Chapter 1 Global Security

Ken Booth1

“Global security” is a powerful idea, yet a settled understanding of the term remains elusive. This is not surprising because it couples together two concepts that are themselves individually contested. It will be argued that developing a common understanding of “global security” is a fundamental building-block in the construction of a better world – a world that works for all its human inhabitants and the natural world on which we depend.

What is a Global Security Issue? Existential and Emancipatory Threats

Every hour, for a growing proportion of people on earth, we are reminded of the shrinking of time and space and the reality of living in a truly global age. It is imperative therefore to situate the theory and practice of “security” in the context of the global, while incorporating the changing realities of the “global” in understandings and agendas of security. If a globalized we cannot define global security and develop a shared understanding of the term, how can we hope ever to achieve it? Concern with semantics is not always academic indulgence; here, this concern is fundamental in establishing what will later be called a global domestic security politics.


Security is a fundamental human value. It is the condition of feeling or being safe from threats. Radical insecurity on the other hand is virtually synonymous with a person's struggle for survival as a biological organism, whether the source of that insecurity is ...

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