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Post-Colonial Approach to

Security
Lecture 7

Introduction
Efforts to create global security and peace are Eurocentric giving great powers central role in maintaining
BoP that yields international security and stability
Small states conceptualization of their own security
needs
NNPT marginalizes small states by building an unequal
global security architecture
Nuclear proliferation to irrational third world states
causes insecurity (Realists)
However, logic of deterrence through nuclear weapons
can extend global security (defensive realists)
Nuclear related regimes are progressing attempts to
mitigate the effects of anarchy (Liberals)

Post-Colonial Assumptions
The global material and normative security structure is
unequal based on great powers hierarchy
Colonialism has shaped contemporary world
Great powers narrative at the end of WW 2 built the security
structure
Victorious allies are the triumphant bearers of good that
defeated the evil
However, many allied powers were brutal colonialists
Institutions emerged after WW 2 carry traces of colonial
prejudices
USA, the only user of Nuclear weapon has still huge arsenal
creating insecurity to other states
Cold war was hot for proxies of great powers

Contd
Irans vulnerabilities of the USA
9/11 attacks have globalized to the west the sense of
vulnerabilities
Global exploitation has manufactured and sustained terrorism
The hierarchies and inequalities differently distribute
insecurity and vulnerable actors pursue their own path to
security
Nation-state system, sovereignty, International organizations,
notions of humanitarianism emerge from the encounter b/w
West and the Rest
Regimes and treaties of insecurity are biased

NNPT
Signed in 1968, effected in 1970
All but four countries (India, Pakistan, Israel, North
Korea) are parties to the treaty
It is considered to be quite effective in preventing the
spread of nuclear weapons
It is celebrated for committing nuclear powers to
disarmament (SALT, START)
It has been appreciated for initiating liberal
enlightenment order based on progressive value of
human reason and rationality (William Walker)

Criticism
India charged international community of practicing
nuclear apartheid that divided the world b/w haves and
have-nots
USA signed nuclear deal with India in 2006 legitimizing
Indias nuclear programme
The de-facto legitimating of Indian nuclear programme has
renewed charges of nuclear apartheid from Pakistan,
which is treated as pariah state
The treaty allows NWS to retain the weapons and bar all
others to acquire weapons
No provision to prevent vertical proliferation
No time-bound commitment for the NWS towards complete
disarmament
Indefinite freezing of the nuclear status quo (1995)

Nuclear Apartheid Argument

In 2010
22400 nuclear warheads
Operational;
8000
U.S & Russian
95 %
U.S.A
9400
Russia
12000
U.K
225
France
300
China
240
India
60-80
Pakistan
70-90
Israel
80
North Korea 8-12
8/9 nuclear weapons states continue to produce or modernize
nuclear weapons

Critical Questions
Why possession of few nuclear weapons by 4 countries
cause insecurity that the massive numbers of nuclear
war heads, many on active alert, in U.S.A do not?
If possession of nuclear weapons ensure security for
great powers why are their possession by the small
states cause global insecurity?
Why the mere possession of the weapons (as against
the use by USA) becomes questionable?
Are the strategic objectives of the NNPT related to
peace or maintenance of monopoly of the great powers?
Doesnt the NNPT sets different standards of national
security for different states?

Orientalism
Post-colonialist theorist Edward Said distinguished b/w the
Occident (Euro-American) and Orient (Non-West)
Orientalism embodies various institutions of modern learning
and policy making
It emerges from historical encounter b/w Occident and Orient
and includes prejudices about third world culture and people
The Discourse of Occidents
The spread of nuclear weapons to the third world rogue states or
terrorist groups is dangerous for International Security
Discourse considers Orients as untrustworthy custodians of the
nuclear weapons
Western geopolitical imaginary positions the West as policing agent
of any nuclear proliferation and casts it as crime or theft

Counter Argument of Orietalists


Multiple causes and
proliferation
Security rationales

motivations

for

nuclear

Iran, just like France and Israel during cold war has
security rationale)

Interests of various military-Industrial complexes


Domestic nationalist posturing
Status seeking approach

Post-Colonial Approach to Global Security


Universal nuclear disarmament
Newly emerging nuclear weapons states with underdeveloped Command, Control, Communications,
Intelligence (3CI) are more vulnerable to nuclear
dangers
The pursuit of security has shelved the question of
justice in favour securing peace
Achieving sustainable global peace requires putting
issues of justice at the very centre of analysis and
policy making