The other side of the security coin

February 20th 2017 - 15:00

The presence of peace is more than the absence of conflict. Analyses and evaluations of the state of the international security environment often focus solely on the most concerning developments and tend to fall back on various conflict-centric metrics when providing assessments of a given security landscape. This chapter, entitled “The Other Side of the Security Coin” investigates a number of positive socioeconomic trends occurring on a global level and how they can contribute to sustainable peace in the future. 

Improving citizens’ access to socioeconomic opportunities and livelihood-enhancing goods and services is a key factor in increasing the stake that citizens hold in the state of peace in their communities. Fitting within global trends such as the rise of the platform economy and social media, the role of technological and developmental processes improving individual empowerment will become more important for security and defense organizations in the near future. As to how we can leverage the dramatic changes ongoing throughout the world to better suit our security objectives remains yet to be seen. This study provides a brief overview of these trends and identifies the options for security and defense organizations to remain on top of them.

This study is part of the 2016-2017 HCSS StratMon.

Stephan De Spiegeleire is Principal Scientist at HCSS. He has Master’s degrees from the Graduate Institute in Geneva and Columbia University in New York, as well as a C.Phil. degree in Political Science from UCLA. He worked for the RAND Corporation for nearly ten years, interrupted by stints at the Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and the WEU’s Institute for Security Studies. Mr. De Spiegeleire started out as a Soviet specialist, but has since branched out into several fields of international security and defense policy. His current work at HCSS focuses on strategic defense management, security resilience, network-centrism, capabilities-based planning, and the transformation of defense planning.
Dr. Tim Sweijs is the Director of Research at The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. He is the initiator, creator and author of numerous studies, methodologies, and tools for horizon scanning, early warning, conflict analysis, national security risk assessment, and strategy and capability development. Tim has lectured at universities and military academies around the world. His main research interest concerns the changing character of contemporary conflict. Tim is a Senior Research Fellow at the Netherlands Defence Academy and an Affiliate at the Center for International Strategy, Technology and Policy in the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at the Georgia Institute of Technology.