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What is International Economic Security?

11 Apr 2017Economics Essays

After the cold war, a common threat doesn’t seem to exist. There is conceptual vacuum in which it isn’t clear who the enemy is and what security involves (Cable 305). According to some countries economic security involves those aspects of trade that affect’s its ability to defend itself. Others define it in the sense of ‘security of supply’ of different things like advanced technology, food and strategic minerals like oil. A third definition is in the sense of geo-economics, which can be imagined as an “economic warfare between leading countries” (Cable 307). Finally, others include other small levels of insecurity to the definition of economic security like narcotics trade, pornography trafficking etc (Cable 307). A few others like Jessica Matthews redefine security in terms of global environmental problems. Some others have also included population changes as a security threat too (Cable 323).

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The author discusses each aspect of the definitions and ends with explaining a few implications of these definitions. Firstly, in order to address these problems the new security regime needs to develop solutions that are cooperative in nature because of the global scale of these threats like drug trafficking, disruption in oil supplies etc (Cable 322). However, the level of cooperation and with whom remains a free choice between countries (Cable 324). Secondly, the policy has to be open to the “option of working with rather that against the grain of markets” (Cable 322). 

This need for collaboration is the complete opposite that is emphasized by the idea of geo economics which basically defines economic security in a “mercantilist and confrontational approach” between leading industrial countries (Cable 324). According to the writer this concept has very little to do with economic security in any meaningful way (Cable 324).

Works Cited

Cable, Vincent. “What is International Economic Security?” International Affairs Vol. 71 No.2  (April 1995): 305-324. Blackwell Publishing. JSTOR. 18 May 2009 http://www.jstor.org/stable/2623436?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

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