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Modern European theories and concepts of national security
Material posted: Publication date: 08-08-2013

After the end of the cold war in Europe once again intensified research in the field of security, which is based on many factors. First, the collapse of the USSR created a situation in which there is no explicit threat from the point of view of Western European countries.

In these circumstances, NATO is gradually losing its traditional role as a defender and Europeans think about finding new concepts of European security, in which the leading role played by the Europeans. Although the moral justification for the existence of NATO is absent due to the disappearance of the clear threat, however real alternative to the Alliance yet. Existing within the EU structures are not highly organized and effective decision-making system. Dependence on NATO remains one of the main problems of European security.

The relevance of the topic to the security of Europe is also related to the fact that the economic power of the United States is gradually declining, and Americans are not capable of ensuring its military presence to continue unabated. In this situation, Washington in order to avoid surge force tends to shift the burden of responsibility for Europe and transfer it into the hands of the Europeans themselves. Until the American soldiers finally left the Old world, the Europeans are forced in advance to take care of the creation of own system of defense and security.

Given the sorry experience of past centuries, when security was built on the foundations of interstate time, it can be assumed that the new system of European security should be based on the principle of supranational governance. As a separate factor that has a direct impact on the costs of globalization. The increased interdependence between States in the global market leads to the fact that not only the economy of one state cannot be separated from the other economy, but also its safety. In other words, blurred boundaries between internal and external security.

The presence of free movement of factors of production in the EU leads to the fact that member countries can alone ensure its protection and needs to create a joint monitoring system. In some areas, such as justice, police, border control, there are already supranational institutions: Eurojust, Europol and FRONTEX Agency. But given that the integration covers an increasingly wide range of areas, there is a need for a more comprehensive security system for the EU with the relevant authorities.

Costs of globalization consists in the fact that expanding the concept of security. In the spotlight are rather non-military security industry. The improved means of communication, in particular the increasing role of Internet in the work of the agencies requires the development of measures for the protection of cyberspace.

For example, enhancing energy dependence of Europe makes us think about finding alternative sources of energy (biofuels or even nuclear power) and new oil and gas routes. The deterioration of environmental conditions and the strengthening of public opinion through the "green party" and NGOs, for its part, determines the actualization of the problem of ecological safety of Europe. The interdependence of the global economy, painfully demonstrated during the Global economic crisis of 2008 has exposed the financial and economic vulnerability of the European Union as a stable geo-economic unit.

The effects of globalization may also include the levelling of the leading position of the state in ensuring the security of society, especially the internal security. Methods of market regulation with an inherent principle of competition and efficiency challenges the dominance of the state in the sphere of security, forcing him to privatize whole branches of internal security. The growth of public influence is a catalyst for the commercialization of security, because in the first place in the new environment are not public considerations and issues of quality and price efficiency.

In a number of serious challenges to European security are geopolitical development near the borders of the EU. Frozen conflicts in the republics of the former USSR, socio-economic instability of the Balkan countries (non-EU), and political instability in the Northern and the Eastern Mediterranean — all this is considered from the point of view of Brussels as a threat to the security of the European Union. The events of the "Arab spring" has demonstrated that the old methods of European diplomacy, in which the emphasis was on hard, but stable regimes collapsing. European leaders unanimously agreed to the revision of the old policy and the beginning of a new concept, in which the bet will be placed on addressing the causes of socio-economic and political tensions in the Arab countries.

Based on such manifestations of globalization as the increasing influence of public opinion and the interdependence of countries in the world, you can designate another important phenomenon in European security — the geographical extension of the object of protection. The intertwining of the economies of the countries in the world, information exchange between citizens of individual countries creates a situation where the safety of an individual in one part of the world is increasingly linked to the security of the other. In the first place is not the security of the state, and personality.

Thus, expanding the object of security, justifying, on the one hand, the EU involvement in the Affairs of other unstable regions, such as, middle East, Africa, Central Asia. On the other — the priority of the individual over government is preparing a fertile platform for the implementation of projects to create a world government that cares about the safety of all people on the planet. Below describes some of the Central European development (theories and concepts) in the security sphere over the past decade.

Transnational networks

The theory of transnational networks is based on the teachings of American political scientists about "transgovernmentalism" (transgovernmentalism), which define the latter as an independent interaction among subunits of different governments. According to R. J. and Keohane. Nye, these subunits are not controlled directly by the Executive authority of their States and have a high autonomy. Transnational networks, therefore, represent the interaction between units of different governments. Given the fact that member countries retain key powers in the security sphere, as well as the limited competences of the EU, transnational networks serve as a sort of compensation for the lack of a supranational and cross-border cooperation on security issues.

