Owing to the very different historical and cultural backgrounds as well as varied political, economic and social trajectories, security concerns and agendas in Asia and Europe have always been, to a large extent, distinct from one another. Nonetheless, both regions are currently re-thinking traditional defence mechanisms – vestiges of Cold War deterrents against conflict and security threats.
With the advance of globalization, issues of non-traditional security threats transcending “traditional” nation-state and regional boundaries have begun to assert themselves. Terrorism, the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and organized crime (human and drug trafficking, maritime piracy and money laundering, etc.) are vivid examples, not to mention vulnerabilities associated with financial integration, massive-scale natural calamities, environmental degradation and epidemics.
In the light of these developments, the importance of the concept of “comprehensive security” – a holistic means for managing security problems entailing inclusion of, rather than reliance on, force as an option – is winning acceptance. For Asia and Europe, clearly, establishing “new security mechanisms” which involve greater co-operation between the two regions is vital in this approach. As is examining current regional security mechanisms and their relationship vis-à-vis American security engagements.
This book investigates the issue of new security challenges in Asia and Europe by firstly comparing the differences in perceptions of security threats followed by an analysis of the distinct regional security mechanisms employed in the two regions. Prospects for greater dialogue and closer co-operation between Asia and Europe within the framework of “comprehensive security” are discussed as a feasible solution.
Readership: Academics, Researchers in the field of security and international relations, governmental officials and policy makers.