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Governing Non-Traditional Security, Rescaling the State in Southeast Asia

Audio and transcript of the Southeast Asia Program seminar, "Governing Non-Traditional Security, Rescaling the State in Southeast Asia," on Feb. 26, 2015, with Lee Jones.

Much of the world today is preoccupied with threats to non-traditional security (NTS): border-spanning challenges such as terrorism, pandemic disease, and environmental damage that defy traditional approaches to security focused on military conflicts between states. Despite their arguable gravity, NTS threats elicit a baffling array of policy responses, ranging from full-scale securitization and institutionalized management to no response at all. Despite their scope, NTS problems are rarely managed holistically through regional organizations. Instead they are addressed mainly by efforts to alter and enlarge—“rescale”—the authority of the apparatus of the national state to cover specific NTS issues in a variety of locations. The resulting process of state expansion if not transformation is promoted and resisted by domestically competing coalitions of socioeconomic and political forces. Regionalist theory and rhetoric notwithstanding, it is the intra-national struggles among such groups that dictate how these nascent modes of NTS-focused governance operate in practice. Jones will illustrate his argument with particular reference to Southeast Asia.