Re-Examining Security Dynamics: Proliferating New Threats as Catalysts for Interstate Cooperation in Europe
Autor(en): Jonas Hagmann
In: Journal of Human Security
Verlag(e): RMIT University Press
Are security concerns opponents of international cooperation? If so, why is the proliferation of security concepts not making such cooperation more difficult? A negative vision of security is hard to reconcile with the increasingly observed invocation of security problems as rationales for international cooperation, especially by European states. Security concerns may be invoked either as catalysts or as impediments to international cooperation. The notion of securitization should be expanded into a more complex process that endows threat discourses with particular characteristics of reach, effects and agency. In different combinations, these characteristics codify ideational outlooks on the security environment, each with specific logical effects on foreign politics: By structuring what can be meaningfully said about a nation's security environment, they empower different threat-based foreign policy discourses. In this analytical framework, public bad perceptions represent one such ideal-typical outlook that paraphrases collective and increasingly non-state actor-driven security challenges. The convergence on this particular view by European security policy experts is understood to drive security cooperation in reaction to the subjectively assessed nature of contemporary security concerns, rather than being based on shared values. If ideationally converging, cognitive and transnational insecurity communities of like-minded security policymakers are important driving forces in contemporary European security cooperation, the value-based explanation of state interaction proposed by the security communities literature must be critically re-evaluated.