The Development-Security Nexus: An Exploitative Past and Present

The development-security nexus has become a central focus of policy, practice, and thought. It is informed by a constellation of players, including governments and politicians, humanitarian agencies, and scholars—each with unique forms of subjectivity. These actors “call forth conditions of need and insecurity to which collectively, and in competition, they seek to provide solutions.”[1] Emerging literature, reports, and policies plainly reference the mutually reinforcing tendencies between security and development;[2] the “nexus” claims that transboundary problems (such as terrorism, migration, violence, disease, and more) are intensified by underdevelopment.[3] According to Kofi Annan:

Development and security are inextricably linked. A more secure world is only possible if poor countries are given a real chance to develop… Even people in rich countries will be more secure if their Governments help poor countries…[4]

Such forms of prominent discourse are not neutral; with Eurocentric roots and aims, they produce power structures that inform epistemological understandings of the world and normalize particular practices. The ways in which such language becomes mobilized begets the questions: In whose favor does the development-security nexus operate? What are the drawbacks of this approach?

I use this article to assess who benefits in the practical deployment of the nexus model and what problems accompany this implementation. Dynamically shifting through various eras, the nexus moved into a world system, reinforcing a transnational order that generated a “Global South” in relation to a “Global North.” Mark Duffield suggested a need to historicize understandings of the interrelationship between security and development to better question the rationales behind contemporary discourses and actions.[5] This article thus uses a long historiography to contest the way the nexus is widely framed as “new” in existing literature.

First, I situate this text within the larger debate around the security-development nexus. Second, I discuss the exploitative history of the nexus, demonstrating that for the purpose of increased security vis-à-vis colonial rivals, development initiatives targeted European powers. Western industrialization was made feasible through the system of domination and plunder that successively destabilized the colonized; oppression of the Global South improved security of the North. I illustrate how this hierarchical power structure was reinforced in the Cold War, which witnessed a new association between development and security, but not a new beneficiary of the latter. This period shifted development objectives to the previously colonized. Under the guise of sincere democratic development, foreign aid flows were deployed by the West as a security measure against the USSR. Non-Western states’ practical state sovereignty and security was weakened by Eurocentric interference, as I illustrate with a Guatemalan case study. Third, I analyze the explicit fusion of development and security in the contemporary context, and its reanimation of interventionary practices. The West strategically established “human security,” entrenched in the political functions of international policy agreements, to steadily erode state sovereignty. Owing to Western influence, the current criteria for insecurity reveals a Eurocentric preference. I use Iraq, Afghanistan, and the United States African Command (AFRICOM) as examples that altruistic discourse necessitates intervention in the Global South and hides the less noble aim of exclusively reinforcing Western security.

On this basis, I argue that the Eurocentric history of the development-security nexus reflects colonial logics and a system of domination. I conclude with an assessment of the nexus’s drawbacks. This article demonstrates that the nexus is not a new phenomenon—when made operational, it underpins international power hierarchies and strengthens the security of the West.

The “Development-Security Nexus”

The nexus reflects a subjective reality[6] but widespread discourse suggests these concepts’ interplay is uniformly agreed upon.[7] In actuality, there are many points of ideological departure around conflict, security, and development. Maria Stern and Joakim Öjendal highlighted that the nexus is differently experienced, instilled with meaning, and carried out.[8] Comparably, David Chandler noted the “panoply of theory, policy, and practice” [9] surrounding the nexus, particularly given the proliferation of development malaises. Further, Eleanor O’Gorman discussed the failure of nexus operations to specify a “referent object”:[10]


Frequently in discussions of the security–development nexus it is unclear whose security is being referred to; a sharp distinction needs to be drawn between the security of those people in the countries where development is being pursued and security in the country of the donor.[11]

Distinct ontologies produce contestation over the meanings of “security” and “development”; they are simultaneously tools to generate knowledge and describe international affairs and to discursively construct the reality they expose. Both terms “have been imbued with meaning through linear modernist discourses that reflect the European and resonate with colonial logics.”[12] The enactment of a static nexus can hence favor select purposes and interests, while the rhetorical power to define development, security, and their linkage can conceal the inherently lopsided power dynamics at work.[13]

The nexus is important; the paradigm is rendered into an actionable model by political and economic resources, as if it is an agreed upon fixed reality, that then structures interactions globally. For example, Duffield suggests that development, rather than leading to international security, seeks to proselytize attitudes and behaviors in ways that the liberal state deems appropriate.[14] The transformation of societies through development assistance is a form of maintaining the inequitable global divide and thus, a form of security for the liberal Western state.  By detecting this pattern of contact in North/South relations, it becomes apparent that practices of the contemporary nexus have a longer chronology than their most recent post-Cold War appearance. Humanitarian rhetoric of the nexus is only a preservation tool for longstanding power hierarchies: historically, the West privileged its own security at the expense of the Global South, while today, the nexus reinvigorates this arrangement, advancing conventional goals with fresh strategies.