It should be noted that transgovernmentalism focuses on relatively low areas of political cooperation, leaving the Central areas of national sovereignty, a policy of national security and defense, outside of their influence [1, P. 315 ]. A typical example of transnational networks — cooperation between judicial and law enforcement authorities. Distinctive feature theory "transgovernmental networks" is that its proponents, among them E. Kirchner and J. Sperling, do not support the idea of the obsolescence of the state as a governance institution. On the contrary, they believe that States have adapted to new conditions and actively participate in the creation of new forms of safety regulation between governmental units (governmental subunits). Thus, sovereignty is not necessarily an obstacle, but "rather a catalyst of networks and cooperative innovation in the face of growing interdependence among countries" [1, P. 316].

With regard to membership of transnational networks, these consist of governmental subunits that interact with their counterparts in other governments. Members of networks can be, for example, judges, police officers, firefighters, eliminating the high posts as Ministers and heads of States, as well as those who are outside of their state (military attaches, members of embassies). Meetings of the network members are held on an informal basis, and accept consensus decisions are legally non-binding. For the effective functioning of networks requires a high level of autonomy from their national governments. "According to Keohane and Nye, the network is not transnational if the members controlled .... offices or chiefs of the Executive bodies of the governments concerned" [1, P. 318]. According to the classification of Slauter, Lavine and Wichmann, transgovernmental network are divided into three types depending on their functions.

Informative network designed to share information and study best practices. S. Executive (coordination policies) are designed to implement existing (over-) national laws and regulations. C. have a clear regulatory mandate on the establishment of common rules and practices in a certain policy area. Examples of existing transnational networks in Europe: a European information system on forest fires (European Forest Fire Information System), Global monitoring for environment and security (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security), the anti-Terrorist group ( Counter Terrorism Group), an Atlas network (ATLAS Network), etc.

In General, it can be noted that the intensification of transnational networks in Europe and growing interest in the study of their roles and perspectives. According to S. Hollis transgovernmental network become "the third power resource (security) in addition to the States and the EU" and their importance will steadily grow. In Europe, many research centers are studying this phenomenon. Among them are, aprimer, Berlin school for transnational studies (Berlin Graduate School for Transnational Studies) and Chichilnisky Institute (The Churchill Institute) at Westminster College.

Critical investigations in security (Critical Security Studies)

The term "critical (or non-traditional) research" is understood as a special direction in the study of security, which differs from the traditional realist approach, in which a Central role in ensuring the security given to the state. Critical research is also referred to as a non-American, because they, first, develop outside the U.S., primarily in Europe, but also because of fundamental differences in approaches to science: in addition to the military aspects, which is prevalent in traditional American schools, they focus on economic, environmental and social security. The major brain centers of critical research are considered of Wales, the Copenhagen and the Paris school. Each of these schools has its own special approaches to the conceptualization of security.

Welsh school develops within the framework of the so-called "theory of emancipation" (emancipatory theory). This flow originates in Frankfurskogo ... school, prominent representatives of which are T. Adorno, J. Habermas. This theory was first proposed by K. booth in the early 1990s, and symbolized a new European movement toward non-American theories of security. Emancipationist build their arguments on a critique of the realist understanding of security, which is dominated by the "power" and "order", and the security of one actor — the vulnerability of another. They stand for universal system of security in which Central importance is the individual, not the state and the nation.

In 2007, K. Booth published the work "Theory of World Security", which is considered one of the pillars of emancipatory theory. In it the author puts forward the idea of establishing a world security beyond national borders and denying the "instinctive animal struggle for survival": "the Idea of global security synonymous with the freedom of individuals and groups, which is compatible with rational freedom, and universal moral equality compatible with justifiable pragmatic inequalities" [2, P. 6].

World security must be based on cosmopolitan democracy, which, according to booth, "can never be achieved through wars and revolutions, because in this new world order means such unimaginable" [2, P. 7]. Among other leading thinkers of Wales school celebrated V. Jones, published in 1999, "Security, Strategy, and Critical Theory".

The second course in a non-traditional exercises - "the theory of securitization" (securitisation theory), developed in the framework of the Copenhagen school. It to include scholars such as Buzan B., Waver O., and J. Wilde. The theory is based on the idea that in international relations something becomes the object of urgent policy not because it is dangerous, but because influential actor proclaims him as a serious threat. In other words, a threat is a threat, because she is seen and announced publicly (performative speech act) itself from the state. But securitization (securitisation) exists not only simply because of its promotion of the actor, but only after the audience perceives it. Getting the consent and legitimation of the society, the actor may take extraordinary measures and to go around existing rules and laws (legitimize the breaking of rules) [2, Pp. 3-4].

