (at least at this point) no foolproof
defense against their use seems to be on the horizon. The combination of forces that may
have brought major war to an end seems to be unlikely to allow its return. The
twentieth century witnessed an unprecedented pace of evolution in all areas of
human endeavor, from science and medicine to philosophy and religion. In such an
atmosphere, it is not difficult to imagine that attitudes toward the venerable institution
of war may also have experienced rapid evolution and that its obsolescence could
become plausible, perhaps even probable, in spite of thousands of years of violent
precedent. The burden of proof would seem to be on those who maintain that the
“rules of the game” of international politics, including the rules of war, are the lone
area of human interaction immune to fundamental evolution and that, due to these immutable and
eternal rules, war will always be with us. Rather than ask how major war could have grown
obsolete, perhaps scholars should ask why anyone should believe that it could not.
No asia war - costs of aggression are too high
Porter 14
Dr. Patrick Porter is a reader in War and International Security and Leverhulme Research Fellow at the University of Reading, and a
fellow of the UK Chief of the Defence Staff’s Strategic Forum, War on the Rocks, January 28, 2014, "IT’S TIME TO ABANDON THE
GLOBAL VILLAGE MYTH", http://warontherocks.com/2014/01/its-time-to-abandon-the-global-village-myth/
Strategic space is not a politically uncontested thoroughfare of climate and terrain simply to be moved through.
(That is not even true of tourism!) Space is a medium into which other humans intrude, through which (and for which) violent
political struggle takes place. Amidst the white noise of globalisation rhetoric, this distinction has been lost.
Nowhere is this more true than along Asia’s maritime peripheries. New weapons and
instruments have widened, rather than shrunk, the Asia-Pacific space .
Surveillance assets in the hands of watchful defenders make it harder to inflict a
sudden surprise
missiles— make
long-range
attack
like Pearl Harbor. Tools
of “access denial”—such as long-range anti-ship
it easier for states to fend off enemy fleets and raise the costs of
aggression. Even weaker enemies can inflict a devastating, even fatal sting on
aggressors . This makes it harder for America to intervene in a war with China—but harder also for China to
expand. Conquest has become an expensive rarity.
US-Russian nuclear war highly improbable.
Desmond Ball, professor at the Strategic Defence Studies Centre of The Australian National University, “The
probabilities of 'On the Beach' Assessing 'Armageddon Scenarios' in the 21st Century,” Manning Clark House
Symposium Science and Ethics: Can Homo sapiens Survive?, May 2005.
http://www.manningclark.org.au/papers/se05_ball.html.
The prospects of a nuclear war between the US and Russia must now be deemed
fairly remote. There are now no geostrategic issues that warrant nuclear
competition and no inclination in either Washington or Moscow to provoke such
issues. US and Russian strategic forces have been taken off day-to-day alert and
their ICBMs 'de-targeted', greatly reducing the possibilities of war by accident,
inadvertence or miscalculation. On the other hand, while the US-Russia strategic competition is in
abeyance, there are several aspects of current US nuclear weapons policy which are profoundly disturbing. In
December 2001 President George W. Bush officially announced that the US was withdrawing from the Anti-Ballistic
Missile (ABM) Treaty of 1972, one of the mainstays of strategic nuclear arms control during the Cold War, with effect
from June 2002, and was proceeding to develop and deploy an extensive range of both theatre missile defence (TMD)
and national missile defence (NMD) systems. The first anti-missile missile in the NMD system, designed initially to
defend against limited missile attacks from China and North Korea, was installed at Fort Greely in Alaska in July 2004.
The initial system, consisting of 16 interceptor missiles at Fort Greely and four at Vandenberg Air Force in California, is
expected to be operational by the end of 2005. The Bush Administration is also considering withdrawal from the
Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and resuming nuclear testing. (The last US nuclear test was on 23 September
1992). In particular, some key Administration officials believe that testing is necessary to develop a 'new generation' of
nuclear weapons, including low-yield, 'bunker-busting', earth-penetrating weapons specifically designed to destroy
very hard and deeply buried targets (such as underground command and control centres and leadership bunkers
No arctic war
Dyer 12 (Gwynne Dyer, OC is a London-based independent Canadian journalist, syndicated columnist and military
historian., His articles are published in 45 countries, 8/4/2012, "Race for Arctic Mostly Rhetoric",
www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/columnists/race-for-arctic-mostly-rhetoric-164986566.html)
Russian television contacted me last night asking me to go on a program about the race for Arctic resources. The ice is
melting fast, and it was all the usual stuff about how there will be big strategic conflicts over the seabed resources --
especially oil and gas -- that become accessible when it's gone. The
media always love conflict, and now
that the Cold War is long gone, there's no other potential military confrontation
between the great powers to worry about. Governments around the Arctic Ocean are
beefing up their armed forces for the coming struggle, so where are the flashpoints and what are the strategies? It's
great fun to speculate about possible wars. In the end I didn't do the interview because the Skype didn't work, so I
didn't get the chance to rain on their parade. But here's what I would said to the Russians if my server hadn't gone
down at the wrong time. First, you should never ask the barber if you need a haircut. The
armed forces in
every country are always looking for reasons to worry about impending conflict,
because that's the only reason their governments will spend money on them.