When existing literature suggests a “new” relationship between security and development in the form of the nexus[15], it fails to recognize that even without specific articulation of the correlation, security has always been a pinnacle of development tactics. History demonstrates that there is a singular form the nexus has consistently taken that informs a particular Eurocentric vision of the world. By identifying Eurocentric implementation of the historical nexus, we can recast how we conceptualize the role of the nexus in the present and reformulate the way it operates in the future.

History of the Nexus

Colonial History

Colonialism piloted the first modern link between development and security. Reflected within this epoch was the traditionalist idea of security, espoused by adherents of the realist school of thought, who defined the concept as “freedom from any objective military threat to the state survival in an anarchic international system.”[16] According to Stern and Öjendal, “‘security’ has traditionally revolved around the principle of modern state sovereignty. If the state is not ‘secure,’ then political order unravels and ultimately citizens, and all other possible, ‘referents of security,’ are imperiled.”[17] Security presupposed preservation of the state and denoted strengthening the state’s material base, typically in favor of the bourgeoisie and at the expense of the colonized. Safety could only be achieved through industrialization, a march towards modernity. Björn Hettne proposed that the colonial notion of “development” was molded by economic rivalry, indistinguishable from market activity, and rationalized by sentiments of insecurity for “backward,” unevenly developed states.[18]

In this context, European powers colonized large swaths of the Global South. Wealth and security were amassed by the few at the expense of the many—activating a pervasive system of domination. Ugo Mattei and Laura Nader discussed the rationale behind such plunder:

Behind the early colonial efforts of the European powers lay the need to finance the tremendous economic necessity of the newborn centralized systems of government, essential for capitalist development to happen. Without gold, silver, cotton, and human beings coming from faraway lands, it would have been impossible to finance the institutional system that eventually paved the way to industrialization and development.[19]

Security within the Westphalian system was contingent on each state’s comparative industrialization and development. Consequently, colonies—and their wealth—were direct sources for development that reinforced European security.[20]

Despite discourse that tried to demonstrate otherwise, the targets of development initiatives during this era were the colonizers themselves, to protect against their European neighbors. Nonetheless, rhetoric justified colonialism through its “civilizing mission,” a moral imperative to act in the interest of underdeveloped peoples and a recurrent feature of interventionism. To sustain this moral high ground, the colonized were constructed as “the other,”[21] lacking in education, capacity, and human rights practices.[22] From this moral trusteeship, European states were selflessly engaged in “a paternalistic practice of government that exports ‘civilization’ (e.g. modernization) in order to foster the improvement of native peoples.”[23]


However, in juxtaposition with the reality this language sought to produce, colonies were maintained to benefit the colonizers. “Colonialism was practiced to benefit the imperial states themselves, including through the extraction of material and human resources from the colonized society.”[24] Enlightenment thinkers critiqued the barbarity of colonialism and in doing so revealed the true relationship between security and development. For example, Alexis de Tocqueville recognized that colonialism did not benefit native peoples, with vicious tactics such as crop destruction, land confiscation, and seizure of unarmed civilians. Yet, while he was critical of how such practices fit into the “civilizing mission” discourse, he defended colonialism and its destructive procedures due to the benefits accrued to France’s stature vis-à-vis rivals like England.[25] Therefore, Tocqueville reaffirmed the deployment of the nexus during this time frame. The increased security of Western powers was tantamount to the development of the European nation-state, attained by the plunder of the Global South.

Cold War Security

Having demonstrated that to improve security, European states were the target of development initiatives in the colonial era, the next section will address how the new recipients of these objectives were the recently decolonized. Here, I discuss the security objectives of the Cold War order and use Guatemala as a case study to illustrate the ways in which development was used as a tool for Western supremacy. The development-security nexus shifted in the aftermath of World War II with the collapse of the reigning colonial order, but it was exchanged for a system that similarly favored the security of Western states above all else.

Discourse around “development” was transformed in the post-World War II context. Rhetoric from US President Harry Truman’s 1949 Inaugural Address stimulated a new “development age[26] that maintained the supremacy of Western powers and advanced a novel way of conceiving the relation between development and underdevelopment. The fourth point of his address introduced a linearity in which all states, developed or underdeveloped, were conceptually equal. The latter, as members of the same family, experienced an equality de jure—if found lagging in reality, they possessed the capacity to close the gap.[27] It was now implied that the decolonized could become “self-made,” secure, and developed— the underdevelopment and insecurity of the past held the promise of development and security in the future. This framework had important ramifications as it disguised the Eurocentric structure of development, erased the historical conditions that facilitated the industrialization and stabilization of European states, and masked the greater security aims of the West with rhetoric of equality.

In the Cold War order, the nexus was active in relation to a global rivalry between superpowers over two distinct socio-economic systems and connections between development and security became more formally perceptible.[28] Development objectives were leveraged as an instrument in the Global South for retaining Western hegemony, as aid allocation was guided by geopolitics.

