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What Global Security Is
An interdisciplinary field of study concerned withthreatslikely to be involved in large-scale harms to humanity and habitatsExamines globalized, transnationaltrends, linkages, inequalities, and asymmetries from multiple entry pointsExtends the concept ofsecurityin moral and victimological directions; e.g., injustices, concerns, worries, fearsDoesn’t dismiss or trivialize theapocalyptic, existential, or imaginary asundeserving;respects diversity and inclusionUses a variety ofmethods; historical, comparative, legal, statistical, critical, normative, and strategic foresightAdvocates collaborative, comprehensivesolutionsvia cooperation between rivals, competitors, and even enemiesInclusive yet skeptical of traditional nation-state, international (UN), corporate, and militaristic solutions
The Main Areas of Study
1 – Internationalization, global change and peace2 – Economics, finance, monetary policies, trade wars3 – Pandemics and population movements, border crises4 – Climate change, earth science, outer space events5 – War, armed conflict, mercenaries, robots, drones6 – Human rights, genocide, massacres, law and justice7 – Transnational crime, terrorism, gangs, gun violence8 – Cybersecurity, hacking, spying, mass surveillance9 – Mass disasters and accidents, natural and technological10 – Identity,hybridity,intersectionality, cultural globalization
Selected Concepts
Bubble - when the price range for a traded asset exceeds its intrinsic valueCarrying capacity – the regenerative ability of a system or environmentCosmopolitanism - ethics that all of humanity deserves common dignityHybridity- intermingled identifies of ethno-socioculturalheritagesNeocolonialism – shaping a developing country along cultural linesNeoliberalism– ideology of world governance by the private sector“Other” - preconscious predilections about people who are differentPolarity – the arrangement of powerful nation-states in the worldProxy warfare – allows deniability for armed conflicts and meddlingSchmitt analysis – indicates the war-like degrees ofcyberattackSingularity - scenario in which AI computers take controlThreat - a risk greater than fear and with multiple worriesUn-ness– a unexpected, unpleasant, and unmanageable crisisZemiology- the study of rarely criminalized harms
Key Works in the Field
Booth, K. (2014). "What is Global Security?" Pp. 11-30 in M.Kaldor& I.Rangelov(eds.)Handbook of Global Security Policy. NY: Wiley.Buzan, B. & Hansen, L. (2009).The Evolution of International Security Studies. NY: Cambridge.Hough, P. (2013).Understanding Global Security,3e. NY: Routledge.Kay, S. (2015).Global Security in the 21st Century. Lanham:Rowman&Littlefied.O’Connor, T. (2019)Global Security. San Diego:Cognella.Snarr, M. & N. (2016).Introducing Global Issues,6e. Boulder: LynneReinner.
Sample Graduate Programs
American Military University - Ph.D. Global SecurityAmerican University – Concentration Global SecurityAngelo State – MS in Global Security StudiesArizona State – MA in Global SecurityEmbry-Riddle – MS Security & Intelligence StudiesJohns Hopkins - MA in Global Security StudiesNational DefenseUniv– MA Strategic Security StudiesNortheastern – MA in Security & Resilience StudiesPoint Park – MA Intelligence and Global SecurityUnivof Baltimore – MA in Global Human Security
Sample Jobs in Global Security
PolicyAnalyst/Program Coordinator/Special Projects SpecialistCommunity/Urban/Media/Defense Planner/Economics AdvisorIntelligenceAnalyst/International Agency RepresentativeInfrastructureProtection/Risk Analyst/Impact AssessmentTravel and EventSecurity/Diplomatic & Executive ProtectionCorporateSupply Chain RiskAssessment/Marketing ManagerEducator, Trainer,Facilitator, Researcher, Ethnologist, LinguistForeign Affairs Officer/Aid & Development/Monitor SpecialistCybersecurity and DataProtection/Incident Response AnalystHealth Science/Public Health/Behavioral Science AdvisorDiversity and InclusionOfficer/Cultural Resource ManagerCo
Examples of Threat Linkages
Natural Disasters (from climate change) accompanied by man-made (technological) disasters + social unrestEconomic (currency) collapse accompaniedbycyberterrorismand transnationalcrime + social unrestWarsand armed conflicts associated withtrade disputes, territoriality or energycrisis +corporatetakeover attemptsPandemics plus genocides and human rights violations + rise ofgangsterism,warlordism,andmercenary usageMass surveillance, artificial intelligence, robot economies + hybrid identity diffusion in cultural globalization
Examples of Threats
1.Climate change– everything else seems to come back to, or involve, this. China and India are the world’s biggest polluters, the Pacific has become a garbage dump, and floods, droughts, and fires are getting worse every year.2.Economic collapse– Social security and pension plans will become insolvent by 2022 (payouts > revenues), Medicare by 2026, and no date can be put on when fiscal overspending, monetary tricks, and government bailouts (the debt crisis) will make money worthless.3.Technological disaster–scenarios range from a lethal virus released from some lab, a matter-destroying particle from some experiment, a bio- or agro-terrorist event, a mishandled pandemic, misfires in robotics and genomics, structurally deficient infrastructure, and water becoming unsafe to drink.
A Sample End of World Scenario
China assassinates KimJong-un and in retaliation Korean loyalists launch nuclear missiles making it look like the launch came from the United States. This occurs during a blackout from a massive storm along with Russian cyberattacks which have crippled political and communications systems. China responds to the fake US attack with nuclear blasts over major US cities. Global thermonuclear war breaks out, with India, Pakistan, and others joining in. As economies collapse,WWIIIis fought out and the 20-year nuclear winter is prolonged by unmitigated climate change.
Examples of Possible Solutions to Threats
Geo-engineering or terraforming to make Earth more habitable (enviro-technology impact assessment needed)Remapping of nation-state system to preserve economic and social survival (redrawing of borders and boundaries)Tobin tax to offset increasing wealth inequality, abuses in financial speculation (a gold standard, debt relief)End hunger and improve nutrition with sustainable agriculture (the clean air, food, and water solution)Better rules for modern wars and armed conflicts with increased transparency and less corruption (peace and diplomacy)
The Ethics of Global Security
Cosmopolitanism is the main ethics, which requires mutual respect despite differences in belief. It is similar to globalism and internationalism, but not single-issue global citizen movements like antiwar or laborprotests.Globalism is interdependence, and internationalism tries to transcend the lock of theWestphalianstate system and redirect attention away from traditional “nation”-oriented solutions.Cosmopolitanism values the end of racism, sexism, and classism. It strives toward quality of life, solidarity, sustainability, peace, and harmony. Many of our global security grads work as change agents within traditional systems while others are more activist in making a difference. Skill in a foreign language and some foreign travel are recommended.
Congratulations on Your Interest
…for wanting to intenselystudyand helpsolvethe most pressing, insoluble, intractable, and wicked problems in the world today; the boiling frog syndromes that are overlookedintraditionalnation-state perspectives. Global securitythreats are emerging and compounding every day. Your awareness combined with this education will make you invaluable in the future.Consider becoming a GSS minor, and support our Institute’s activities. GSS pairs well with any major field of study and reserves you a critical place in the 21stcentury.Our website is at





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