The connection between security, development and globalisation

Essay, 2018

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This essay is to build an argument and draw a connection line between development and security and vice versa. Development and security are two widely discussed concepts and there is a significant number of theories, paradigms, and arguments related to development and security ideas. However, since the end of the Cold War, more and more scholars and practitioners recognised the impact of conflict and insecurity in relation to development. It is clear that population in post-conflict countries need basic level of security, but to keep long­term security in a post-conflict state, people in that particular state must have access to resources for their survival and development. First part will introduce the commonly recognized definitions of development and security. Further in the text, core development paradigms and theories will be presented. In the third part, the essay will focus on the development-security nexus and securitization of development, go through the progress of the Millennium Development Goals, where security was “the missing bottom of development", Denney (2012), through World Bank, World Development Report 2011, Conflict, Security and Development to setting the new agenda of Sustainable Development Goals in 2015.A brief introduction on security-development and globalisation relationship, and end the essay with a conclusion on the issues related to development-security nexus, and globalisation.


Development and developing countries have been widely discussed in the past 60 years since the end of the Second World War, hence the need for development studies to engage with theories, paradigms, and arguments. Development typically refers to the processes and strategies through which nations and states seek to improve human well-being in an underdeveloped country. Development activities can vary or combine, socio-economic growth, the provision of health and education, and improvements in infrastructure. Edwards (1989) argued that development is not an easy linear process and in some underdeveloped countries, the process of developing is going backward instead of forward. Ferguson and Lohmann (1994) had a different point of view and argued that “development” is used as a justification by developed countries to provide aid to less developed countries and increase their influence in local politics and local policymaking. Later Cobridge (2007) argued that development studies are based on two basic principles: principle of difference where Third World Countries are described as different and that is the reason for separate field of studies such as development studies, the second principle is the principle of similarity where underdeveloped countries, through introduction of development policies, become more like the developed countries.

The idea of Third Worldism and developing countries first emerged in late the 1940s and early 1950s. As a Third World Countries were referred countries that stayed reluctant to take a side in the Cold War. The Third Worldism was widely supported in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s and exponents of the Third Worldism linked it to the liberation of nations throughout Asia and Africa. However, in the early 1980s, the “West-East” conflict and Third Worldism was displaced by the “North-South” conflict and Third Worldism had its decline, Berger (2004). Security has traditionally been defined as the protection of the territorial integrity, stability, and vital interests of states. On the other side, the definition of security is the state of being free from danger or threat, but when it comes to development, many scholars talk about securitization of development. That means that many governments and international aid agencies, revised their aid policies to fight security concerns coming from a conflict-affected country, or in other words they draw a connection line between development and security, while development is not typically in security agenda.


First, we are going to explore the Modernization Paradigm. It was first mentioned by Lerner (1958) in his book ‘ The passing of traditional society: Modernizing the Middle East. In his book he argues that traditional Middle East societies can be modernized by taking the Western model of modernization, and more specific modernization of the Middle East by urbanization and introducing mass media. Two years later in the 1960s, Walt Rostow contributed to the Modernization theory by publishing his work The stages of economic growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto. His main argument was that the economy growth can move the development of a country, where he used Europe as an example, and described five main stages for economic growth that will eventually lead to development. In the last chapter of his book, Rostow finished his book by comparing his theory and making distinctions from Marxists views. Another contributor to this theory is David Apter. In 1965 in his book ‘The politics of modernization ’, Apter restore politics to its rightful place as an independent variable and argues that non-democratic countries are on their development path to become modernized democratic countries. Apter implies the notion of how the “West” has developed a system of peaceful change of office and how that affected development in Western countries. His theory is valid in present days when it comes to non-democratic countries in West Africa and Asia, where people are struggling and living in poverty, local powers can’t or do not want to find a peaceful solution for democratic government elections, countries are torn by destroying conflicts and local population is looking to migrate to developed, democratic countries, mainly across Europe. However, the three theories on modernization were heavily criticised because of their West ‘orientation’. Eisenstad’s ‘Multiple Modernities’ issued in the year 2000, came with a new approach to Modernisation, where he distinguished the West as representing one kind of development that should not take primacy over other developments.