The realist camp upheld traditional security views, measured in terms of the state’s safety from military aggression. Thus, the West built a political sphere of influence as a barrier against Soviet Union bellicosity. Bloc stability ensured security and so, counter-insurgency strategies included politicized development assistance to allied states. Aid tacitly targeted the previously colonized to bolster political alliances, stop the spread of communism, and uphold the liberal state.[29] For the recently decolonized, these practices drastically limited sovereignty and reflected “the subordinate economic position of the non-European areas in the world system.”[30] This security strategy strengthened the West’s standing against the USSR and was rhetorically vindicated by foreign aid’s “humble mission” of humanitarian advancement—a helping hand to lift underdeveloped states up a rung on the development ladder. Meanwhile, the “othering” nature of the nexus proved to be its most chronic feature, effectively pedestaling the Western liberal state and marginalizing all else.

Flows of foreign aid had little to do with modernizing underdeveloped states, stabilizing the global south, or improving lives: the true beneficiary remained the West. In what Sarah Bermeo called targeted development: “industrialized states pursue[d] development when and where it benefit[ted] themselves”; development is practiced to benefit the donor, not to support a “moral vision” of interaction between states.[31] In the Cold War order, development assistance was deployed to make the West’s ideologies and sphere of influence more secure – very little attention was paid to the practical welfare of its allies’ citizens. “The primacy accorded the formation of political alliances, for example, meant that unsavory domestic relations, including human rights abuse, were often overlooked in the pursuit of realist goals.”[32]

The West leveraged development aid as a self-serving security tool. For example, fearful of the reach of the Kremlin’s “octopus tentacles,” the United States (US) orchestrated a coup in Guatemala. Democratically elected in 1951, leftist President Jacobo Arbenz was labeled as a “red” threat to Western security. Consequently, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) unseated the popularly elected government and installed a series of repressive authoritarian rulers, who were reinforced through US foreign support.[33] The Pentagon routed over $33 million to the Guatemalan military despite the army’s history of human rights abuses.[34] The coup resulted in violence, rekindled divisions, and the massacre of 200,000 civilians.[35]

Evidently, Guatemalan insecurity, and that of civilians within the state’s boundaries, was disregarded by the West. Guatemala, and other underdeveloped nations, were targets of development assistance but not the beneficiaries. In defense of such interference, propaganda falsely depicted Guatemala to be on the verge of a Moscow totalitarian dictatorship,[36] thereby referencing the harsh brand of Stalinist Communism that witnessed humanitarian abuses like the execution of dissenters, deportation of thousands, and the starvation of millions—the US claimed to have saved Guatemalans from such cruelties.[37] Meanwhile, the US could have inhibited Guatemala’s authoritarian government from violent atrocities but preferred to pedestal “communist suppression” policies.[38] Foreign aid cemented a pro-Western allegiance, safeguarding a stable sphere of influence and security for the West. Guatemala was nothing more than an instrument for the maintenance of Western supremacy. Thus, the nexus in the Cold War context similarly reflected the Eurocentrism of the earlier colonial era in which world powers acted only in their self-interest and in ways that exploited the South. Relationally weaker “underdeveloped” states paid (heavily) for the security enjoyed by those in the Global North, even as discourse around development initiatives implied greater wellbeing for the former; western propaganda obscured the meddling as compulsory for human dignity.

Contemporary Development-Security Paradigm

The post-Cold War era witnessed the materialization of the “contemporary” development-security nexus. The collapse of the USSR introduced the opportunity for a restructuring of the international system, Cold War barriers had been removed and history saw a more connected and globalized world than ever before. I now prove that the Eurocentric liberalism did not restructure the globalized world order. In this section, I reveal that impending actions taken by the West in the name of the nexus echoed the inequitable system of domination seen in the prior centuries, using Iraq, Afghanistan, and AFRICOM as examples. The modern nexus provided the same platform for intervention, exploitation, and restructuring that was veiled behind discourse of “bettering” lives. The “rediscovery” of extreme poverty and insecurity revitalized and authenticated intervention.[39]

Under a humanitarian cloak, “An Agenda for Peace” was drafted by the UN in 1992 to strategize conflict prevention, not just containment.[40] The agenda broadly sketched a vision for a changed world without major warfare and eradicated poverty, although the erosion of state sovereignty was entrenched in the political language of the document; the size, number, and scope of peace operations expanded at unprecedented levels.[41] Within this setting, “development” grew to include liberal issues “such as governance, education, the environment and human rights…”[42] Therefore, the UN’s “Agenda” legitimized intervention through the same humanitarian lens that was evoked in prior nexus approaches. Yet, Roxanne Doty argued that foreign aid, peacekeeping, and humanitarian intervention “as a set of productive representational practices, made possible new techniques within an overall economy of power in North-South relations.”[43] Development assistance sought to inoculate societies with a Western image;[44] in changing behaviors, “development is a way of governing others”[45] that magnified Eurocentric power.

