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PSIR 2A-6.2 Security and Power – Previous Year Questions – Solved

Model Answers to PYQs (2013-2023)

1] Critically assess the changing nature of the concept of national security. [2014/15m/200w/2c]

The term security means the state of being free from any possible threat. It was used in international relations regarding national security which was state-centric and revolved around the military strength of a country. However, with many new forces at play, the concept of national security also has varied meanings.

The concept of traditional security deals with protecting the state and its territory by employing military power. It does not talk about the people and the threats they suffer, by factors sometimes in control of the state, sometimes not.

We see the rise of non-traditional security issues. As it has been called by some, the post-colonial approach to security. For instance, the Non-Alignment Movement was driven by the reason that the newly independent countries had no time to play the weapon games of the developed north; and could not afford to think about arms and ammunition when their people have no food to eat.

The non-traditional security threats come from non-state actors; they are non-military issues. All these security issues come under Human security; economic security, food security, environmental security, personal security, community security, cybersecurity etc. They are also transnational; meaning that it is not necessary that the threat would be focused and confined to a particular territory, for instance; climate change. And these threats are transmitted rapidly which is obvious, given we are in the age of globalization marked by the ICT revolution.

These are interlinked and not mutually exclusive. Economic crisis might lead to migration which in turn would lead to an increase in population density of a place then there would be food crisis and environmental problems leading to conflicts.

Today, national security is dynamic and multidimensional. It is more focus on the population of the state but it hasn’t totally lost its state-centrism.

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