Physics in Global Security Politics: time-space tunnels, Doppler effects and the Kosovo test.

Posted in Europe | 21-Jul-07 | Author: Manuel Amarilla-Mena

Manuel Amarilla-Mena

Examining the world today we find a new debate concerning security interest perceptions, regardless of whether they are framed in a national or international context. After World War II security was framed by the confrontation of two superpowers. Following the fall of the Iron Wall, the security debate arrived at a new stage which might be understood as a rethinking process. We find this debate in the political agendas, the economic forums, academic circles or the mass media.

Introducing the issue of globalisation seems to add further controversies to the consequences for national or international interests. Topics such as terrorism, immigration, organized crime, weapon proliferation and global warming can give us an immediate idea about the importance of the discussion. As a result, nation states could become contested units for managing these concerns in a world with blurred borders, their responses to these challenges also being questioned. It seems that globalisation as an interconnectiveness process has also affected how nation states frame, face or calculate their security interests. For instance the use of interrogation methods by governments, in their wars against global terrorism has proved to be a concern not only for the nation state but for a new global society. This concern was raised by global civil agents which have become important factors provoking nations to change their security agendas, afraid of loosing political power.

In consequence of this aforementioned fear of losing power, the states’ agenda is more concerned with controlling the access to global information than ever, because they are losing sovereignty, legitimacy and territory. However, some states are moving towards; joining security efforts, adopting common capabilities policies and sharing security interests prompted to deal with global menaces and challenges together. Others meanwhile continue to face global threats with their own individual strategies. Nevertheless, globalisation has speeded up the sense that either commonly or individually, national or international security will be at the top of the agenda in public policy making.

Political Time-Space Tunnels:

Why is it that globalization can affect states’ security agenda? It may be that globalisation has put virtual time-space tunnels between our daily concerns and historic processes that previously due to physical distances or general ignorance, were not considered interesting or at least affecting our interests. The international anarchic system has been altered by the globalisation; it has been transformed by an ever increasing worldwide process of interconnectiveness. Suddenly, everything seems to be around the corner. Amy Chua in her book “World on Fire”, addresses how globalization has spread market democracy worldwide provoking chaos in the economic levels controlled by traditional minorities, increasing tensions violence, and thus insecurity. Hence states need to control security at different levels, in a real time policy, which goes further than ever before, necessitate further by the fact that we live in a society of perpetual growth as suggested by Ernest Gellner.

Therefore, to deal with these conflicts, tensions, violence and insecurity, the EU members started to consider security as a part of a tool for development and conflict resolution within the European political-economical context. The European security needs would be strengthened and reinforced by other policies, generating consistency and credibility in the progress of the European peace dream. Nation-state members of the European Union understood that to face new security challenges a common approach would be necessary, where national and international security agendas had lost their meaning. Consequently as the failed European Constitutional charter suggested the guaranty of security will allow advances in the political stabilization of Europe, spreading democracy and respect for human rights either for the individual or for the collective. It will also guarantee their performance in a free space of development and solidarity.

As a consequence of the search of peace, it seems that the European security dream has begun to take form through real steps such as the adoption of a European Security Agenda and through the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). The ESDP is a result of many factors, with many dimensions but particularly globalisation can be identified as a driving force. Globalisation has pushed security concerns to go beyond individual nation-state borders and as a result, whatever happens with in one EU border, even administrative, has an influence and affect upon the whole.

The political Doppler Effect:

We see that key threats such as terrorism, state failure, proliferation of WMD, organised crime and regional conflict wherever it happens, will threaten the political and economic development of the European Union and the welfare of its citizens. Let us be illustrated through the hypothesis of Kosovo, how we EU citizens and our states are tied up to resolve this conflict. Otherwise, Kosovo instability and its key concerns will cause a ‘Doppler Effect’ for the area and hence Europe. Thus the EU cannot hide the acknowledge of terrorist activities, levels of state failure, possibilities of further regional conflict, widespread activities of organised crime and possible availability of WMD that stem from the unresolved Kosovo insecurity situation. There is no reason to camouflage it, the risk of doing so will be EU failure in Kosovo and in the region and therefore jeopardise their own European dream of peace.

Lessons learnt

Could this be another alternative for Kosovo or for other challenges? The global village we dwell is spinning insecurities and vulnerabilities that request a common effort, overwhelming classical concepts in the realm of national security frameworks. The new XXI century is ahead and many other tests will prompt further challenges. Kosovo has and is still a challenge but it will not be the last. The Middle East, Asia, Africa, America will all provide geopolitical conflict sceneries. Global warming amongst other issues forces an environmental challenge, and the development of humanitarian progress on the earth will address the future security agenda. However, these are questions that need answers sooner or later: will the EU be able to cover the security needs prompted by such global challenges? Will the EU find the powers of coordination and the leadership to ensure that its intentions in the security field manage to become reality? Will the EU survive with the classical nation-state approach or be obliged by these challenges to be converted into a single nation-state? Maybe Kant’s dream of perpetual peace through a federation of states is not too far. However it is not easy to distinguish between what the dream is and what in reality will be possible to reach. Perhaps, in this new Europe it should be the citizens who contribute to this dream. The challenge is ahead and to face it is a necessity, avoiding it is scary.