MUNSC SALIENT 2018
At MUNSC Salient 2018 we will be taking a closer look at the notion of security in the 21st century. Days when security was framed strictly in military terms are long past. Today, security is often defined separately within specific sectors (e.g. energy security, health security, food security, water security, cyber security), while also taking more cross-sectional (e.g. urban security) and sometimes even somewhat intangibly comprehensive forms (e.g. livelihood security and human security).
Regardless of the respective idiosyncratic sectoral definitions, the fact of the matter remains that contemporary societal processes remain inextricably intertwined, with no single dimension being entirely independent of the wider political, economic, scientific, technological or legal context. In relation to our goal of re-assessing the meaning of security this observation necessarily begs the following questions:
- Does the notion of ‘security’ still possess some universal essence, found across different definitions and understandings of the term?
- How are different understandings of ‘security’ related to one another – are they compatible, perhaps mutually reinforcing, or do they tend to diverge and in some cases even be at odds with each other?
- Can some forms of security be considered more important than others, and if so, are they related in a more rigidly hierarchical fashion, or do lines between them nevertheless remain at least to some extent blurred?
- Taking into account the modes of production and the societal constellation of power as they exist and shape societies today, can it be said that ‘security’ of different social groups around the world is mutually compatible, or does the wellbeing of one group sometimes depend on reduced security of other groups? If so, is there a way of redefining the notion of security, to make the wellbeing (both individual and collective) of people and groups across the world dovetail more neatly?
- Are more traditional understandings of security (e.g. defined in military or more classic realpolitik terms) in any way still applicable to today’s global political and economic context, and if so, how have they evolved over the years?
- What are some forms/definitions of security, that for the time being remain at the fringes of our attention, but could in the future feature much more prominently in our daily practical deliberations?