Dependency paradigm came as critique to Modernization theory. Frank (1966) argued that the Global South is not developed because the Global North is developed. Underdevelopment of the South was a result of four centuries of capitalism that benefited the Global North, and it benefited in such way that halted further development the Global South. Later Wallerstein (1979) added to this theory, arguing that everything exists within one system, but that system was divided to core, semi-periphery and periphery where the core benefits by exploiting semi-periphery and periphery by extracting resources for profit. His theory was capitalist oriented and was criticized by opponents like Marx. Another contributor to this theory is Gereffi (2001: 6). He did add a little different perspective to the Dependency paradigm, Gereffi focused on Global Commodity Chain and Global Value Chain rather than to countries and argued that there are specific barriers for the developing countries to enter the more profitable parts of the chain and will normally do the manual, less paid work. However, there has been a growing interest by international organisations such as Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, World Trade Organisation, and other organisations, aim to establish new metrics in a bid to protect the economic growth of the exporting countries involved in GVC. Value chain analysis have become a major instrument of private sector development and is widely used by all major bilateral and multilateral donors and agencies. According to Altenburg (2007), value chain analyses became widely used because there is a clear link between economic growth driven by the private sector and poverty reduction, and also the effect of globalisation on the domestic markets in developing countries, where local firms struggle to design, produce and market on their own.

Alternative development paradigm is the Post-development theory. It was first mentioned by Michel Foucault (Corbridge 2007: 183) in the 1980s. He was later followed by scholars such as Arturo Escobar and Wolfgang Sachs. They argued that development was nothing more than an appearance of neo-colonialism, and that the West is maintaining its position as first world while keeping the rest of the world to its hierarchal lower position. Post-development academics have been heavily criticised for their views, describing the development world as states without voice on the global scene having to sail with the wind of the more powerful first world countries. Some authors such as Nederveen Pieterse (1991), believe that development was launched by Americans, simply to stop spreading the ideology of communism, which was considered as “false philosophy” that mislead many people around the globe.

Post-colonialism paradigm discovers the effects of imperialism from the times of colonization to the present day. One of the most famous post-colonialism scholars that support that theory is Edward Said and his renowned book Orientalism (1978). He argues that the West has created distorted image of the Orient, civilisation living in the Arab world is represented as uncivilised and barbarian and based upon that, the West has implemented foreign policies towards the developing countries, which policies would otherwise be unacceptable to the public. 25 years later, Said (2003) added to his argument that development has turned into a modern imperialism. In his article, Said uses empirical examples from Africa and Middle East, where “past” empires that are today developed countries, have a mission to enlighten, and civilize the underdeveloped world and that it uses force only as a last resort, although violence and use of power is often justified by the excuse of bringing order and democracy to the uncivilised, barbarian, and underdeveloped countries, which is not necessarily leading to development.

However, many developing countries have failed in their journey through development. In the 1989, World Bank, Sub-Saharan Africa: From Crisis to Sustainable Growth, reported that failure to develop, was not related to the policies and recommendations of the donors providing aid, it was a consequence of the implementations of the policies by the developing countries. This has led to introducing of neoliberal reforms and neoliberalism theory. Some scholars note that policies linked to neoliberalism were introduced by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, respectively British Prime Minister and US President. Neoliberal reforms refer to market-oriented reform policies such as "eliminating price

controls, deregulating capital markets, lowering trade barriers" and reducing state influence on the economy, especially through privatization and austerity. In his essay, Ferguson (2009) argued that if the developing states had similar political systems and implemented economic and political power in the same way that developed countries did, the aid provided by the developed states will be way more effective towards the development of the aid receiving countries. He criticised neoliberalism, claiming that only had positive effect for the holders of large capital and not the poor, while leading to increasing inequality, insecurity, loss of public services, and a general deterioration of quality of life for the lower and working class.


In the past 20 years, more and more scholars and policy makers see development and security as inextricably linked. Wars, repeated cycles of violence, terrorism, criminal and civil conflicts, directly and destructively affect development. It is estimated that around one billion people, including 340 million people of world’s poorest population, live in number of 30 to 50 countries in Africa, that are affected by conflicts or in a situation close to conflict situation. Good example of a policy document, is the National Security Strategy of the United Kingdom, released in the 2008, that stated:

In the past, most violent conflicts and significant threats to global security came from strong states. Currently, most of the major threats and risks emanate from failed or fragile states ... Failed and fragile states increase the risk of instability and conflict, and at the same time have a reduced capacity to deal with it, as we see in parts of Africa. They have the potential to destabilise the surrounding region. Many fragile states lack the capacity and, in some cases, the will adequately to address terrorism and organised crime, in some instances knowingly tolerating or directly sponsoring such activity. (Cabinet Office 2008: page 14, section 3.21)

In the past two decades a significant shift was made from national, territorial security to more focused human security and also achieving security not through use of weapons but through sustainable development.

