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Traditionally, the concept of security was based on a state-centric approach to international relations and defined in terms of external military threat (talking more of defence than of security). However, since the end of the Cold War, we are witnessing a significant evolution in the concept of security, challenging the traditional approach based on the central role of the State.

This evolution is expressed by a broadening of the concept of security. Taking into account the strategic context after the Cold War and the increase in the number of international, transnational and subnational players involved with questions of security, the object of analysis has been widened, by integrating other types of threats beside the military area, and other types of players beside other States. Thus, the idea gradually developed that several levels of security could be identified that intersect with the military, economic, human, political, societal and environmental spheres, leading to a fusion in the concept of "external" and "internal" security.

However, the evolution of the concept of security is far from unanimous agreement. In effect, while some analysts consider that this conceptual evolution is necessary to respond to the strategic upheavals following the Cold War, others find fault with watering down the concept and consider the enlargement excessive. In the same way, some people criticise the idea of « new threats » by questioning their innovative nature in relation to the Cold War period.

The Foundation tackles questions of security in an interdisciplinary way and according to a widened meaning of the concept of security. Following this direction, the Foundation is prepared, on the one hand, to favour the exchange of ideas on the causes and importance of the evolution of the concept of security. On the other hand, by adopting a widened approach to security, the Foundation will not limit itself to threats from state players, but grants an important role to transnational threats, such as organised crime or terrorism, and to environmental threats such as climate change.

In addition, the Foundation is prepared to favour the analysis of the continuities and discontinuities existing in the field of security. This approach is innovative, in the sense that the Foundation studies questions of security - within the broadest sense of the word - after the Cold War and also in the context of earlier periods: indeed, transnational threats and the interest for the individual did not appear "ex nihilo" after the end of the Cold War.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 September 2008 14:31
 
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