The Royal Society, UK
28th February 2007
AUDREY CRONIN, Changing Nature of War Programme, Oxford University
MICHAEL CLARKE, Kings College, London University
A secure future is something that we all hope for. However, our concern about the security of Civil Society is a recent phenomenon. In many ways, it is true to say that our concern started on September 11th 2001, as that was the date that the US engaged with the issue. Since 9/11, security has been an issue that has dominated international affairs. Not that 9/11 touched many nations. It did, however, draw in many nations as the US engaged with the issue.
9/11 has also determined how we define ‘security’. It has come to mean that we are secure from terrorist attack. However, in a wider definition, ‘security’ could have a number of different meanings. It could mean that we – the human race - are secure from hunger. Or poverty. Or disease. There could be a number of manifestations of ‘security’ that we have lost in recent years.
It is with these points in mind that I attended the evening. I did rather expect the programme to reflect the modern usage of the term ‘security’, as Dr Cronin is the Director of Studies at the Changing Nature of War Programme, Oxford University, and Prof. Clarke is part of the Centre for Defence Studies at Kings College, London. However, I was also interested in finding out how they thought the issue of ‘security’ might develop in the future.
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