“Buzan” used the term ‘security complex’ to highlight the formations that are the results of “patterns of amity and enmity” among states. The “interdependence of rivalry and shared interests” among states are the features of this security complex (Stivachtis B. K., 2019).
Regional Security Complex Theory
Keywords: People States and Fear, Barry Buzan, Regional Security Complex Theory, Ole Waever, Jaap de Wilde, Enmity and Amity, Stivachtis, Arab and Israelis, Iranians and Iraqis, Middle East, Arab Nationalism
Theory; an introduction:
In his book “People, States, and Fear: The National Security Problem in International Relations”, Barry Buzan presented first time his “Buzan’s Regional Security Complex Theory (RSCT)”. This theory was first presented in the 1st edition of this book published in 1983. “Barry Buzan” updated this Regional Security Complex Theory RSCT theory in 1991. Then, in coordination with “Ole Waever” and “Jaap de Wilde”, “Barry Buzan” give a revised version of his theory RSCT in 1998. Then again in 2003, “Buzan” and “Waiver” in coordination with each other provided a revised version of this theory (Stivachtis B. K., 2019). “Regional Security Complex Theory RSCT provides a theoretical justification for constructing world regions based on the degree of ‘enmity’ and ‘amity’ existing among states” (Stivachtis B. K., 2019). “‘Amity’ refers to inter-state relationships ranging from genuine friendship to expectation of protection or support. ‘Enmity’, on the other hand, refers to inter-state relationships conditioned by suspicion and fear” (Stivachtis, 2018). Various issues can be considered as reasons behind the emergence of “patterns of amity and enmity”. It includes “border disputes, ideological alignments, and historical links” that may be advantageous or dis-advantageous according to amity or enmity respectively. We can also add power relations between states among reasons of enmity or amity. Enmity usually emerges from historical relations between people as it is exemplified by the conflicts between the “Arabs” and the “Israelis” or the “Iranians” and the “Iraqis” (Stivachtis B. K., 2019)
“A security complex is defined as a group of states whose primary security concerns link together closely enough that their national securities cannot realistically be considered apart from one another” (Stivachtis, 2018). Another definition can be defined “as a set of units whose major processes of securitization, de securitization, or both are so interlinked that their security problems cannot be reasonably analyzed or resolved apart from one another”(Stivachtis, 2018). “Buzan” used the term ‘security complex’ to highlight the formations that are the results of “patterns of amity and enmity” among states. The “interdependence of rivalry and shared interests” among states are the features of this security complex (Stivachtis B. K., 2019).
There are many features of the security complex, some of which are discussed below:
“The idea of security complexes is an empirical phenomenon with historical and geopolitical roots” (Stivachtis B. K., 2019). It is observed that traditional historical analysis is underlain by ethnocultural type of thinking, in addition to “religious and racial ties”. Ties like these are important in identifying security complexes. As states having shared cultural characteristics would pay more attention to each other so that they can mutually interfere in security affairs of each other.
This is observed in the Middle East because of the presence of the idea of an “Arab nation” and the “trans-national political force of Islam”. These two things keep a combined effect in creating a strong regional strategical and political realm. In the “Middle East”, “Arab nationalism” is effective in establishing regional organizations like the “Arab League”, the “Gulf Cooperation Council”, the “Arab Cooperation Council”, and the “Maghreb Group”. So, it is not difficult to observe the role of Arab ethnicity and Islam as a religion in facilitating and legitimizing interdependence of security among a huge group of states in the “Middle East”. “Arab nationalism” is also a reason behind the creation of conflict in the region that ensures the involvement of two “non-Arab” states embedded within it i.e, “Israel” and “Iran”. “Israel” is non-Islamic and Iran represents one
of the Islamic sects i.e, Schism.
Interaction of anarchy and geography is also one of the key factors behind the generation of Security complexes. Because anarchy is related to the power-security dilemma and effects of geography are powerful mediators of security interdependence. As short distances occupy more potent threat operatives so states having proximity should have good security interactions.
An elevated degree of warning, terror and horror is also the principal factor in defining a security complex that two or more states detect in a mutual relationship. The “Arab-Israeli” and the “Iranian-Israeli” cases are examples of this. A towering altitude of belief, attachment and companionship can also act as a merging power in security relations among states. An example of this fact is the relationship between Egypt and Jordan. This game of fear and trust indicates that “security interdependence” can be good as well as bad.
The economic factor is considered the next factor for indicating security complex. Economic factors determine the states’ potential within their local level security complexes in addition to their domestic level stability and their solidarity and continuity as actors. Economic factors also motivate the foreign powers to take interest in others’ local level complex. This can be observed in the American case and the other countries of the Persian Gulf that produce oil (Stivachtis B. K., 2019).
Stivachtis, B. K. (2019). Introducing Regional Security in the Middle East.
Stivachtis, Y. A. (2018). Introduction. In Y. A. Stivachtis, Conflict and Diplomacy in the Middle East (pp. 1-15). E-international relations.