Volumes 10.1 & 10.2 (2005)

Special Issue: Globalization and the Re-Constitution of Security

Full Issue

Globalization and the Re-Constitution of Security: European and North American Perspectives
Guest Editors : Janine Brodie and Joanne Wright


Reconceptualizing Security - A European Perspective
Joanne Wright


This article provides a brief outline of historical conceptions of security around the world as well as international and national reaction to the current global threat of terrorism. The author investigates different methods and mechanisms established to respond to the threat of terrorism after 9/11. Particular emphasis is placed on the actions of the United States and its unilateralist approach to the war on terrorism. The author compares U.S. and European security measures and outlines the linkage and distinctions between individual and state security and state and international security.

Components of the Emergent Global Security Regime
Fred Judson


This article argues that there is an emerging "global security regime" in the post-September 11 world. This new global security regime, which resulted from a reconsideration of the international security regime and changes in global security following the Cold War, conveys the idea that there is an emergent planetary governance system providing the public good of security. The author brings forth an analytical discussion by examining four clusters of components in this new regime: the conjunctural, the immanent, the structural, and the emergent. This involves a discussion of the United States’ security actions since September 11, a theoretical examination of security needs and of various structural changes such as the polarity of superpowers, regional block formation, and a globalizing economy. The article ends with a discussion of the emergent components of the global security regime. It argues that these components are shaped by globalization and the United States’ hegemony. The author then concludes with a brief discussion of the U.S. and whether this hegemony is capable of meeting the needs of the global security regime.

We Are All Potential Terrorists Now: The Reconstitutive Effects of the Anti-Terrorism Act and the USA PATRIOT Act
Sean F. McMahon


Since the September 11 attacks, Canada and the United States have implemented anti-terrorism legislation that has been widely criticized for targeting members of groups associated with specific ethnic, religious and immigrant communities. Much of this discussion has centred on the balancing of individual rights and collective security. This article argues that the impact of these legislative measures reaches beyond the tensions between these competing interests. By examining the political implications from the Foucauldian concept of panopticonism, the author argues that expanded surveillance mechanisms reinvent all citizens as potential terrorists. As in the panopticon, where inmates are exposed to penetrating surveillance and punishment for transgressions, citizens in a post-9/11 world are expected to self-discipline with ominous consequences.

Security, Asylum, and Rights. Are All Rights Equal?
John Edwards


This article discusses the effect of globalization and increased security measures on human rights, arguing that the traditional approach to rights, as embodied in documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is no longer adequate and requires a re-conception of the standing of rights, their moral content, their authority, in-divisibility and tradability. The author proposes a priority-based approach to human rights that recognizes rights as not equally indivisible, non-derogable and inalienable. Prioritizing rights allows for high-priority rights to be fulfilled and protected while lower priority rights may remain unfulfilled in situations where security concerns make it impossible to fulfill all rights equally. The case for prioritization rests on the idea that some rights, especially those essential to people’s existence as morally autonomous agents, are more essential than other rights. The author illustrates his argument by analysing asylum practices in Great Britain and the rights of asylum seekers in that context, and discussing the constraints on rights created by new security measures worldwide.

Security and Rights
Trevor C.W. Farrow


This article explores various approaches to the re-constitution of human rights following 11 September 2001. In contrast to the approaches advocated by Sean McMahon and John Edwards, the author proposes a re-commitment to the core values embodied in the rights enshrined in documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The article proposes that re-constituting human rights, either by a process of consequentialist trade-offs or choice-based prioritization, opens the door to naturalizing infringements of rights in the name of fear or security. Both detract from the goals set out in human rights declarations. Even in a security-conscious environment, discussions of rights must recognize and take into account the established and fundamental commitments to universal human rights and freedoms.