After the threat comes the next stage — desecuritization (desecuritisation), the process in which the issues were under the protection and the safety, return to a normal political environment and are subject to normal rules of democracy. The ultimate goal is not just achieving security and addressing the issue from the security agenda. A classic example is the relationship between Germany and France, which are no longer reduced to security, and are part of normal political relations [2, P. 5]. Among the significant works of the Copenhagen school are the following: Peter Hough - "Understanding Global Security", Routledge, 2004; Barry Buzan - "People, States and Fear", ECPR, 2007; William Bain - "The Empire of Security", Routledge, 2006.

The third area of critical research — "theory of insecurities" (insecuritisation theory), developed by the specialists of the Paris school of M. Foucault and P. Bourdieu. Proponents of the theory (in particular D. bigo) argue that "security" is that it is done, i.e. how safety is practiced. In this theory, security is not understood as an "anthropological necessity" (as in emancipatory theory) or as an act of public speaking (as in the theory of securitization), but is perceived rather as a process of "securitization or insecurities borders, identities and notions of order". According to bigo: "Security — in any case not a reflection of the increasing threats in the modern era — it is the decrease in the level of acceptability of the other; it is an attempt at insecuritites the everyday lives of professionals and the strengthening of political potential for action" [3, C. 111]. Theorists of the school of Paris questioned the understanding of security of the Copenhagen school, arguing that securitization is not the successful result of a public act, and "the daily bureaucratic decisions, use of technology and streamlining Valerianka practice" [4, C. 126].

Also the Paris scientists came to the conclusion that the new security is characterized by the absence of the traditional partitions between the traditional internal and external aspects. According to bigot, the end of bipolarity and the rise of the European Union contributed to the blurring of boundaries between external and internal security. If the collapse of the traditional threats have forced both external and internal agents to search for the meaning of existence (raison d'etre), the EU, for its part, offers a political space in which can engage internal and external security principals [2, C. 8].

Critical studies reflect a fundamental shift in the conceptualization of national security. Develop the three European schools of theory are contrasted to the traditional American course, using an interdisciplinary approach — the involvement of experts not only on military science but also of political scientists, sociologists and lawyers. Critical science more adapted to modern practical developments in the field of security, characterized by the privatization of this sector, and the blurring of the divide between internal and external security. Despite differences in approach, on the fundamental issues (anti-Americanism and antirealism, interdisciplinarity, the role of personality, the blurring of boundaries between the spheres of security), three schools share a common belief and therefore combined into one group of "Critical Security Studies". To exchange views and find common ground representatives of the three schools regularly hold joint meetings and scientific conference titled "Critical Approches to Security Studies in Europe".

The concept of the institutions of the European Union

As a separate direction in the study of security, you can allocate the concepts proposed by the European Union. Although they are more political documents than research, though their value is large under the theme "national security".

One of the first papers on the topic of safety was the so-called "Doctrine of Javier Solana" ("a Secure Europe in a better world", 2003) - former High representative of the EU for CFSP. It was noted that although the US was in a dominant position after the Cold war, yet in the modern world no country is able to solve complex problems, relying solely on their strength. In such conditions there is the possibility for the EU to assume part of the responsibility for global security and together with the U.S. and other players to confront global challenges and threats. The latter Solana said regional conflicts, poverty, "bad governance" (bad governance), the proliferation of WMD, terrorism and crime, and energy dependence. Solana's doctrine was conceived as a direct guide to action. The author calls for extending the zone of security around Europe and create a "ring of well governed countries" (a ring of well governed countries). In addition, Solana advocated the strengthening of multilateral international security systems, such as the UN, NATO, MERCOSUR, ASEAN, and expanding the number of well-governed democratic States. In the field of European political culture, according to the High representative, are also required major changes. Due to the fact that modern threats are often external and global in nature, the EU must become "more active" (to be ready for decisive outside intervention), "more United" (to have a permanent command for crisis response) and "more capable" (expanding the range of instruments for security, as well as coordinating and consolidating facilities and resources of the countries-EU members to optimize costs). The doctrine also stated that the EU must cooperate with its partners, especially the USA ("transatlantic links remain indispensable"), as well as other forces such as Russia, Japan, China, Canada and India [5].

