Security in the Contemporary World Notes Class 12 CBSE


(i) Security implies freedom from threats. Human existence and the life of a country are full of threats.

(ii) It relates only to extremely dangerous threats i.e. threats that could so endanger core values that those values would be damaged beyond repair if we did not do something to deal with the situation.

(iii) Security remains a slippery idea which means that the norms of security changes with the time.

Traditional Notions of External Security

(i) The greatest danger to a country is from military threats. The root of this danger is the other country which by threatening military action endangers the core values of sovereignty and independence.

(ii) There are three choices with the government in response to the threat of war. These choices are to surrender, to prevent the other side from attack and to defend itself during the war and four components of traditional security i.e. deterrence, defence, balance of power and alliance building.

(iii) Deterrence means prevention of war ; defence means limiting or ending war; balance of power means there should be balance between bigger and smaller countries and alliance building means coalition of states.

(iv) A good part of maintaining a balance of power is to build up one’s military power that coordinate their actions to deter or defend against military attack.

(v) According to the traditional view of security, most threats to a country’s security come from outside its borders.

(vi) According to the traditional view of security, most threats to a country’s security come from outside its borders.

(vii) Within a country, the threat of violence is regulated by an acknowledged central authority i.e. the government.

(viii) But in world politics, each country has to be responsible for its own security.

Traditional Notions of Internal Security

(i) Traditional security must concern itself with internal security which has not been given so much importance due to various reasons.

(ii) After the Second World War, internal security was more or less assured to the powerful countries on the Earth.

(iii) Most of the European countries faced no serious threats from groups or communities living within those borders. Hence these countries gave importance to external security.

(iv) The main concern for the external security was the era of Cold War. Both the superpowers were afraid of attacks from each other.

(v) The colonies which became independent were under fear of conversion of Cold War into a Hot War.

(vi) The newly independent African and Asian countries were more worried about the prospect of military conflict with neighbouring countries.

(vii) They were worried about internal threats from separatist movements which wanted to form independent countries.

Traditional Security and Cooperation

(i) It is universally accepted that war can take place for the right reasons, primarily self defence or to protect other people from genocide.

(ii) Traditional views of security also gives importance to other forms of cooperation like disarmament, arms control and confidence building.

(iii) Disarmament requires all states to give up certain kinds of weapons.

(iv) Arms control regulates the acquisition or development of weapons e.g. United States and Soviet Union signed a number of other arms control treaties.

(v) Confidence building means a process in which countries share ideas and information with their rivals.

(vi) Force is both the principle threat to security and the principle means of achieving security in traditional security.

Non-Traditional Notions

(i) The non-traditional notions of security go beyond military threats to include a wide range of threats and dangers affecting the condition of human existence.

(ii) Non-traditional views of security have been called ‘human security’ or ‘global security’.

(iii) By human security we mean the protection of people more than the protection of states.

(iv) Proponents of the ‘narrow concept’ of human security focus on violent threats to individuals.

(v) On the other hand, proponents of the ‘broad concept’ of human security argue that the threat agenda should include hunger, disease and natural disaster.

(vi) The idea of global security emerged in the 1990s in response to the global nature of threats such as global warming , AIDS and so on.

New Sources of Threats

(i) Some new sources of threats have emerged about which the world is concerned to a large extent. These include terrorism, human rights, global poverty, migration and health epidemics.

(ii) Terrorism refers to political violence that targets civilians deliberately and indiscriminately.

(iii) There are three types of human rights. The first is political rights, second is economic and social rights and the third type is the rights of colonised people.

(iv) Another type of insecurity is global poverty. Rich states are becoming richer whereas poor states are getting poorer.

(v) Poverty in the South has also led to large scale migration to seek a better life , especially better economic opportunities, in the North.

(vi) Health epidemics such as HIV-AIDS, bird flu and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) have been increasing across countries through migration.

(vii) It is important to understand that the expansion of the concept of security does not mean to include everything.

(viii) To qualify as a security problem, an issue must share a minimum common criterion.

Cooperative Security

(i) Dealing with certain issues of security require cooperation rather than military confrontation. Military help can be taken to deal with terrorism but it will be of no use in dealing with issues like poverty, migration and so on.

(ii) It becomes important to devise strategies that involve international cooperation which can be bilateral, regional, continental or global.

(iii) Cooperative security may also involve a variety of other players, both international and national.

(iv) But cooperative security may also involve the use of force as a last resort. The international community may have to sanction the use of force to deal with dictatorship.

India’s Security Strategy

(i) India’s security strategy depends upon four broad components.

(ii) Strengthening the military capabilities is the first component of India’s security strategy because India has been involved in conflicts with its neighbours.

(iii) The second component of India’s security strategy has been to strengthen international norms and international institutions to protect its security interests.

(iv) The third important component of India’s security strategy is geared towards meeting security challenges within the country.

(v) The fourth component is to develop its economy in a way that the vast mass of citizens are lifted out of poverty and misery.