Major powers are frequently urged to embrace grand strategies tied to particular International Relations theories. In the case of United States foreign policy, scholars generally analyse a well-known set of strategic choices – primacy, selective engagement, offshore balancing, collective security and cooperative security – favoured by relatively mainstream realist and liberal thinkers in International Relations. This article explores the evolution of cooperative security as an idea from its clear ties to liberal and neoliberal international relations theory to its current understanding in world politics, which is surprisingly consistent with many emancipatory ideals of critical International Relations theory. Cooperative security no longer merely implies multilateralism, negotiation and arms control. Rather, security is now more frequently described as indivisible, and genuine cooperation is said to require shared decision-making and consensual practices. Non-governmental organisations are more and more granted a voice in security discussions, as are international institutions. While weapons and warfare remain important security concerns, the cooperative security agenda today includes ideas associated with human security, including environmental calamity, global inequality and hunger.Last Tuesday, May 22, I posted "How the Sausage is Made" on the Duck of Minerva group IR blog. Andrew Sullivan kindly linked to the post and nearly 15,000 people have viewed it to-date. Apparently, in the 7-year history of the Duck, it is the most-viewed post!** Thank you Zack Beauchamp.
If you haven't read the piece, it includes audio (with pictures) of world leaders speaking frankly about their negotiating position on greenhouse gas emissions reductions. The audio track is from the 2009 Copenhagen climate change summit and the leaders apparently didn't know the session was recorded. I cross-posted "Making Sausage" on the e-IR climate blog as well on May 23.
On May 5, I posted "Climate Change and Godwin's Law" on Duck of Minerva and it was cross-posted on e-IR on May 6. In case you are not familiar with the phrase, "Godwin's Law" refers to the implications of someone referencing Hitler or the Nazis in an internet debate.
This is me a few years ago, playing poker.
** It appears that the Google source I used for this information has only been tracking Duck of Minerva since July 2009.
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