Rowman and Littlefield International

People, States and Fear

An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era

By Barry Buzan

This widely acclaimed book examines how states and societies pursue freedom from threat in an environment in which competitive relations are inescapable across the political, economic, military, societal and environmental landscapes.

Paperback ISBN: 9780955248818 Release date: Mar 2007
£30.00 €41.00 $49.00
Hardback ISBN: 9781785522444 Release date: May 2016
£65.00 €90.00 $105.00

Pages: 318

ECPR Press

This widely acclaimed book examines how states and societies pursue freedom from threat in an environment in which competitive relations are inescapable across the political, economic, military, societal and environmental landscapes. Throughout, attention is placed on the interplay of threats and vulnerabilities, the policy consequences of overemphasising one or the other, and the existence of contradictions within and between ideas about security. Barry Buzan argues that the concept of security is a versatile, penetrating and useful way to approach the study of international relations. Security provides an analytical framework between the extremes of power and peace, incorporates most of their insights - and adds more of its own. People, States & Fearis essential reading for all students and researchers of international politics and security studies. 25th Anniversary Edition: A new introduction, placing this classic text in a current context, was added to this book by the author in 2007.


New Introduction by the Author 1

Preface to the First Edition 17

Preface to the Second Edition 19

Figures and Tables 23

Introduction 25

The National Security Problem in International Relations 25

Security as an Underdeveloped Concept 26

Developments During the 1980s 32

The Approach of this Book 34

The Structure of this Book 42

Chapter 1 Individual Security and National Security 49

Individual Security as a Societal Problem 49

Individual Security and the Two Faces of the State 52

The State as a Source of Threat 55

Conclusions: Individual Security and National Security 59

Chapter 2 National Security and the Nature of the State 65

Identifying the State as an Object of Security 65

The Idea of the State 74

The Institutions of the State 83

The Physical Base of the State 88

Conclusions: Weak and Strong States 92

Chapter 3 National Insecurity: Threats and Vulnerabilities 104

Threats and Vulnerabilities 104

Types of Threat by Sector 107

The Operation of Threats 119

Conclusions: The Ambiguity of Threats 124

Chapter 4 Security and the International Political System 128

The Nature of the International Anarchy 128

The Character of States 133

The Uses and Limitations of System Structure in Security Analysis 138

International Society 142

Conclusions: Anarchy and Security 148

Chapter 5 Regional Security 157

Filling the Gap Between State and System Levels:

Security Complexes 157

A Brief History of Regional Security 168

Security Complexes as Structures: The Processes and

Outcomes of Change 173

Conclusions: Security Complexes and Policy Analysis 182

Chapter 6 Economic Security 189

The Nature of the International Political Economy 189

The Idea of Economic Security 192

Economic Security and the State 197

Economic Security and the International System 202

Conclusions: Prospects for the Political Economy of a

Mature Anarchy 210

Chapter 7 The Defence Dilemma 217

The Defence Dilemma Defined 218

The Historical Development of the Defence Dilemma 221

The Durability of the Defence Dilemma 228

Conclusions: The Defence Dilemma and Security 230

Chapter 8 The Power-Security Dilemma 234

The Power and Security Struggles 234

Revisionism versus Status Quo 237

The Nature of Revisionism 241

The Military Factor 246

Conclusions: Can the Power-Security Dilemma be Resolved? 252

Chapter 9 National and International Security:

The Policy Problem 258

Logical Problems 259

Perceptual Problems 269

Political Problems 272

Conclusions: Policy-Making as Part of the National

Security Problem 277

Chapter 10 Concluding Thoughts on International

Security Studies 283

Overview: The Agenda of Security 283

Reasons for Adopting, and Consequences of, a Broad

Interpretation of Security 287

Implications for Policy 291

Index 297

Barry Buzan is a Professor of International Relations at the London School of Economics, and honorary professor at the University of Copenhagen. He has published and broadcast extensively in the field of international relations. He took his first degree at the University of British Columbia (1968), and his doctorate at the London School of Economics (1973). From 1988 to 2002 he was Project Director at the Copenhagen Peace Research Institute (COPRI). From 1995 to 2002 he was research Professor of International Studies at the University of Westminster, and before that Professor of International Studies at the University of Warwick. During 1993 he was visiting professor at the International University of Japan, and in 1997-8 he was Olof Palme Visiting Professor in Sweden. He was Chairman of the British International Studies Association 1988-90, Vice-President of the (North American) International Studies Association 1993-4, and founding Secretary of the International Studies Coordinating Committee 1994-8. Since 1999 he has been the general coordinator of a project to reconvene the English school of International Relations, and from 2004 he is editor of the European Journal of International Relations. In 1998 he was elected a fellow of the British Academy, and in 2001 he was elected as an Academician of the Association of Learned Societies in the Social Sciences.

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