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Identity, Migration and the New Security Agenda in Europe.

Most discussions of international relations in the post-Cold War period have revolved around two interrelated trends: the structural vacuum in international security since the demise of bipolarity; and the decreasing priority of national security relative to that of domestic economic concerns. Even Zbigniew Brzezinski has relaxed his strict geopolitical assumption in recent writings. However, few scholars have yet to offer new paradigms for security analysis. The historian John Lewis Gaddis (1989, 1992/3) noted that this bipolarity produced a historically anomalous "long peace" and pointed to the failure of international relations theory to predict the end of the Cold War. Bolder assessments have inspired popular, but fundamentally atheoretical, debate. In particular, Francis Fukuyama (1989) declared the end of history, hailing the ideological victory of democracy and capitalism. Samuel Huntington (1989, 1993) dismissed the "optimism" of Fukuyama's diagnosis and proposed that henceforth, the source of conflict will be primarily between civilizations and their respective cultures.

In their latest collaborative effort at the Centre for Peace and Conflict Research in Copenhagen, Waever, Buzan, Kelstrup and Lemaitre present an alternative framework for understanding the dynamics of security issues in Europe. They introduce the concept of "societal security," arguing that ethno-national identity is overriding state sovereignty as the locus of security concerns, particularly in the context of European integration. The first part of this book derives the theoretical basis of the central argument, and the second part illustrates their propositions through subregional cases -- namely, Yugoslavia, the former Soviet Union, and relevant recent developments in the Middle East. The case-specific sections are mixed with theoretical chapters that analyze the main themes in greater detail, including the changing nature of state-society relations in Europe; the societal security implications of increased migration; and the links between civil war, "terrorism" and public order. The third part offers general conclusions regarding European security in the post-Cold War era and evaluates the theoretical breadth and limits of societal security for the field of international relations.

Although the concept of societal security builds on Buzan's delineation of security complexes into the five sectors of military, economic, political, environmental and societal security, the authors' theoretical discussion draws from an impressive range of state-society, international relations and sociological frameworks. Their approach seeks to observe the systematic nature of structural realism; however, societal security challenges the state-centric orientation of traditional security studies. Society is treated as a distinct unit of analysis rather than a process or a passive component of the state. A fundamental distinction drawn between nation and state may be traced back to the European conception of nation-state that emerged during the late eighteenth century. By definition, "nation-state" implies the coexistence of state and society. The state represents a set of political and administrative organizations. The nation is a particular expression of society that shares common historical and/or present culture, myths, memories, language and ethnic composition. Ethnic identity precedes national identity, but ethnicity is not always articulated through national identity. Similarly, the religious orientation of an ethnic group or society will have varying degrees of expression. States necessarily include a national element but nations may exist within and beyond states. The nation is a socially-constructed fact.(3) As such, "nationalism" is an expression of both societal and political identity which depends on the degree to which state and societal interests are perceived to complement one another. Ethno-nationalism refers to nations based on ethnic or cultural -- as opposed to purely civic or political -- identity; and ranges from active promotion to defense of the nations, or general social reference.

The authors' meticulous literature review and definition of terms serve as a compelling premise for their main contention: Societal, that is, ethno-national, identity has grown sufficiently broad and comprehensive to compete with the territorial state as a political organizing principle. Examination of international security therefore acquires at the same time, a broader range of actors with more intranational dynamics. While the security of the state depends on maintaining its sovereignty, societal security rests on the preservation of common identity, whether ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious or political. Moreover, as migration and competing identities transgress and permeate territorial boundaries, it becomes increasingly difficult to differentiate between internal and external threats to societal security. For example, migrants may serve as a source of competing identity as is evident in the Russification of Kazakhstan and Latvia. But competing identities may also operate independently when states impose overarching identities on a range of preexisting ethno-nationalities as in ex-Yugoslavia, the former Soviet Union, Nigeria and India. Competing identities pose a threat to societal security when identities are mutually exclusive: it would be very difficult to be both a Christian and a Muslim, or a Greek and a Turk, though it is not as problematic to be German and European, or Ukrainian and Canadian. To the extent that tensions over migration, identity and territory occur between societies, a "societal security dilemma" may be said to exist. In other words, "societies can experience processes in which perceptions of ~the others' develop into mutually reinforcing ~enemy-pictures' leading to the same kind of negative dialectics as with the security dilemma between states." They admit, however, that the analogy to international politics is not complete since a certain degree of authority exists at the sub-state level, in contrast to the (neorealist) ordering principle of anarchy in the international arena.

The authors attempt to illustrate the versatility of societal security as a heuristic device through relatively self-contained cases in Europe. The sections that focus on the ethno-national issues surrounding European integration are notably more coherent than the others. They argue that the initial failed ratification of the Maastricht Treaty reflects the dialectical coexistence of two processes: 1) fragmentation, whereby the indigenous security dynamics of the European balance of power are reappearing under new conditions, and 2) integration, such that the European Community (E.C.) acquires increasing economic, if not socio-political authority over its members. The result is tension between preservation of ethnic, cultural identity, and desire for greater economic integration in a Ruggiesque embedded liberalism. Using integration as the analytic and perhaps policy objective, Waever and Kelstrup emphasize the necessity of developing an overarching European identity to buttress the institutional requirements for Maastricht. Specifically, identity will be split along administrative and cultural lines. They write, "It is about giving the nation that which is the nation's (that is, culture, identity and those issues relevant thereto: education, a social welfare system, a cultural policy in the narrow sense); and giving the E.C. what is its own (economic and monetary policy security structures, the single market, and possibly immigration policies)." Paradoxically, European integration is therefore contingent upon differentiation between the referent objects of state and societal security. The "nation" becomes a cultural community without political or economic claims to sovereignty, while the E.C. represents the political and economic interests of member states.

The chapters on the ethno-national conflict underlying the disintegration of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union provide timely (albeit non-primary) empirical content, including both predictive and prescriptive analysis. Given the complexity of competing identities in Yugoslavia, for instance, Wiberg notes the necessity of achieving balance between state and societal security in redefining territorial boundaries rather than a purely administrative, state-over-nation solution. The chapter on the former Soviet Union not only traces the various strands of societal insecurity in the republics, but also suggests its potential threat to societal security in Western Europe. Ironically, the conclusions drawn by Lemaitre, Gemer and Hansen evoke the east-west dichotomy that characterized the Cold War. They portend the failure of reform due to the political dominance of anti-western, Slavophilic elements, including the military-industrial complex; and the eventual "Latin Americanisation" of the CIS -- which in turn threatens societal security in west Europe through migration and competition for E.C. resources.

The sections on the Middle East, terrorism and migration raise similar points relating to societal security. However, the subsidiary themes are not developed fully and their relative thinness dilutes the contribution of the more substantive sections. In particular, one would expect the issue of migration to receive more extensive treatment since it is part of the book's title. But as in many of the other topical chapters, migration is discussed primarily from the vantage point of societal security for Western Europe. Part of the problem lies in the structure of the book itself. It is presented as a theoretical debut for societal security but then reads more like an edited collection of articles that employs similar concepts but lacks fundamental unity. Although the organizational deficiencies may be attributed to the inherent complexity of the subject, their attempt to draw from several disciplines sacrifices the parsimony required for greater clarity. Nonetheless, the authors' framework holds potential for further research and, hopefully, will inspire more focused consideration of state-society relations in the field of international security. (3.) The authors draw on Weber's assumption that nations are always built on some objective basis but defined by the subjective dimension, whereby objective factors are made significant.
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Author:Tsai, Kellee
Publication:Journal of International Affairs
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jan 1, 1994
Words:1491
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