Jaden Lessnick " McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled. "



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Securitization fails, justifies state violence against vulnerable populations, and only reinforces insecurity and the impacts it tries to solve

Ahmed 12 (Nafeez, 1/5/12, Department of International Relations , University of Sussex , UK, “Global Change, Peace & Security: formerly Pacifica Review: Peace, Security & Global Change,” http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14781158.2011.601854#.U76Xp_ldWSo)//RTF

Instead, both realist and liberal orthodox IR approaches focus on different aspects of interstate behaviour, conflictual and cooperative respectively, but each lacks the capacity to grasp that the unsustainable trajectory of state and inter-state behaviour is only explicable in the context of a wider global system concurrently over-exploiting the biophysical environment in which it is embedded. They are, in other words, unable to address the relationship of the inter-state system itself to the biophysical environment as a key analytical category for understanding the acceleration of global crises. They simultaneously therefore cannot recognise the embeddedness of the economy in society and the concomitant politically-constituted nature of economics.84 Hence, they neglect the profound irrationality of collective state behaviour, which systematically erodes this relationship, globalising insecurity on a massive scale – in the very process of seeking security.85 In Cox’s words, because positivist IR theory ‘does not question the present order [it instead] has the effect of legitimising and reifying it’.86 Orthodox IR sanitises globally- destructive collective inter-state behaviour as a normal function of instrumental reason – thus rationalising what are clearly deeply irrational collective human actions that threaten to permanently erode state power and security by destroying the very conditions of human existence. Indeed, the prevalence of orthodox IR as a body of disciplinary beliefs, norms and prescriptions organically conjoined with actual policy-making in the international system highlights the extent to which both realism and liberalism are ideologically implicated in the acceleration of global systemic crises.87 By the same token, the incapacity to recognise and critically interrogate how prevailing social, political and economic structures are driving global crisis acceleration has led to the proliferation of symptom-led solutions focused on the expansion of state/regime military–political power rather than any attempt to transform root structural causes.88 It is in this context that, as the prospects for meaningful reform through inter-state cooperation appear increasingly nullified under the pressure of actors with a vested interest in sustaining prevailing geopolitical and economic structures, states have resorted progressively more to militarised responses designed to protect the concurrent structure of the international system from dangerous new threats. In effect, the failure of orthodox approaches to accurately diagnose global crises, directly accentuates a tendency to ‘securitise’ them – and this, ironically, fuels the proliferation of violent conflict and militarisation responsible for magnified global insecurity. ‘Securitisation’ refers to a ‘speech act’ – an act of labelling – whereby political authorities identify particular issues or incidents as an existential threat which, because of their extreme nature, justify going beyond the normal security measures that are within the rule of law. It thus legitimises resort to special extra-legal powers. By labelling issues a matter of ‘security’, therefore, states are able to move them outside the remit of democratic decision-making and into the realm of emergency powers, all in the name of survival itself. Far from representing a mere aberration from democratic state practice, this discloses a deeper ‘dual’ structure of the state in its institutionalisation of the capacity to mobilise extraordinary extra-legal military– police measures in purported response to an existential danger.89 The problem in the context of global ecological, economic and energy crises is that such levels of emergency mobilisation and militarisation have no positive impact on the very global crises generating ‘new security challenges’, and are thus entirely disproportionate.90 All that remains to examine is on the ‘surface’ of the international system (geopolitical competition, the balance of power, international regimes, globalisation and so on), phenomena which are dislocated from their structural causes by way of being unable to recognise the biophysically-embedded and politically-constituted social relations of which they are comprised. The consequence is that orthodox IR has no means of responding to global systemic crises other than to reduce them to their symptoms. Indeed, orthodox IR theory has largely responded to global systemic crises not with new theory, but with the expanded application of existing theory to ‘new security challenges’ such as ‘low-intensity’ intra-state conflicts; inequality and poverty; environmental degradation; international criminal activities including drugs and arms trafficking; proliferation of weapons of mass destruction; and international terrorism.91 Although the majority of such ‘new security challenges’ are non-military in origin – whether their referents are states or individuals – the inadequacy of systemic theoretical frameworks to diagnose them means they are primarily examined through the lenses of military-political power.92 In other words, the escalation of global ecological, energy and economic crises is recognised not as evidence that the current organisation of the global political economy is fundamentally unsustainable, requiring urgent transformation, but as vindicating the necessity for states to radicalise the exertion of their military–political capacities to maintain existing power structures, to keep the lid on.93 Global crises are thus viewed as amplifying factors that could mobilise the popular will in ways that challenge existing political and economic structures, which it is presumed (given that state power itself is constituted by these structures) deserve protection. This justifies the state’s adoption of extra-legal measures outside the normal sphere of democratic politics. In the context of global crisis impacts, this counter-democratic trend-line can result in a growing propensity to problematise potentially recalcitrant populations – rationalising violence toward them as a control mechanism. 3.2 From theory to policy Consequently, for the most part, the policy implications of orthodox IR approaches involve a redundant conceptualisation of global systemic crises purely as potential ‘threat-multipliers’ of traditional security issues such as ‘political instability around the world, the collapse of governments and the creation of terrorist safe havens’. Climate change will serve to amplify the threat of international terrorism, particularly in regions with large populations and scarce resources.94 The US Army, for instance, depicts climate change as a ‘stress-multiplier’ that will ‘exacerbate tensions’ and ‘complicate American foreign policy’; while the EU perceives it as a ‘threat-multiplier which exacerbates existing trends, tensions and instability’.95 In practice, this generates an excessive preoccupation not with the causes of global crisis acceleration and how to ameliorate them through structural transformation, but with their purportedly inevitable impacts, and how to prepare for them by controlling problematic populations. Paradoxically, this ‘securitisation’ of global crises does not render us safer. Instead, by necessitating more violence, while inhibiting preventive action, it guarantees greater insecurity. Thus, a recent US Department of Defense report explores the future of international conflict up to 2050. It warns of ‘resource competition induced by growing populations and expanding economies’, particularly due to a projected ‘youth bulge’ in the South, which ‘will consume ever increasing amounts of food, water and energy’. This will prompt a ‘return to traditional security threats posed by emerging near-peers as we compete globally for depleting natural resources and overseas markets’. Finally, climate change will ‘compound’ these stressors by generating humanitarian crises, population migrations and other complex emergencies.96
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