Still, the key shift in the nexus was not in rhetoric that suggested humanitarian improvement through development aid—a tactic taken since the colonial era. The major change in the contemporary nexus was the transformation in the concept of human security. The UNDP’s Human Development Report (HDR) of 1994 introduced the concept as a concern with human life and dignity[46] or as “every individual’s freedom from fear as well as from want.”[47] The measure for security refocused on the individual, instead of the state, and on material reality, or, crises that threaten daily existence, such as poverty, health, environmental collapse and displacement. The development-security paradigm was plainly reflected in the HDR:

There is of course, a link between human security and human development: progress in one area enhances the chances of progress in the other. But failure in one area also heightens the risk of failure in the other…[48]

Similar to “An Agenda for Peace,” the HDR politically undermined principles of state sovereignty given that the scope of intervention widened under a human security banner.[49] Moreover, the HDR-promised result of prosperous, stable, and independent states ultimately produced “new kinds of poverty, instability, and dependence.”[50]

Due to inequalities in the transnational power structure, the West able to determine the criteria for insecurity, and thus the criteria necessitating intervention. “Development Politics, at heart, is a product of the interaction of national and international contests for power.”[51] The result reinforces the security of the West, with the drawback of destabilizing the Global South. After Iraq’s annexation of Kuwait in 1991, for example, the US embarked on a propaganda campaign that cited Saddam Hussein’s record of human rights abuses as validation for “protectionary” military intervention.[52] Yet, critical evaluations of the Gulf War have since acknowledged that oil and Western superiority, not human security or development, formed the basis for US involvement. A rise in Hussein-controlled Gulf oil prices would have been damaging to the US economy, and the superpower was fearful that Iraq would attain the necessary technology for weapons of mass destruction.[53] The US circumvented these internal insecurities by external military intervention and concealed its actions under assertions of protection for Kuwaitis.

Interference in the Global South did not produce stability and the 9/11 terrorist attacks altered and reinvigorated understandings of conflict, security, and development in the past decade. Key to the nexus, underdevelopment and poverty were framed as a threat to international security, particularly in relation to terrorism.[54] For example, United Kingdom’s Prime Minister David Cameron asserted: “It’s … in our interests that we build a more prosperous world. If we don’t, the problems of conflict … are problems that will come and visit us at home.”[55]

The contemporary development-security nexus has increasingly framed international engagement in post-conflict regions. Failed and fragile states are regarded as breeding grounds for terrorist activity (that may target the West), thus requiring preventative, conflict diminishing measures and the blurring between aid and military agencies. Unable to isolate themselves, Western states adjusted aid policies in an attempt to mitigate spillover problems from developing countries.[56] Whether democracy and the liberal polity should be promoted in such ventures remained a judgement to be determined by Western actors.[57] As Duffield proposed, development “operate[ed] as a security mechanism that attempt[ted]… to insulate mass society from the permanent crises on its borders”[58] by crafting a more predictable and manageable civilization. As before, categorization of the underdeveloped as the “other” was a dimension of preserving frameworks of power. “Generalization and the construction of stereotypes for control purposes is one of the most powerful strategies aimed at downplaying the complexity of different social settings, and then justifying their domination and plunder.”[59] For instance, Hussein (and Islam) were constructed as enemy “others” with the capacity to inflict damage domestically and abroad, first demanding containment in Kuwait and later, war in Iraq.[60]  In regard to terrorism, President George Bush plainly publicized US intentions to exercise preventative strategies for self-defense and civilian protection.[61] Nonetheless, the “altruistic” Iraq war would be heavily critiqued in later years, like when the United Nations called on Barack Obama to investigate US military connection to human rights abuses like torture, rape, and murder.[62]

Still, the reproblematization of underdevelopment as dangerous justified the ongoing “anti-terrorist” military objectives of the US in Afghanistan. Sixteen years after the war’s inception, Washington refused to leave the unstable state, shunning the notion of leaving behind a power vacuum, and instead vindicated continued interference in the name of a humanitarian mission.[63] The logic of intervention implies that where security is not present, “it is the responsibility of external actors to assume temporary responsibilities in these areas until such time as a viable state can be reconstructed.”[64] However, state-building techniques did not target war-affected communities and only pushed US corporate interests and neoliberal policies. For example, agricultural reconstruction, with training centers for Afghani farmers, explicitly sought to legitimize the US occupation and advanced US self-interest under the guise of development. Agricultural aid reinforced US power; it distributed imported seeds and taught foreign farming practices—accompanied by a heavily political agenda. The agricultural assistance offered a market for Western agribusiness corporations and location for suppressive counterterrorism strategies that sought to craft a more manageable, liberal society.[65]

Similarly, AFRICOM was established by the US in Africa in 2007 with a humanitarian label: to mitigate conflict, promote stability and prosperity, and disrupt and neutralize transnational threats.[66] AFRICOM was vindicated by philanthropic mission statements and, in coherence with US foreign policy strategies, maintained a commitment to ending violent extremism in Africa.[67] However, in spite of neutral, even optimistic, discourse, a close examination exposed the group’s true tasks: “to protect America’s access to African oil supplies… to expand the war on terrorism in Africa, and to counter China’s growing political influence and economic involvement in the continent.”[68] AFRICOM, like the US invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, radically expanded the presence of the US military and undermined state sovereignty and security in the protection of American self-interest.

