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People-Related Security Issues

Ashok Sajjanhar

Edited by Shebonti Ray Dadwal  and Uttam Kumar Sinha
Routledge, New Delhi, 2015, pp. 428, price not stated.


Non-Traditional Security Challenges in Asia edited by Shebonti Ray Dadwal, Fellow and head of the Non-Traditional Security Centre at the Institute for Defence and Security Studies (IDSA) and Uttam Kumar Sinha, Fellow, IDSA is a compilation of papers presented by scholars in the field of Non-Traditional Security (NTS) threats at the 14th Asian Security Conference organized by the IDSA in February, 2012. It appears that while the International edition of this book was published in 2015, the South Asia edition has become available only in early 2016. The book spread over five sections encompasses themes ranging from conceptual framework of the compilation, climate change and water issues, to transnational crime, energy security, and financial and economic security. This is a useful and welcome addition to the sparse literature available on this subject in general and with respect to Asia in particular. Not only does the book deal with several nontraditional security threats in a conceptual manner but it also presents several case studies regarding the manner in which some of these challenges have erupted and have sought to be dealt with. It is particularly relevant that the focus is on Asia because the centre of gravity in the 21st century is moving decidedly to this continent. The first section containing three chapters deals with expansion of coverage of security from purely military and state security to encompass people-related security issues. The rising tide of globalization, environmental degradation and international terrorism which followed the demise of the Soviet Union created new challenges to international and national security. P.K. Gautam emphasizes that non-military threats are wider and need to be understood from a multi- and trans-disciplinary approach. It is essential for policy makers, academics, civil society and the general public to come together to find effective solutions to these challenges. J. Jackson Ewing deals with securitization of non-military threats like food, energy and climate security. Traditional security paradigms like force capability and great power status will continue but domestic factors and NTS issues will need to be increasingly factored in. NTS issues should be dealt with separately for policy prioritization. In the second section dealing with climate change, possibly one of the most potent threats to state and society, Denis Taenzier focuses specifically on adaptation for threat prevention. He explains how climate change accelerates natural disasters, leads to degradation of fresh water resources and decline in food production which in turn results in migrations. ...

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