6 August 2012
Given the structural changes and shifting power dynamics that are occurring throughout the globe, how should we perceive the security-related issues that are most familiar to us? Over the coming 14 weeks, this is the question that the ISN will be exploring in Part 3 of its inaugural Editorial Plan.
Prepared by: ISN staff
Today we begin the third and final part of the ISN’s first ever Editorial Plan (EP). Part One of the Plan, which began last November and lasted 14 weeks, tried to answer a fundamental question – is the structure of the international system undergoing comprehensive and irreversible change? To support our answer, which was an unqualified “yes,” we looked at the nature of this change in a prism-like way. We addressed, among other things, the geopolitical, institutional, normative, economic, and technological transformations that have occurred in recent history – e.g., transformations that have empowered individuals and transnational or non-governmental institutions in significant ways. (see http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Editorial-Plan/Overview for all the topics we covered.)
In Part 2 of the EP, and as a consequence of the first question we answered, we asked a second one – if the nature and structure of the international system are indeed undergoing irreversible change, what impact is this change having on our attitudes towards power and how we use it? To support our conclusion that our visions of power are indeed changing, and significantly, we once again looked at the topic in a prism-like way. (We did so over another 14 weeks, as the above link also shows.) Indeed, what we concluded should surprise no one – the diffusion, democratization and individualizing of power is now occurring on a global scale.
With the above two questions answered, we now arrive at the third and final 14-week installment of our Editorial Plan. The overarching question to be addressed this time, particularly given the first two interrelated questions we asked, should surprise no one: Given the wide-ranging structural changes and shifting power dynamics that are occurring throughout the globe, how should we perceive or interpret a collection of security-related issues that are familiar to most of us? The above, previously highlighted link identifies the sequence of 14 topics we will cover over the next several months, which begins by looking at the growing security implications of climate change.
In closing, please remember that our daily Editorial Plan contribution is supplemented by fresh Security Watch (http://www.isn.ethz.ch/isn/Security-Watch/Articles)and ISN Blog (http://isnblog.ethz.ch/) contributions as well. The latter two products may be more current events-oriented than the EP, but we believe that by providing this troika of daily ISN content we will continue to provide the information you need about international relations and security affairs. We wish you, as always, happy reading and we thank you for your interest in the ISN.