Academic journal article Italian Sociological Review

Human Security and Cooperative Security

Academic journal article Italian Sociological Review

Human Security and Cooperative Security

Article excerpt

I have no fear of dying.

Who has no fear dies just once;

who has fear dies thousands times every day.

Paolo Borsellino1

1.Fear and security

We live today under condition of permanent revolution. Revolution is the way society nowadays lives and it has become the human society's normal state. Beck (2002) has observed that we are in an internal globalization phase, globalization from and within internal societies. In this frame fear and anxiety, despair and solitude are together. Of course the proportion in which these forms are present depends on the different form of human spaces emanating from the various configuration of instability. The feeling that our time is no longer expressed as a lucky or providential society is a contemporary sentiment. On one hand, the perception of risk, danger and crisis keeps us in constant fear and restlessness. On the other, society constantly flirts with death. Desecrated and secular society is effectively yoked by eros and thanatos. Zygmunt Bauman (2001) argues that modernity is specialized in making zuhanden (depending on human control) things into vorhanden (non depending from human control, outside of the social relation). By setting the world in motion, it exposed the fragility and unsteadiness of things and threw open the possibility (and the need) of reshaping them. After Chernobyl in Europe, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the attacks on September 112, and the unpredictable worldwide wave of terrorism (Conti, 2016) fear has been transformed in panic and multiplied in the heart of societies3. Again Zygmunt Bauman argues that, in contrast to animals (which feel basic fears like a kind of impulse to escape in more specific situations), social actors have the ability to elaborate a secondary fear characterized by being 'socially and culturally' recycled: 'the fear is more terrible when it is diffuse, dispersed, not very clear; when it floats freely elsewhere, without bonds, anchors, home or a clear cause' (2008: 10). Simply, human fear4 transcend the boundaries of time and space while it remains in our imagination and imaginary system. This lies in the ground of conscience which regulates the behaviour among human beings even when no direct threat exists (derivative fear). The dangers and the 'derivative fears' can be classified in three types: a) those that threaten the person physically, b) those that threaten the durability of the social order where a person lives in, and c) those that threaten the phenomenological person's place in the world. Nevertheless a derivative fear does not imply an imminent danger, feeling of insecurity can be channelled by means of other mechanisms applying the principle of cooperation and social trust. Fear exists, it spreads around diffusing anxiety and uncertainty. Fear is the result of what I call intimate terror that runs through our cities, darkening our democratic ideals. Fear has become the emotion that controls the public, we are facing a culture of fear.

Bauman defines our society as liquid, uncertain (Unsichereit), individualized, indicating how it prevails the loss of sense, the weakening of faith. Beck has called this process as oriented toward a second modernity: 'Risk society'. In this complex frame of 'risk society', 'liquid society', and 'age of uncertainty' and the idea of security which is constructed by social representation changes its shape5.

As we advance into the 21st century, we see the state security being challenged by a number of new daunting tasks and developments. The idea of contemporary security as a concept, practice and commodity is undergoing a rescaling, deterritorialisation and reterritorialisation, with previously international security concerns penetrating all levels of governance. Security is becoming more civic, urban, domestic and personal: security is coming home, is becoming a global concept.

For this reason I may speak about human security as a necessity to uphold within globalization. …

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