Security Issues and the term "Culture"

In his paper, Beck is talking about the silence of words like war and peace, military and police, inner security and external security, the distinction between inside and outside in general. He is talking about culture as well. Beck suggests a dialogue between cultures as a new column, as he puts it, with the alliance against terror (44). At least in the paper under discussion, the word culture appears to be used as one of the few words that do not have become silent. This corresponds to a general trend in the discussion of security issues.

Since the end of the Cold War, the discussion of security issues has problems talking about well-defined threads posed by well-defined enemies. This at least holds true for many parts of the world, although by far not for all of them. The terminology of threads has increasingly been replaced by a terminology of risks posed by emerging or possible instabilities. With that, descriptions of the security environment have become increasingly complex as well as diffuse.

In order to make security issues of today at least mentally manageable, that is how Petra Weyland sees it, there is a tendency towards reducing crisis phenomena in general to a single cause or cluster of causes. At this point the term culture is being brought into play.[1] Huntington's thesis indicates the paradigm.

[1] See Petra Weyland, “Ueber die Bedeutung der Konstruktion kultureller Differenz in der Auseinandersetzung um die Sicherheit Europas”, in: Martin Kutz, Petra Weyland, Europaeische Identitaet? Versuch, kulturelle Aspekte eines Phantoms zu beschreiben, Bremen: Edition Temmen, 2000.



Last updated: 2004/10/25 00:08

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