Towards a new societal security dilemma: comprehensive analysis of actor responsibility in intersocietal conflicts
Review of International Studies
Cambridge University Press
185 - 208
Item Usage Stats
MetadataShow full item record
Scholars of the societal security dilemma implicitly or explicitly aim to analyse actor responsibility in intersocietal group confrontations. However, adherence of these approaches to (neo-)realist theoretical assumptions of the security dilemma hinders this objective. This article provides analytical principles upon which a new societal security dilemma can be constructed in order to conduct a more comprehensive analysis of actor responsibility. A new societal security dilemma framework can be built upon three principles: (1) a security dilemma results in violence depending on how the actors themselves interpret the political structure in which they interact with others; (2) differentiation of actors' intentions as malign or benign is inconsequential; what matters is how actors interpret security and which tools they choose to adopt to achieve security; and (3) identity is not exogenous to the politics of security. Adopting these principles requires reconceptualisation of the security dilemma. It will be argued that a new societal security, which reflects the politics of security, can provide a more comprehensive, dynamic, political, and realistic analysis of actor responsibility in societal-level confrontations. These new principles will be illustrated through re-reading of the dissolution of Yugoslavia to analyse actor responsibility as a sketch of the new societal security dilemma theorising.