Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security

By Barry Buzan; Ole Wæver | Go to book overview
Save to active project

North America: the sole superpower
and its surroundings


Most books on regional security omit a chapter on North America. This might reflect American intellectual hegemony whereby 'regional security' comes to mean 'all the other regions as an element in American global policy'. If regional security means 'the rest of the world as seen from here', 'here' is not a region. Furthermore, with a traditional concept of security it is not evident what should be covered under the heading of regional security in North America. Already before the Cold War it was well established that the states in the region did not fear or threaten each other in a military sense; during the Cold War their enemy was the Soviet Union, and since the end of the Cold War the most lively security debate has been in the USA, where the concerns of the official debate are located outside the region. In the field of security as elsewhere, the USA is 'utopia achieved' (Baudrillard 1988: 77) in the sense that the dominant IR vision in the USA right from the start has been to leave the world of security, to create in America a New World freed from the anxiety and corrupting dynamics among the states familiar from Europe. Judging from most books on regional security, this has been a success: there seem to be no such things as regional security problems in North America. We will show here what the securitisation-based story of North America looks like.

North America is among the settler-regions where mainly European immigration replaced indigenous polities with new states. Continuity with pre-settler history is sufficiently thin that a history of the RSC (orientated towards the present as ours is) need not go back to the interplay between 'Indian' tribes. The United States was the first settler-nation to gain independence, and compared to that of most other regions the


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Regions and Powers: The Structure of International Security
Table of contents

Table of contents



Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 564

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?