The Logic of Regional Security in the Post-Cold War World

  • Barry Buzan
Part of the The New Regionalism book series (NERE)


This chapter explores the problems of using regional analysis to think through the security agenda of the post-Cold War world. It starts with a summary of traditional security complex theory, with its military-political focus, and its firm regionalizing logic (anyone familiar with security complex theory can skip this subsection), and looks at how that view is still relevant in the post-Cold War world. Section 2 surveys the changes in the nature of the security agenda, examining the rise of economic and environmental security, with their new types of threat and new referent objects, and the decline in salience of military-political security issues amongst the great powers. Section 3 investigates whether three of the ‘new’ security sectors — economic, environmental, societal — contain a regionalizing logic, and if so, how it works. Section 4 tries to reintegrate the analysis. It looks at the merits of treating sectors separately, or amalgamating them into single, multi-sectoral security complexes.1


Regional Security Regional Logic European Security Security Complex Security Dynamic 
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© The United Nations University/World Institute for Development Economics Research, Katajanokanlaituri 6B, 00160 Helsinki, Finland 2000

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  • Barry Buzan

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