Concepts of Security in the Post-Cold War

IR Working Paper 1993/8

Author/s (editor/s):

Andrew Mack

Publication year:


Publication type:

Working paper

Find this publication at:
IR Working Paper 1993/8

Andrew Mack, ‘Concepts of Security in the Post-Cold War’, IR Working Paper 1993-8, Canberra: Department of International Relations, Research School of Pacific Studies, Australian National University, December 1993.

This paper examines a number of different concepts of security: ‘collective security’, common security’, ‘comprehensive security’ and ‘cooperative security’. The latter is an amalgam of the first three. The paper argues that there are serious problems with the implementation of ‘collective security’ in practice, but that it may nevertheless be useful in certain contexts. It notes objections to policies of ‘common security’, but argues that these are overstated. The concept of ‘comprehensive security’, which stresses non-military means of enhancing security, is analysed and the paper reviews the rather different conceptions of ‘comprehensive security’ propounded by Japan and Indonesia. Finally the paper argues the need for a synthesis of all three approaches to create a strategy of ‘comprehensive security’.

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