Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952613 | Print ISBN: 9781412905794 | Online ISBN: 9781412952613 | Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Our perceptions of what constitutes security and any potential threats to it have changed greatly since the end of the Cold War both in theory and in practice. The Cold War was a time of intense nuclear confrontation, but in essence the conflict was contained through deterrence; threats were clearly defined and international relations were predictable, as many states organized themselves into opposing military and ideological blocs. In comparison, current threats are multiple, diffuse, and unpredictable. Fears of rogue states, international terrorism, religious fundamentalism, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction preoccupy the developed world as it tries to come to terms with asymmetric warfare. Established solutions such as increasing military superiority through advances in military technology offer little comfort, as even its unquestioned military supremacy was not enough to prevent the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. Additionally, weak states in the developing world are ...