Conclusion

The development-security paradigm broadly implies that conflict ruptures development and that conflict is also the result of failed development. The problem with this understanding of the nexus is its reflection of a Western bias. This article verified that the relationship between security and development has always acted in ways that advanced the interests of the Global North and maintained unequal hierarchies of power. An examination of history confirmed that in spite of the humanitarian rhetoric adopted, development assistance never sought to transform the security of Global South.

First, I illustrated how development destabilized the South but was leveraged as a security tool for European colonial powers, before addressing the cyclic nature of this relationship in the centuries to follow. I highlighted the oppressive nature of the North’s foreign aid during the Cold War and examined rhetoric that disguised development’s targeting of areas that improved Western security, often at the expense of the aid recipient, like Guatemalan citizens. Then, this article analyzed the establishment of human security and its ramifications for international intervention, as seen in Iraq and Afghanistan, or with AFRICOM. I emphasized that the reanimation of the contemporary nexus framed international engagement in humanitarian terms but exclusively reinforced Western policy goals.

I conclude by positing the framing of development in Eurocentric terms as harmful. The nexus indicates that states must evolve along a linear trajectory of development—similar to the route paved by Europe. Broadly, both “security” and “development” are historical and social constructs, not neutral acts of social analysis. In development literature, the singular driving force is neoliberalism.[69] “’Development’ has been understood as a process of biological evolution, signifying the ultimate fulfilling of the process of becoming what one is ‘supposed to be.’”[70] In keeping with Walt Whitman Rostow’s Stages of Economic Growth, a state can achieve development through trade, liberalization, and democratic engagement—all pillars that the nexus seeks to build.[71] Alternate routes of progress and development were flattened, leaving one Western pathway to modernization and security.

Relatively lifeless development alternatives, such as Dependency Theory and Third Worldism, once addressed the inherently unequal power structures that exacerbated insecurity and underdevelopment within the Global South. These theories suggested that underdevelopment was generated by the same processes that generated development— an essential byproduct of wealth production and modernity. But, using its position of power, liberal discourse suppressed development theories that emphasized the ways in which the security of the North had a direct bearing on the insecurity of the South.[72] Variations of “security” and “development” have been all but ignored in the modern debate; the nexus presupposes only one form of development—that of Western liberalism.

A historical examination of the development-security nexus revealed that present-day actions taken by the West echoed the inequitable system of domination seen in prior centuries. The implementation of the nexus aids the West. For the rest, “the nexus is empty, impossible, harmful; the policies enacted in its name achieve little, if anything, desirable, but instead cause harm and occasion the wasting of time and money.”[73] The actionable model of the nexus remains highly problematic. By revealing the unequal power dynamics at play—camouflaging a vague nexus—we can reexamine North/South development interactions.

The enormous consequence of the single form the nexus has unfailingly taken is that it constructs the reality it exposes. Rather than focus on the “new” relationship between security and development in the form of the nexus, we can utilize historiography to understand the broader structure of exploitation at work. Escaping this architecture requires a demolition of colonial logics and a reduction in both theory and practice of the security-development nexus’s marginalizing apparatus. To enrich debate around the nexus further, future studies should explore sites of resistance by the exploited, as platforms of agency, to better theorize assumptions about security, development, and power.

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Taher, Abul. “The Middle-Class Terrorists: More than 60pc of Suspects are Well Educated and From Comfortable Backgrounds, Says Secret M15 File.” The Daily Mail, (October 16, 2011). Available online at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049646/The-middle-class-terrorists-More-60pc-suspects-educated-comfortable-backgrounds-says-secret-M15-file.html.

“The Soils of War: The Real Agenda behind Agricultural Reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq.” Grain Briefing, (March 9, 2009). Available online at: https://www.grain.org/article/entries/128-the-soils-of-war.

Turse, Nick. “Even AFRICOM’s Own Commander Admits Its Strategy Is Not Working.” The Nation, (August 2, 2016). Available online at: https://www.thenation.com/article/even-africoms-own-commander-admits-their-strategy-is-not-working/.

United Nations, Report of the Secretary-General. An Agenda for Peace. (New York: June 17, 1992).

United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Human Development Report 1994, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994). Available online at: http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/255/hdr_1994_en_complete_nostats.pdf.