Sometimes they will be right to worry, and sometimes they will be wrong, but right or wrong, they will predict conflict.
Like the barbers, it's in their professional interest to say you need their services. So you'd be better off to ask
somebody who doesn't have a stake in the game. As I don't own a single warship, I'm practically ideal for the job. And I
don't think there will be any significant role for the armed forces in the Arctic, although
there is certainly going to be a huge investment in exploiting the region's resources. There are three separate
"resources" in the Arctic. On the surface, there are the sea lanes that are opening up to commercial traffic along the
northern coasts of Russia and Canada. Under the seabed, there are potential oil and gas deposits that can be drilled
once the ice retreats. And in the water in between, there is the planet's last unfished ocean. The sea lanes are mainly a
Canadian obsession, because the government believes the Northwest Passage that weaves between Canada's Arctic
islands will become a major commercial artery when the ice is gone. Practically every summer, Prime Minister Stephen
Harper travels north to declare his determination to defend Canada's Arctic sovereignty from -- well, it's not clear from
exactly whom, but it's a great photo op. Canada is getting new Arctic patrol vessels and building a deep-water naval
port and Arctic warfare training centre in the region, but it's all much ado about nothing. The Arctic Ocean will
increasingly be used as a shortcut between the North Atlantic and the North Pacific, but the shipping will not go
through Canadian waters. Russia's "Northern Sea Route" will get the traffic, because it's already open and much safer
to navigate. Then there's the hydrocarbon deposits under the Arctic seabed, which the U.S. Geological Survey has
forecast may contain almost one-fourth of the world's remaining oil and gas resources. But from a military point of
view, there's only a problem if there is some disagreement about the seabed boundaries. There
are only four
areas where the boundaries are disputed. Two are between Canada and its eastern and
western neighbours in Alaska
and Greenland, but there is zero likelihood of a war
between Canada and the United States or Denmark (which is responsible for Greenland's
defence). In the Bering Strait, there is a treaty defining the seabed boundary between the
United States and Russia, signed in the dying days of the Soviet Union, but the Russian Duma has refused to ratify it.
The legal
uncertainty caused by the dispute, however, is more likely to deter future
investment in drilling there than lead to war. And then there was the seabedboundary dispute between Norway and Russia in the Barents Sea, which led Norway to double the
size of its navy over the past decade. But last year, the two countries signed an agreement dividing the
disputed area right down the middle and providing for joint exploitation of its resources.
So no war between NATO (of which Norway is a member) and the Russian Federation. Which leaves the fish, and it's
hard to have a war over fish. The danger is rather that the world's fishing fleets will crowd in and clean the fish out, as
they are currently doing in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica. If the countries with Arctic coastlines want to
preserve this resource, they can only do so by creating an international body to regulate the fishing. And they will have
to let other countries fish there, too, with agreed catch limits, since they are mostly international waters. They
will
be driven to co-operate, in their own interests. So no war over the Arctic . All we
have to worry about now is the fact the ice is melting, which will speed global warming (because open water absorbs
far more heat from the sun than highly reflective ice), and ultimately melt the Greenland icecap and raise sea levels
worldwide by seven metres. But that's a problem for another day.
Water wars are constructed to spur political action on scarcity—reject anything
not from a peer reviewed study
Allouche 11 The sustainability and resilience of global water and food systems: Political analysis of the interplay
between security, resource scarcity, political systems and global trade ☆
Development Studies, Brighton, UK Available online 22 January 2011.
Jeremy Allouche
Institute of
In a so-called age of uncertainty, a number of alarmist scenarios have linked the increasing
use of water resources and food insecurity with wars. The idea of water wars (perhaps
more than food wars) is a dominant discourse in the media (see for example Smith, 2009), NGOs
(International Alert, 2007) and within international organizations (UNEP, 2007). In 2007, UN Secretary
General Ban Ki-moon declared that ‘waterscarcity threatens economic and social gains and is a potent fuel for wars and
conflict’ (Lewis, 2007). Of course, this type of discourse has an instrumental purpose; security
and conflict are here used for raising water/food as key policy priorities at the
international level .
