Security In The Andean Region, Diplomacy, Post Cold War Transformations

4841 words - 19 pages

Mapping Transregional Security Structures in the Andean RegionThe state has not been immune to post-Cold War transformations and the state centered model no longer applies. Global forces have resulted in a reconfiguration of the state that has had important consequences for the institution of sovereignty and for the Westphalian model. New global processes do not imply the death of the state but they suggest the need to question the conventional disaggregated, state centric view of international and domestic level politics. Globalization is all about the transformation of social geography marked by the growth of supraterritorial spaces that both transcend and coexist with conventional state units. New analytical tools are required for conceptualizing mechanisms and units that no longer strictly coincide with the modern state and state system logics.Among the multiple global processes that are reshaping sociopolitical actors in world politics, the globalization of security is one of the most evident. Security concerns and threats are borderless; they are relational and they are experienced by multiple actors at multiple levels. This article explores the current security problematic in the Andean region (Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador.) Spiraling levels of violence and social unrest, armed subversion, criminality, drug trafficking, poverty and deprivation, corruption, and ungovernability, the Andes have become the epicenter of hemispheric instability.Not only are many security imperatives in the region border blind, but states and societies also share many of the same security threats. Furthermore, Colombia's high-profile crisis has acted to crowd out the consideration of other nonmilitary-developments that also pose real risks to the security of the region. The region of South America has common problems a trait that typifies most geographic regions, but also security processes that permeate the area and transcend to individual countries within it. The Andean context, thinking beyond the state is useful way to begin identifying features and processes that may adhere to the entire region, or conversely, to subsets of the region, that do not necessarily conform to accepted political boundaries. This article takes up those issues by first looking at alternative units of analysis common in the field of international relations, then analyzing how relevant these nonstate approaches may be as a way of conceptualizing new political and social spaces in the Andean region.Although political science has had a long-standing fixation on the state, states are not the only existint forms of political community: there are multiple layers and spaces in global relations. As a way of introducing our approach, we first briefly sketch five nonstate models found in the field of IR salient to a discussion of how the post-Cold War global security processes are operational within the northern portion of South America.1. THE REGION. The region is highlighted as the...

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