Immigration, Sovereignty, and Open Borders: Fortress Europe and Beyond
Jonathan Seglow


This article examines the conflict between the notions of "open borders" and "sovereignty" inherent in immigration policy, as illustrated in the case of the EU. Arguing that immigration policies tend to reflect a state’s deepest self-conception, the author contends that immigration into the EU ought to be generous and inclusive in order to reflect the existence of the EU as an ongoing political process rather than as an ethno-cultural unit or an economic association. To this end, the author proposes a constructivist approach that calls for a plurality of political competencies throughout the EU and greatly increased opportunities for political participation by European citizens. Participation, it is argued, promotes a sense of ownership of a Union that transcends national identities. The article further advances a case for common immigration policy, whereby the EU takes in much greater numbers of migrants, ensures an equitable distribution of migrants between different member states and offers a fairly swift acquisition of citizenship for new migrants.

Regionalism, Migration, and Fortress (North America)
Yasmeen Abu-Laban


The article takes the 2004 Summit of the Americas as the starting point to examine the ongoing issues regarding migration, security and mobility rights within a North American context. It argues that since 11 September 2001, a distinctive racist internationalism has amplified the exclusionary logic of North American regionalism with respect to the mobility of people. The article considers the relevance of migration to illuminating the interplay between security, international politics and domestic politics. Domestic security measures instituted in the wake of September 11 and the revived debate regarding national borders at the North American regional level have had a significant impact on rights of mobility, particularly movement across borders, and underscore the limitations of citizenship in the face of the racialized security threat of terrorism. Rather than ceasing to be relevant, national borders are assuming a new importance in the early twenty-first century in the context of revitalized discourses that posit immutable differences between peoples of the West and of the East.

The Constitution of Africa as a Security Threat
Malinda S. Smith


In the post-September 11 world, Africa is often characterized as a global security threat; a continent that is unsafe, dangerous, and emblematic of environmental, biological, and terrorist threats to the rest of the world. This article explores and discusses the reasoning behind this western view of Africa and how it is overdetermined by various discourses. The author argues that the western view of Africa produces a tainted view of the continent and fails to be representative of historical and political economy explanations for Africa’s current state of affairs. This argument is developed through a discussion of the portrayal of Africa as a security threat in mass media, through environmental and biological, including neo-Malthusian, analyses, and lastly, in commentaries on the "new wars" and the "war on terrorism."

The Changing Constitution of Security in Europe
Alister Miskimmon and Joanne Wright


This article discusses the post-September 11 relationship between Europe and the United States in terms of transatlantic security. The authors argue that the response to intense pressure following the Cold War was to recalibrate rather than fundamentally change this relationship. However, it is argued that this recalibra-tion has failed to resolve all the tensions of the relationship and have been exacerbated by policy differences on issues such as terrorism and military action in Iraq. This is shown by focussing on three historical phases in the relationship: 1) the period following World War II and during the Cold War in which the U.S. and Western Europe largely agreed on the nature and origins of security threats; 2) the period following the fall of the Berlin Wall, in which NATO expanded, the European Union was created, and there was pressure resulting from the Balkan conflicts, which saw an increased political and military role on the part of Europe; and, 3) the period of increased differences and unresolved pressures from NATO’s involvement in Kosovo, the September 11 attacks, and most recently, military action in Iraq, which have exacerbated the differences between Europe and the U.S regarding the interests, assumptions, policies, and practices of transatlantic security. The authors argue that this last phase in particular has led to a need to recast and reshape transatlantic security.

The US, the UN, and the Global Rule of Law
W. Andy Knight


The author analyzes the emerging global rule of law that has developed since World War II, arising from principles of just war theory, human rights covenants and international laws and practices respecting global criminality, and the willingness of the United States to disregard these principles when its national interests are at stake. It is argued that this attitude on the part of the U.S., arguably the world’s greatest power, undermines efforts being made to consolidate and entrench a global rule of law. In the article, the author examines the evolution of the concept of the rule of law, including the Westphalian and liberal legalist models, elements and sources of the emerging global rule of law, the impact of the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, and the U.S. counter-terrorist response on the existing global rule of law. The author concludes by saying measures necessary to implement a counter-terrorist strategy that would benefit the global rule of law.