No european war
Joseph
Nye 04, Kennedy School of Government Dean and Professor of International Relations at Harvard, 2004, Soft
Power, p. 19-20
A second important change was the way that modern communications technology fomented the
rise and spread of nationalism, which made it more difficult for empires to rule over
socially awakened populations. In the nineteenth century Britain ruled a quarter of the globe with a tiny
fraction of the world’s population. As nationalism grew, colonial rule became too expensive
and the British empire collapsed. Formal empires with direct rule over subject
populations such as Europe exercised during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries
are simply too costly in the twenty-first century. In addition to nuclear and
communications technology, social changes inside the large democracies also raised
the costs of using military power. Postindustrial democracies are focused on welfare
rather than glory, and they dislike high casualties. This does not mean that they will not use force,
even when casualties are expected-witness Britain, France, and the United States in the 1991 Gulf War, and Britain and
the United States in the 2003 Iraq War. But the absence of a prevailing warrior ethic in modern
democracies means that the use of force requires an elaborate moral justification to
ensure popular support, unless actual survival is at stake. For advanced
democracies, war remains possible, but it is much less acceptable than it was a century, or even a
half century, ago. 28 The most powerful states have lost much of the lust to conquer. 29
Robert Kagan has correctly pointed out that these social changes have gone further in Europe
than the United States, although his clever phrase that Americans are from Mars and Europeans from Venus
oversimplifies the differences. 30 After all, Europeans joined in pressing for the use of force in Kosovo in 1999, and the
Iraq War demonstrated that there were Europeans from Mars and Americans who preferred Venus. Nonetheless, the
success of the European countries in creating an island of peace on the continent
that had been ravaged by three Franco-German wars in less than a century may
predispose them toward more peaceful solutions to conflict.
burnout
The Independent 3 [UK “Future Tense: Is Mankind Doomed?”,
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines03/0725-04.htm 7/25/03]
Maybe - though plenty of experienced graduate students could already have a stab. But nature knows that
infectious diseases are very hard to get right. Only HIV/Aids has 100 per cent mortality, and takes a
long time to achieve it. By definition, lethal diseases kill their host. If they kill too quickly, they
aren't passed on; if too slowly, we can detect them and isolate the infected. Any
mutant smallpox or other handmade germ would certainly be too deadly or too mild.
And even Sars killed fewer people worldwide than die on Britain's roads in a week. As
scares go, this one is ideal - overblown and unrealistic.
Magnitude—nuke war is survivable, eco-doom is forever
Richard
Tobin 90, The Expendable Future, 1990, p. 22
Norman Meyers observes, no other form of environmental degradation “is anywhere so significant as
the fallout of species.” Harvard biologist Edward O. Wilson is less modest in assessing the relative
consequences of human-caused extinctions. To Wilson, the worst thing that will happen to earth is not
economic collapse, the depletion of energy supplies, or even nuclear war. As frightful as these
events might be, Wilson reasons that they can “be repaired within a few generations. The one
process ongoing…that will take millions of years to correct is the loss of genetic and species
diversity by destruction of natural habitats.
evaluate extinction first--ethical obligation
Milbrath, Director Emeritus, Environment and Society Program, SUNY-Buffalo, “Envisioning a Sustainable Society,”
EXPLORATIONS IN ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICAL THEORY, ed. J.J. Kassiola, 2003, p. 51.
Lester W.
Our common journey promises to be challenging and exciting, even though difficult. It will be much easier, and more likely to be
successful, if we face it optimistically with a deep understanding of the pace and character of social transformation. We humans
are special. Not because of our reason-other species can reason-rather it is our ability to recall
the past and foresee the future. We are the only creatures that can imag- ine our extinction.
That special gift of understanding places a unique moral responsibility on humans. Once we
have contemplated the future, every decision that could affect that future becomes a moral
decision. Even the decision not to act, or to decide not to decide, becomes a moral iudgment. We humans,
given the ability to anticipate the consequences of our actions, will become the conscious mind of the biocommunity, a global mind
that will guide and hasten social transformation. Those who understand what is happening to our world are not free to shrink from
this responsibility.