United States Africa Command, About the Command, Mission. (Stuttgart-Moehringen, 2017). Available online at: http://www.africom.mil/about-the-command.

Uvin, Peter. “The Development/Peacebuilding Nexus: A Typology and History of Changing Paradigms,” Journal of Peacebuilding and Development 1, no. 1 (2002).

Volman, Daniel. “Why Is the Pentagon Marching Into Africa?” African Security Research Project, (June, 2008). Available online at: http://concernedafricascholars.org/african-security-research-project/?p=11.

Westcott, Dan. “Afghanistan: 16 Years, Thousands Dead and No Clear End in Sight.” CNN, (November 1, 2017). Available online at: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/21/asia/afghanistan-war-explainer/index.html.

Notes

[1] Duffield, Mark. Global Governance and the New Wars: The Merging of Development and Security (London: Zed Books Ltd., 2014): 56.

[2] See for example, Council of the European Union, General Secretariat of the Council, Council Conclusions on Operationalizing the Humanitarian-Development Nexus. (Belgium: May 19, 2017). Available online at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/media/24010/nexus-st09383en17.pdf.

[3] Bermeo, Sarah Blodgett. “Aid Allocation and Targeted Development in an Increasingly Connected World.” International Organization 71, no. 4 (2017). Further, see statements by politicians like US Secretary of State John Kerry (2014): “We have a huge common interest in dealing with this issue of poverty, which in many cases is the root cause of terrorism or even the root cause of the disenfranchisement of millions of people on this planet.” Sterman, David. “Don’t Dismiss Poverty’s Role in Terrorism Yet.” Time, (February 4, 2015). Available online at: http://time.com/3694305/poverty-terrorism/.

[4] Annan, Kofi. Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility. United Nations (2004): vii. Available online at: http://www.un.org/en/peacebuilding/pdf/historical/hlp_more_secure_world.pdf.

[5] Duffield, Mark. “The Liberal Way of Development and the Development—Security Impasse: Exploring the Global Life-Chance Divide.” Security Dialogue 41, no. 1 (February 2010).

[6] Conceptually, there is a lack of clarity over the nexus. For example, Maria Stern and Joakim Öjendal contended that the “security” and “development” domains remain “separated in institutional bodies and organizational structures.” In the policy realm, the nexus has not been adequately addressed, it faces “ideological divisions…interest politics and shallow correctness”; David Chandler suggested that problems of coherence arose as forms of intervention developed in “an ad hoc and unplanned way”; further, Peter Ulvin noted the scarce evidence of “a causal relationship between development and peace” to begin with. Stern, Maria, and Joakim Öjendal. “Mapping the Security—Development Nexus: Conflict, Complexity, Cacophony, Convergence?” Security Dialogue 41, no. 1 (February 2010): 7-8; Chandler, David. “The Security–development Nexus and the Rise of ‘Anti-Foreign Policy.’” Journal of International Relations and Development 10, no. 4 (December 2007): 367-368; Uvin, Peter. “The Development/Peacebuilding Nexus: A Typology and History of Changing Paradigms.” Journal of Peacebuilding and Development 1, no. 1 (2002): 7.

[7]For example, popular rhetoric suggests cohesion over the nexus’s enactment and benefits, illustrated by policy advisor Frances Stewart that, “development and security… are linked in themselves”; by UN Secretary-General António Guterres that, “the agendas of sustainable development and the agendas of preventing [conflict] and sustaining peace need to be linked”; and by US President Obama that, “development isn’t charity. It’s one of the smartest investments we can make in our shared future – in our security and our prosperity.” Stewart, Frances. “Development and Security,” CRISE Working Paper 3, (Oxford: University of Oxford, Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity, 2004): 4; Guterres, António. “Secretary-General’s Remarks to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development,” (New York: United Nations, July 17, 2017). Available online at: https://www.un.org/sg/en/content/sg/statement/2017-07-17/secretary-generals-remarks-high-level-political-forum-sustainable; Obama, Barack. “Remarks by the President at the White House Summit on Global Development,” (Washington D.C.: Office of the Press Secretary, July 20, 2016), Available online at: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/the-press-office/2016/07/20/remarks-president-white-house-summit-global-development.

[8] Stern & Öjendal, 2010, 7.

[9] Chandler, 2007, 368.

[10] Barry Buzan identified a referent object as that which is threatened and in need of protection. He claimed that if a referent object is not identified then security concepts make little sense and questioned “security for whom?”—specification should include the individual, the state, the international system, and more. Buzan, Barry. People, States and Fear: An Agenda for International Security Studies in the Post-Cold War Era, 2nd ed. (Colchester, ECPR Press: 2007).

[11] Beall et al., 2006: 60, in O’Gorman, EleanorConflict and Development: Development Matters. (London: Zed, 2011): 116.

[12] Stern & Öjendal, 2010, 7.