In the year of 2000, United Nations (UN) introduced the Millennium Development Goal’s (MDG’s). Setting the MDG framework, contributed to broadening of the understanding and challenges of development. Since setting the development agenda in 2000, an area that was at first underestimated, have soon started to be recognised across the community involved in development studies. As Denney (2012) argued, security was ‘the missing bottom of development’. Five years after the beginning of the implementation of the MDG agenda, UN have released The Millennium Development Goals Report 2005, a report that recognised the effect of insecurity over the development. In another report from 2005, UNFPA- United Nation Population Fund, reported that since year 2000, conflict has erupted in 40 countries and that in the wake of war or violent conflict, educational and health systems collapse, poverty and hunger increases in conflict affected areas, gender-based violence increases, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections spread, infant and maternal mortality rate numbers grow significantly. The report concluded that 34 poor countries that are farthest from reaching the MDGs, 22 are in or emerging from conflict. It was established that conflicts are altering their nature and from international become more intranational. Internal conflicts tend to last longer than wars between countries and the burden carried by the civilians, including abduction, rape, mutilation, torture and massacre. UNFPA (2005) also reported that during conflict and its aftermath, women and young people are particularly vulnerable; 80 per cent of the world’s 35 million refugees and internally displaced persons are women and children. Recovery from armed conflict is a long-lasting process, and keeping a country to its path to peace may not be achieved in a straight forward way. Roughly half of all countries that emerge from war lapse back into violence within five years.

Most significant report on the security-development nexus, was the World’s Bank, World Development Report (WDR)-Conflict, Security and Development (2011). The report carried a message that is time to recognise the links between security and development. New forms of conflict were identified, and their direct or indirect effect over development. The report highlighted the differences in institutional reforms and good governance that are key to development, work completely different in conflict and fragile states, and how the role of the state can be undermined or completely missing in areas of conflict. WDR described in detail how conflict and fragility lead to enormous challenges, causing poverty, destroyed economies and infrastructure, increased number of displaced people. Jones and Rodgers (2011) as a critique to the report, underlined as a major flow in the report, the missing distinction between conflict and violence as a security threats, and distinguishing different forms of violence, that can be of different forms, origin and dynamics.

Nonetheless, understanding of security broadened from the idea of international security, to a more basic human security and threats emanating from poverty; infections and diseases; lack of water, education and healthcare; occurrence of different forms of violence. A group of researchers at the Institute for Development Studies (IDS), presented a paper at conference in Bonn, and have argued that human security offers an appropriate theoretical framework for the post-MDGs to be developed, Kohler et al (2011).

Following the MDG, new broader agenda was set by adopting the Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The document was adopted by UN General Assembly in 2015, and its purpose was to build on MDG and complete what they did not achieved. The document included 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets that were to be achieved by 2030. Specific attention was paid to peace and security:

‘We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development ’.

The new sustainable development agenda recognised the need to build peaceful communities effective rule of law; good governance at all intranational levels; factors which give rise to violence, insecurity and injustice, such as inequality, corruption, poor governance and illicit financial and arms flows; right of self-determination was addressed in the agenda, which was often a reason for a conflict.

Relation between security and development work both ways, there is no development without security and there is no security without development. The notion of no security without development is closely recognised as ‘securitization of development’, whereby development is recognised for its impact on security. Security-development relationship seen as ‘securitization of development’ is often validated by the foreign aid policies adopted by the countries of the developed part of the world.

Security-development nexus is directly related to globalisation. Duffield (2001) argued that ‘emerging systems of global governance’, or ‘political complexes’, were created to deal with the growing threats to the security of the developed countries, originating from the underdeveloped and insecure global ‘South’, and highlighted the need of new security framework that address the modalities of underdevelopment as a dangerous. The link between security, development and globalisation is identified by recognising the global, developing ‘South’ as a threat to global security, and the rising opportunities in the global ‘South’ for rebels, terrorists and actors causing chaos. In relation to globalisation, many scholars and policy makers find the connexion between international economy interdependence, migration of people from underdeveloped conflict areas to global ‘North’, and the importance of provision of aid from developed to developing countries.


To summarise, this essay has drawn a connection between security, development and globalisation. It is drawn upon the need of wider recognition and understanding the development-security nexus and the global effect coming out of that relationship. Violent conflict always presented great challenges to developing countries and raised security threats to neighbouring countries and international actors. More and more international actors and multilateral organisations support the truism that there is no development without security, and no security without development.


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The connection between security, development and globalisation
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