economic inequality and resource extraction --strong historical support- NASA
study proves
Dr Nafeez
Ahmed 3-14-14 is executive director of the Institute for Policy Research & Development “Nasa-funded study:
industrial civilisation headed for 'irreversible collapse'?” http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earthinsight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists
A new study sponsored by Nasa' s Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global
industrial civilisation could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource
exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution .¶ Noting that warnings of
'collapse' are often seen to be fringe or controversial, the study attempts to make sense of
compelling historical data
showing that "the
process of rise-and-collapse is actually a
recurrent cycle found throughout history." Cases of severe civilisational disruption due to
" precipitous collapse
- often lasting centuries - have
been quite common ."¶ The research project is
based on a new cross-disciplinary 'Human And Nature DYnamical' (HANDY) model, led by applied mathematician Safa Motesharrei of
the US National Science Foundation-supported National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, in association with a team of natural
and social scientists. The study based on the HANDY model has been accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Elsevier journal,
Ecological Economics.¶ It finds that according
to the historical record even advanced, complex
civilisations are susceptible to collapse, raising questions about the sustainability of modern civilisation:¶ "The fall of
the Roman Empire, and the equally (if not more) advanced Han, Mauryan, and Gupta Empires, as well as
so many advanced Mesopotamian Empires, are all testimony to the fact that advanced,
sophisticated, complex, and creative civilizations can be both fragile and impermanent."¶ By
investigating the human-nature dynamics of these past cases of collapse, the project identifies the most salient interrelated factors
which explain civilisational decline, and which may help determine the risk of collapse today: namely, Population,
Climate,
Water, Agriculture, and Energy.¶ These factors can lead to collapse when they converge to
generate two crucial social features: "the stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the
ecological carrying capacity"; and "the economic stratification of society into Elites [rich] and
Masses (or "Commoners") [poor]" These social phenomena have played
"a central role in the character or
in the process of the collapse ," in all such cases over "the last five thousand years." ¶
Currently, high levels of economic stratification are linked directly to overconsumption of resources, with "Elites" based largely in
industrialised countries responsible for both:¶ "... accumulated surplus is not evenly distributed throughout society, but rather has
been controlled by an elite. The mass of the population, while producing the wealth, is only allocated a small portion of it by elites,
usually at or just above subsistence levels."¶ The study challenges those who argue that technology will resolve these challenges by
increasing efficiency:¶ "Technological change can raise the efficiency of resource use, but it also tends to raise both per capita
resource consumption and the scale of resource extraction, so that, absent policy effects, the increases in consumption often
compensate for the increased efficiency of resource use."¶ Productivity increases in agriculture and industry over the last two
centuries has come from "increased (rather than decreased) resource throughput," despite dramatic efficiency gains over the same
period.¶ Modelling a range of different scenarios, Motesharri and his colleagues conclude that under conditions "closely reflecting
the reality of the world today... we find that
collapse is difficult to avoid ." In the first of these scenarios,
civilisation:¶ ".... appears to be on a sustainable path for quite a long time, but even using an
optimal depletion rate
and starting with a very small number of Elites, the Elites eventually consume too much,
resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society. It is important to note that this Type-L
collapse is due to an inequality-induced famine that causes a loss of workers, rather than a collapse of
Nature."¶ Another scenario focuses on the role of continued resource exploitation, finding that "with a
larger depletion rate, the decline of the Commoners occurs faster, while the Elites are still thriving, but eventually the Commoners
collapse completely, followed by the Elites."¶ In both scenarios, Elite wealth monopolies mean that they are buffered from the most
"detrimental effects of the environmental collapse until much later than the Commoners", allowing them to "continue 'business as
usual' despite the impending catastrophe." The same mechanism, they argue, could explain how "historical collapses were allowed
to occur by elites who appear to be oblivious to the catastrophic trajectory (most clearly apparent in the Roman and Mayan
cases)."¶ Applying this lesson to our contemporary predicament, the study warns that:¶ "While some members of society might raise
the alarm that the system is moving towards an impending collapse and therefore advocate structural changes to society in order to
avoid it, Elites and their supporters, who opposed making these changes, could point to the long sustainable trajectory 'so far' in
support of doing nothing."¶ However, the scientists point out that the worst-case
scenarios are by no means
inevitable, and suggest that appropriate policy and structural changes could avoid collapse, if not pave the way toward a more
stable civilisation.¶ The two key solutions are to reduce economic inequality so as to ensure fairer distribution
of resources, and to dramatically reduce resource consumption by relying on less intensive renewable
resources and reducing population growth:¶ "Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per
capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable
fashion."¶ The NASA-funded HANDY model offers a highly credible wake-up call to governments, corporations and business - and
consumers - to recognise that 'business as usual' cannot be sustained, and that policy and structural changes are required
immediately.¶ Although the study is largely theoretical, a number of other more empirically-focused studies - by KPMG and the UK
Government Office of Science for instance - have warned that the
convergence of food, water and energy crises
could create a 'perfect storm' within about fifteen years . But these 'business as usual' forecasts could be
very conservative.
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