[13] For example, Chandler expressed concern that, “rather than clarity” the nexus creates a system in which “any external regulatory or interventionist initiative can be talked up by the proposing governance,” thus exclusively privileging Western states and transnational institutions. Chandler, 2007, 368.

[14] Duffield, 2010, 57.

[15] See for example Ulvin, who claimed that “in the space of one decade,” the development field “changed dramatically” and attributes this “metamorphosis” to post-Cold War international trends, Ulvin, 2002, 5.

[16] Šulović, Vladimir. “Meaning of Security and Theory of Securitization.” Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (October 5, 2010): 2. Available online at: http://www.bezbednost.org/upload/document/sulovic_%282010%29_meaning_of_secu.pdf.

[17] Stern & Öjendal, 2010, 14.

[18] Hettne, Björn. “Development and Security: Origins and Future.” Security Dialogue 41, no. 1 (February 2010).

[19] Mattei, Ugo and Laura Nader. Plunder: When the Rule of Law is Illegal. (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 2008): 21.

[20] Hettne, 2010, 39.

[21] Said, Edward W. Orientalism. (London: Penguin, 1978).

[22] Duffield, 2010, 61.

[23] Kohn, Margaret, and Kavita Reddy. “Colonialism.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. (May 9, 2006). Available online at: https://stanford.library.sydney.edu.au/entries/colonialism/.

[24] Paris, Roland. “Saving Liberal Peacebuilding.” Review of International Studies 36, no. 02 (April 2010): 349.

[25] Kohn & Reddy, 2006.

[26] Rist, Gilbert. The History of Development, 4th ed. (London: Zed, 2014): 71.

[27] Ibid., 74.

[28] Duffield, 2010, 63.

[29] Duffield, 2014, 35.

[30] Hettne, 2010, 41.

[31] Bermeo, 2017, 737.

[32] Duffield, 2014, 35.

[33] Barrett, David M. “Sterilizing a ‘Red Infection’ Congress, the CIA, and Guatemala, 1954.” Central Intelligence Agency, (May 8, 2007). Available online at: https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol44no5/html/v44i5a03p.htm.

[34] Farah, Douglas. “Papers Show U.S. Role in Guatemalan Abuses.” Washington Post, (March 11, 1999). Available online at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/daily/march99/guatemala11.htm.

[35] Perrigo, Billy. “The Devastating Effects of American Intervention in Guatemala.” The Panoptic, (November 19, 2016). Available online at: https://thepanoptic.co.uk/2016/11/19/american-intervention-guatemala/.

[36] Dubois, Jules, “Dictators Rule in 8 Lands of Latin America,” Chicago Tribune, (May 7, 1950): 28. http://chicagotribune.newspapers.com/image/195944804/?terms=Dictators+Rule+in+8+Lands+Of+Latin+America.

[37] Fisher, Zachary C. “American Propaganda, Popular Media, and the Fall of Jacobo Arbenz.” (PhD diss., University of Tampa, 2012): 15. https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=2562&context=thesesdissertations.

[38] Perrigo, 2016.

[39] Duffield, 2010, 61.

[40] The United Nations stated its mission, “to seek to identify at the earliest possible stage situations that could produce conflict, and to try through diplomacy to remove the sources of danger before violence results.” United Nations, Report of the Secretary-General. An Agenda for Peace. (New York: June 17, 1992): 15.

[41] O’Gorman, 2011, 3.

[42] Nilsson, Manuela, and Laura K. Taylor. “Applying the Security-Development Nexus on the Ground: Land Restitution in Colombia.” Conflict, Security & Development 17, no. 1 (January 2, 2017): 75.

[43] Doty, Roxanne L. Imperial Encounters: The Politics of Representation in North-South Relations Vol. 5 (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1996): 128.

[44] For example, “In Kosovo in 1991, in Bosnia in 1995 and in Libya in 2011 it was the US and Europe acting in close coordination which intervened in a similarly coercive manner to impose their preferred political outcomes.” Danrreuther, Roland. International Security: The Contemporary Agenda. 2nd ed. (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013): 35

[45] Duffield, 2010, 61.

[46] The United Nations specifically clarified that human security differed from traditional security concerns as it was not a “concern with weapons,” but a “universal concern” relevant to “rich nations and poor.” Threats to human security were claimed to be global, “with drugs, AIDS, terrorism, pollution, nuclear proliferation” respecting no national borders. United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Human Development Report 1994, (New York: Oxford University Press, 1994): 2, 22. Available online at: http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/reports/255/hdr_1994_en_complete_nostats.pdf.

[47] Nilsson & Taylor, 2017, 75.

[48] UNDP, Human Development Report 1994, 23.

[49] The HDR emphasized the ways in which nations would respond to violations of human security regardless of sovereignty by stating, “when the security of people is attacked in any corner of the world, all nations are likely to get involved.” Meanwhile, “human security” expanded justifications for intervention to include “safety from such chronic threats as hunger, disease and repression” and “sudden and harmful disruptions in the patterns of daily life.” UNDP, Human Development Report 1994, pp. 3, 23.

