The 20th century has witnessed many struggles for emancipation, and a strong emphasis put on security agenda in many countries. Regarding emancipation, many examples come to our mind like the decolonization era, after World War II, the feminist struggles for equality between genders all over the century, all the movements of the 1970s that are associated, in France, with May 68 etc. Concerning security, one might think of protection of States borders, national defence or measures to ensure domestic order. Hence, the theoretical link between emancipation and security is not evident. In 1991, Ken Booth, a British international theorist, wrote an article titled 'Security and Emancipation'. In this article, he argues that 'it is appropriate to place emancipation at the centre of new security studies because it is in the spirit of our times', and he adds that 'our time refers to the whole of the twentieth century'. This presentation will refer mainly to the 'Welsh School', a branch of Critical Security Studies. Ken Booth, as well as Richard Wyn Jones, aim at re-conceptualizing security within a critical approach of the traditional security studies. Their conception enlarges the realm of security, which is no longer just a matter of State, and seeks to achieve what they call 'true security'. In his article, Ken Booth clearly defines the two main terms he uses. Security 'means the absence of threats'; emancipation is 'freeing people from the physical and human constraints, together with poverty, poor education, political oppression and so on'. From those definitions, Booth wants to prove that 'security and emancipation are two sides of the same coin'. Why should we consider security in terms of emancipation? Why does it imply, theoretically and empirically? First, I'll focus on Ken Booth's approach, that leads him to affirm that 'emancipation, theoretically, is security'. Then, I will develop the implications and the limits of his theory.
[...] Security a means by which individuals and collectives can invent and reinvent different ideas about being human'. It's a deeply democratic idea: security matters should not be left only to politicians. For example, one can think of the fostering of the development of civil society as an agent of security; an idea that reminds Tocqueville's thinking as well as the post-communist countries empirical example. ( To bring about deep political change . through a multilevel process of emancipation. It concerns individuals and social groups (for example, Booth emphasises on the womens' conditions in the post-apartheid South Africa) but it can be lead from many levels: the regional level (‘community-building'), the global level (for example, we can think of the role the UN specialized agencies to promote Human well-being. [...]
[...] Security Understood as a Process of Emancipation ( The Philosophical Framework of the Theory Individuals and groups of individuals are the new focal point. Booth refers to the Kantian idea according to which the individual is an end and should be treated as such (whereas the States are just means). The idea of emancipation implies an ‘egalitarian concept of liberty'. It means a liberty that is not only formal, like in a declaration of rights, but it should be real liberty, that makes it incapable for human beings to benefit from it (it requires notably, social justice). [...]
[...] Conclusion To conclude, with emancipation as a guideline, security in anarchy becomes possible. It is deeply oriented towards the ideal of the building of a ‘global-community' and ‘local-communities'. One might say this idea is being increasingly utopian with the current reaction of some Nation-States, for example, the practise of rebordering. But Booth clearly said that it is more an ‘attitude of mind than a 'theory' with powers of explanation and prediction'. References BOOTH Ken & VALE Peter; “Security in Southern Africa: After Apartheid, beyond Realism”; In : International Affairs (Royal Institute of International Affairs 1944-), Vol No (Apr., 1995), pp. [...]
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