The Periphery as the Core: The Third World and Security Studies
The tendency of security studies to focus on a particular segment of the international system to the exclusion of another is ironic given the fact that it is in the neglected arena that the vast majority of conflicts have taken place. Moreover, the security predicament of the Third World states challenges several key elements of the national security paradigm, especially its state-centric and warcentric universe. The Third World's problems of insecurity and their relationship with the larger issues of international order have been quite different from what was envisaged under the dominant notion. Against this backdrop, this paper has two main goals. The first is to provide a broad outline of the security experience of Third World states during the Cold War period with a view to suggesting the problems of applying the “dominant” understanding of security in the Third World milieu. The second is to examine ways in which the Cold War experience will benefit our analysis of the prospects for regional conflict and international order in the post-Cold War era.