[50] Engerman, David C. “Development Politics and the Cold War.” Diplomatic History 41, no. 1 (January 2017): 19.

[51] Ibid., 2.

[52] “How PR Sold the War in the Persian Gulf.” The Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch, (October 28, 2004). Available online at: https://www.prwatch.org/books/tsigfy10.html.

[53] Nye Jr., Joseph S. “Why the Gulf War Served the National Interest.” The Atlantic, (July 1991). Available online at: https://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/91jul/nye.htm.

[54] However, it becomes important to mention that causal linkages between poverty and terrorism have been disproven. The RAND Corporation prepared a report for the US Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009 that notably found: “Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.” Further studies conducted by the United Kingdom Security Service comparably found that, “Where data is available, two-thirds came from middle or upper-middle-class backgrounds, showing there is no simplistic relationship between poverty and involvement in Islamist extremism.” Thus, it becomes evident that elsewhere cited statements like that of David Cameron or John Kerry inaccurately implicated development for security failures. Such declarations exemplified the lack of cohesion around the nexus and epitomized the West’s power to produce actionable discourse, with very little evidence, in ways that oppressed the South. Davis, Paul K. and Kim Cragin. “Social Science for Counter Terrorism: Putting the Pieces Together.” RAND National Defense Research Institute. (Santa Monica: RAND Corporation, 2009): xxiv. Available online at: https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2009/RAND_MG849.pdf; Taher, Abul. “The Middle-Class Terrorists: More than 60pc of Suspects are Well Educated and From Comfortable Backgrounds, Says Secret M15 File.” The Daily Mail, (October 16, 2011). Available online at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2049646/The-middle-class-terrorists-More-60pc-suspects-educated-comfortable-backgrounds-says-secret-M15-file.html.

[55] Cameron, David. Remarks at the First Meeting of the United Nations High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on Post-2015 Development Agenda. (New York: The United Nations, September 25, 2012). Available online at: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/jan/23/david-cameron-eu-speech-referendum.

[56] Bermeo, 2017, 736.

[57] Doty, 1996, 135.

[58] Duffield, Mark. “Getting Savages to Fight Barbarians: Development, Security and the Colonial Present: Analysis.” Conflict, Security & Development 5, no. 2 (August 2005): 157. Available online at: https://doi.org/10.1080/14678800500170068.

[59] Mattei & Nader, 2008, 19.

[60] “Enemy Images America’s Perceived Threat of Saddam Hussein.” Global Political Studies. Accessed January 9, 2018. http://globalpoliticalstudies.com/enemy-images-americas-perceived-threat-of-saddam-hussein/.

[61] For example, as President George Bush outlined within the US National Security Strategy of 2002, “While the United States will constantly strive to enlist the support of the international community, we will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively against such terrorists, to prevent them from doing harm against our people and our country.” Bush, George. “Full Text: Bush’s National Security Strategy.” The New York Times, (September 20, 2002). Available online at: https://www.nytimes.com/2002/09/20/politics/full-text-bushs-national-security-strategy.html.

[62] Batty, David, and Jamie Doward. “Iraq War Logs: UN Calls on Obama to Investigate Human Rights Abuses.” The Guardian, (October 23, 2010). Available online at: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/oct/23/united-nations-call-obama-investigation-abuses-iraq.

[63] Westcott, Dan. “Afghanistan: 16 Years, Thousands Dead and No Clear End in Sight.” CNN, (November 1, 2017). Available online at: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/08/21/asia/afghanistan-war-explainer/index.html.

[64] Danrreuther, 2013, 108.

[65] “The Soils of War: The Real Agenda behind Agricultural Reconstruction in Afghanistan and Iraq.” Grain Briefing (March 9, 2009). Available online at: https://www.grain.org/article/entries/128-the-soils-of-war.

[66] United States Africa Command, About the Command, Mission. (Stuttgart-Moehringen, 2017). Available online at: http://www.africom.mil/about-the-command.

[67] Turse, Nick. “Even AFRICOM’s Own Commander Admits Its Strategy Is Not Working.” The Nation, (August 2, 2016). Available online at: https://www.thenation.com/article/even-africoms-own-commander-admits-their-strategy-is-not-working/.

[68] Volman, Daniel. “Why Is the Pentagon Marching Into Africa?” African Security Research Project, (June, 2008). Available online at: http://concernedafricascholars.org/african-security-research-project/?p=11. 

[69] Hettne, 2010, 42.

[70] Stern & Ojendal, 2010, 11.

[71] Rostow, Walt Whitman. The Stages of Economic Growth: A Non-Communist Manifesto. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990).

[72] Duffield, 2014, 28.

[73] Stern & Ojendal, 2010, 19.


Written by: Riley Barrett
Written at: University of Sussex
Written for: Tom Martin
Date written: December 2017

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