Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

September the 11th 2001 and Security Dilemma/LE 11 SEPTEMBRE 2001 ET LE DILEMME DE SÉCURITÉ

Academic journal article Canadian Social Science

September the 11th 2001 and Security Dilemma/LE 11 SEPTEMBRE 2001 ET LE DILEMME DE SÉCURITÉ

Article excerpt


Security and insecurity are complex concepts that states have problem in defining them in different conditions. Complexity of the concepts comes out of security dilemma which states face when they seek to recognize enemy and scale of threat that the enemy may cause. Events of September the 11th formed a new condition in which United States faced the security dilemma that had not risen from a specific country but the enemy that was not recognizable and did not behave like states. United States attempted to solve the mentioned security dilemma by defining enemy, its threats and the new condition after events of September the 11th. This article, in order to explain the security dilemma of the United States after events of the September the 11th, is written in two parts; the first part is to explain security dilemma and the approaches that have been given to solve it and the second part tends to explain the security dilemma that United States faced after terrorist attacks of September the 11th 2001.

Keywords: Security dilemma; Terrorism; United States; September the 11th

Résumé: La sécurité et l'insécurité sont des concepts complexes et les Etats ont des difficultés à les définir dans des conditions différentes. La complexité des concepts vient du dilemme de sécurité auquel les Etats font face quand ils cherchent à reconnaître l'ennemi et l'ampleur de la menace que l'ennemi peut causer. Les événements du 11 septembre a formé une nouvelle condition, dans laquelle les États-Unis ont fait face à un dilemme de sécurité qui ne venait pas d'un pays spécifique, mais d'un ennemi non reconnaissable qui ne se comportait pas comme des États. Les États-Unis ont tenté de résoudre ce dilemme de sécurité par la définition de l'ennemi, de ses menaces et de la nouvelle condition après les événements du 11 septembre. Cet article, afin d'expliquer le dilemme de la sécurité des États-Unis après les événements du 11 septembre, est composé en deux parties: la première partie est d'expliquer le dilemme de sécurité et les approches qui ont été utilisées pour le résoudre et la deuxième partie tend à expliquer le dilemme de sécurité auquel les États-Unis font face après les attentats terroristes du 11 septembre 2001.

Mots-clés: dilemme de sécurité; terrorisme; États-Unis; 11 septembre


Security studies include political, economic, societal, and environmental issues (Buzan, Waever, & Wild, 1 998) which refer to different security concerns in new era. Different kinds of ideology in political aspect, poverty in societal aspect, economic problems of countries and problem of immigration, and environmental degradation are the problems that may refer to security concerns and are part of denning security. But security of the states is the most important subject of security studies in international politics. Although limiting of security to national level is narrow studying of security and will result in ignoring of important factors in international politics (Graeger, 1996); but security and insecurity of the modern state is still the most important subject because of its primacy in control of force and it is the basis of relationships among sovereign states in international politics (Buzan, 1984).

Security is a condition in which states are able to maintain their independent identity and integrity (Buzan, 1984). Booth and Wheeler define security as process of emancipation, they argue that security is safety of a nation against others and simultaneously safety of others against earlier nation (Wheeler & Booth, 1992). Among different definitions of security, there is a consensus on Wolfers definition (Baylis, 2001). He emphasizes that numerous factors such as national characters, preferences, and prejudices influence the way of defining security in a nation and defines security as lack of threat and fear against values of a nation (Wolfers, 1952).

A common idea among definitions of security refers to ability of nation to defend itself against external threat and defeating of threat. …

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