In 2008, the European Council issued a new document entitled "Providing security in a changing world". In many ways, this document repeats the provisions of the Solana doctrine, but there are some additions. For example, to traditional threats such as WMD proliferation and terrorism, added "climate change" ("climate Change can also lead to disputes over trade routes, Maritime zones and resources previously inaccessible" [6, C. 5]), "security in cyberspace", "piracy" and "anti-personnel mines". In the geographical dimension of security placed particular emphasis on the stability outside the EU in Europe (republics of the former Yugoslavia and USSR) and in other regions, primarily the middle East (Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan). Principles of European security has remained virtually unchanged: a stronger, more cohesive and capable Europe, participation in the lives of neighbors, as well as cooperation with partners, to which were added other members of the BRICS - Brazil and South Africa.

One of the latest EU documents is prepared in 2010 by the EU Council the Draft strategy of internal security of the European Union: "towards a European security model" ("Towards a European Security Model"). As in the previous concepts, first is a listing of security threats, among which are the new cross-border crime, violence in any form, natural or human-caused disaster. The novelty of the security program is that it details measures necessary to create an effective model of European security. These include:

  • strengthening cross-border cooperation of law enforcement, judicial and border agencies Europol, Eurojust and FRONTEX;
  • strengthening the exchange of information and tools for conducting joint investigations and security operations;
  • a broadened concept of internal security, including a wider range of agencies (from the Executive to the judiciary, from government to non-governmental organizations and private agencies), and the introduction of multi-level security policy (supranational, regional, national and local);
  • ensuring robust democratic and legal supervision of the security policy;
  • prevention causes of threats instead of dealing with them;
  • the development of more innovative systems of security;
  • the external dimension of internal security cooperation with third countries [7].


European research in the field of European and global security

Over the last decade in Europe has intensified the study on the regional (European) and global security. Like the Americans, the Europeans there is a growing understanding that in the era of globalization, national security is inseparable from regional and regional - global.

Among such studies can provide work of a member of the Belgian Royal Institute for international Affairs and European Military Committee J. Coleman titled "A European Global Security Strategy: Offering Seven-League Boots to Become a Global Actor". Belgian General proposes a number of measures that should form the core of security strategy for the EU.

First, it is necessary to develop a long-term strategy of the EU aimed at the protection of common values and with a clear definition of threats.

Secondly, the strategy must be accepted by all institutions and by member countries as required the legitimate guide to action.

Thirdly, the EU needs to have sufficient funds to fall back on if necessary, for example, to conduct intervention "strategy needs to be backed up by resources, otherwise it remains without funds is just paper"[8, P. 3].

Fourth, the need for a unified framework for decision-making in emergency situations precluding differences between the member countries.

Fifthly, the European external action service (EEAS) should take a leadership and coordinating role in providing security comparable to that played by the National Security Council in the United States.

One of the significant think tanks of Europe in the field of global security is the Institute for safety in the European Union — "European Union Institute for Security Studies". In 2010 he published the study "Global governance 2025", which described the key challenges to global security and possible scenarios of development. As main threats to the outstanding transfer of power to non-state actors that are using new means of communication, do not always act for the good of humanity, such as criminal and terrorist networks.

Among other security threats in the world — "fragile state", in need of humanitarian assistance or peacekeeping; migration; lack of natural resources; and risks associated with the melting of Arctic ice and biotechnological revolution. The report highlights that the existing patterns, whether within individual countries, regional organizations or informal groups (Big twenty), it is not enough for effective global solutions of these problems require more comprehensive, based on clear norms of international institutions. As a possible development scenarios main four. In the first scenario ("Barely keeping afloat") the crises will be overcome in the framework of existing systems. Moreover, the security institutions remain largely unreformed and Western countries alone bear responsibility for global security, while developing States will be focused on themselves. The second scenario ("Fragmentation") describes a situation where strong regions and countries focused on themselves and trying to create a self-sufficient autarky. But given the interdependence of the world such a move is perilous, though, because, the US cannot solve the problem of budget and debt alone. The third option, "Reconstructing European koncertov: ecological catastrophe or a serious conflict stimulates "greater cooperation on solving global problems"[9, C. 15]. In this situation players such as China, India and the EU take upon themselves the burden and such as "European concert"of the nineteenth century guarantee stable and safe development in the world. As a result of the economic gap between regions and income per capita are offset. The final scenario (conflict) describes the struggle for resources and markets, as well as the nuclear arms race. Mistrust and tensions make reform of global governance impossible.

