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This book addresses some of the neglected problems, people and vulnerabilities of the Asia-Pacific region. It talks about emancipation, human security, 'security politics', language and threat-construction. The book is divided into three sections: agents; strategies and contexts; and futures. The first section outlines a range of possible agents or actors potentially capable of redressing individual suffering and vulnerability in the region. It examines East Asian regional institutions and dynamics of regionalism as potential sources of 'progressive' security discourses and practices. There is focus on the progressive security potential of regional institutions and regionalism has become increasingly prominent in literature on security in the Asia-Pacific. Two common interpretations of the role of epistemic communities in the construction of security are contested: that they are either passive sources of governmental legitimacy, or autonomous agents with the capacity of constructing or creating state interests. The second section reviews strategies and contexts, outlining a range of different sites of insecurity in the region, the ways in which dominant security discourses and practices emerge, and the extent to which such discourses are contested in different contexts. Indonesian government's approach to minority groups and separatism, the issue of civil unrest and human rights abuses in Burma, and the Australian government's attitude towards refugees and asylum-seekers are discussed. The third section deals with security futures, specifically discussing the question of what alternative security discourses and practices might look like. Finally, the book outlines a feminist critical security discourse and examines its applicability to the Asia-Pacific region.

Challenges and opportunities

This book explores the evolving African security paradigm in light of the multitude of diverse threats facing the continent and the international community today and in the decades ahead. It challenges current thinking and traditional security constructs as woefully inadequate to meet the real security concerns and needs of African governments in a globalized world. The continent has becoming increasingly integrated into an international security architecture, whereby Africans are just as vulnerable to threats emanating from outside the continent as they are from home-grown ones. Thus, Africa and what happens there, matters more than ever. Through an in-depth examination and analysis of the continent’s most pressing traditional and non-traditional security challenges—from failing states and identity and resource conflict to terrorism, health, and the environment—it provides a solid intellectual foundation, as well as practical examples of the complexities of the modern African security environment. Not only does it assess current progress at the local, regional, and international level in meeting these challenges, it also explores new strategies and tools for more effectively engaging Africans and the global community through the human security approach.

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politely, do not seem to demonstrate a greater level of political judgement than the people they represent. Democracy and legitimising government All democracies claim ‘popular sovereignty’ as providing government legitimacy – ‘legitimacy’ meaning ‘the moral and political right to govern and expect to be obeyed’. Democratic government acts on behalf of the ‘people’, who are politically

in Understanding political ideas and movements
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Asia-Pacific security legacies and futures

security is See Seng Tan’s analysis of epistemic communities in Singapore. Tan contests two common interpretations of the role of epistemic communities in the construction of security: that they are either passive sources of governmental legitimacy, or autonomous agents with the capacity of constructing or creating state interests. Rather, he suggests that the relationship between agents and structures in this

in Critical Security in the Asia-Pacific

an active voice in the security debate. Moreover, many of these new stakeholders have formed strong international partnerships to further leverage their positions. Thus, greater attention is now being paid to challenges at the individual and community levels, there is a sense of broader societal inclusion that enhances government legitimacy, and this environment facilitates the development of a bottom-up security framework that better reflects human security priorities. Ideally, over time, this also would mean less money and resources spent on building stronger and

in African security in the twenty-first century
Open Access (free)

peculiarly difficult to analyse and criticise in the terms usually applied to ideologies. Firstly, it includes a great deal that other ideologies skim over or take for granted, especially the distinct experience of women in society. Secondly, it leaves out much of the territory usually dealt with by ideology, such as law, the state, government, legitimacy, economic systems and historical explanation. Much of its language, ideas

in Understanding political ideas and movements
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; and the third from workers establishing their own collective political agency. In noting that mobilisation is the act of pursuing goals using these three sources to collectively secure demands, Batstone acknowledged that ‘economic’ strikes are essentially a feature of the private sector (where the aim is to hurt the employer in the pocket) while ‘political’ strikes are essentially a feature of the public sector (where the aim is to undermine government legitimacy). Traditionally, a number of different styles of leadership have been recognised such as autocratic

in Bob Crow: Socialist, leader, fighter
Elections

democracy was not discounted but translating this importance into policy proved to be difficult. The strategies to solve this contradiction with positive results for the idea of democracy drew on a new understanding of sovereignty as popular sovereignty, as well as a reconceptualisation of governmental legitimacy and human rights. Central to the development of the democracy agenda was the reinterpretation of sovereignty as popular sovereignty based on the reinterpretation of the concepts and terms such as ‘we the peoples’, self-determination and

in The United Nations democracy agenda

: The acknowledgement of Cultural Value addresses the issue of the legitimacy of institutions. The activities of funders cannot simply rest on devolved authority from Government. Legitimacy must be earned through practices and processes and a record of good decision making rather than being conferred from above. (p. 57

in Cultural value in twenty-first-century England
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stage, at least fifty years ago, for the current state of affairs. In other words, it is arguably precisely because the form of democracy on offer now is so watered down and ineffectual, in terms of providing any real opportunity for civic engagement, that there has been such a dramatic decrease in voter turnout in many Western democracies since the 1980s (which now hovers in the sixtieth percentile in Britain, Canada and the United States), such a manifest loss of trust in public authority, and such a marked decline in governmental legitimacy (see, for example

in Democracy in crisis