The European Council of international Affairs (European Council on Foreign Relations) — another influential research centre in the field of security. In 2010 he published the article "the Illusion of order and the formation of multipolar Evropy. It focuses on the assessment of the geopolitical situation in Europe, which according to the authors has evolved into multipolar system: "Although Europeans welcomed the birth of a multipolar world, they almost did not notice that in parallel is formed and a multipolar Europe, which is characterized by an increasing competition between the main forces of the continent – the EU, Russia and Turkey – for influence in the newly established States, formed after the collapse of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia"[10, C. 2].

The authors note that the European space is formed by three different opposing geopolitical project (EU, neoromantika Turkey, post-Soviet Russia). To establish peace and order in Europe, all three forces must coordinate their activities and to create a single security system. The paper also underscores that Europeans need to reconsider their approach to continental security since the U.S. position is weakening and they cannot be the main guarantor of security in Europe: "U.S. assurances to its European allies in the security sphere, of course, remain valid, but the importance of Europe in U.S. foreign policy steadily declining"[10, C. 5].

While American soldiers are not fully left the Old world, Europeans need to seek new security systems, an integral part of which will be Russia and Turkey. The authors also put forward a number of practical recommendations. It is necessary to establish permanent informal consultations on security issues between the three actors from the EU, Russia and Turkey. In the case of integration in the EU, the negotiations could be bilateral Russian-European format. The main objective of these negotiations is "easing tensions on the European continent" and its periphery, i.e., the Resolution of territorial conflicts. The crown of this process should be the signing of the Treaty on European security.

Separate paragraph of the article highlighted the changing attitudes of the European elite on the security in three ways: "first, they increasingly look at security through the eyes of the insurance companies, not military strategists. In other words, they take the world for granted and do not take into account as many possible threats as "risks". Secondly, the vacuum resulting from the absence of war, is filled with post-modern fears –in other words, they are concerned about threats to the current level of life: the impact of the financial crisis, energy insecurity, climate change and immigration. Third, Europeans increasingly fear that they are displaced to the periphery of world politics as the center of power move from West to East..."[10, C. 2-3].


In conclusion, it should be noted that after half a century after in European science there was a lull in research on the topic of security, the last decades European school gained a second wind. Research centers are developing concepts and projects build their ideas with realities that have a direct impact on national security of European countries. These include, first of all, globalization and the intertwining of internal and external security, the privatization of the security sector, the increased importance of the individual as the main object of protection, as well as the transition of the US from the active role of guarantor of European security to the role "remote stabilizer"[10, C. 5]. Despite differences in approaches, European experts are unanimous in the opinion that it is necessary to develop a common European security strategy and to implement it in practice, using supra-national mechanisms of the European Union.


The list of references

  1. Simon Hollis. The necessity of protection: Transgovernmental networks and EU security governance. Cooperation and Conflict, Volume 45, issue 3 (September 2010), p. 312-330. SAGE Publications. (
  2. Rita Floyd & Stuart Croft. European non-traditional security theory. EU GRASP Working Paper No. 1, February 2010. Seventh Framework Programme. (
  3. Bigo, D., 2001. The Mobius Ribbon of Internal and External Security(ies). In M. Albert, D. Jacobsen & Y. Lapid, eds. Identities, Borders, Orders –Rethinking International Relations Theory. London: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 91-136.
  4. Bigo, D. (2008), 'International Political Sociology' in Security Studies: An Introduction, P. Williams (ed), Routledge: Abingdon.
  5. Javier Solana. Secure Europe in a better world. EU High Representative for the common foreign and security policy. European Council, Thessaloniki, 20/06/2003. (
  6. Bericht uber die Umsetzung der Europaischen Sicherheitsstrategie –Sicherheit schaffen in einer Welt im Wandel –Zusammenfassung. Brussel, den 11. Dezember 2008, S407/08. (
  7. Draft Internal Security Strategy for the European Union: "Towards a European Security Model". Council of the European Union. Brussels, 23 February 2010. ( http :// ).
  8. Jo Coelmont. A European Global Security Strategy: Offering Seven-League Boots to Become a Global Actor. Security Policy Brief. No.45. Royal Institute for International Relations, Brussels. March 2013. (
  9. Global Governance 2025: At a Critical Juncture. The European Union Institute for Security Studies . Paris 2010. (
  10. Kraszev I., Leonard M., Bechev D., Kobzove J., Wilson A. The Spectre of a Multipolar Europe. The Illusion of Order and the Rise of Multipolar Europe. European Council on Foreign Relations, 2010.


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