Amplifying the Social Dimensions of Security
Initially, a group of scholars began to systematically redefine the concept of security in a manner that directed attention towards the limited opportunity that "military" responses offered to "security" problems. Their primary activity was to redefine security in terms of an expanded idea to "threat," with the implication of these efforts necessarily questioning the appropriateness of military solutions - a politically important position given the thrust of Reaganism at that time. With the emergence of a clear post-positivist trend within IR by the late 1980s, however, a number of scholars began to address redefinitional efforts along axiological, conceptual and empirical grounds. These latter efforts - herein identified as an Alternative school - yielded important intellectual sanction for political movements, including women's organizations, aboriginal peoples, labour groups, the urban poor and the ecological movement, that often broach ideas of security within the context of a broader transformative agenda. International relations scholarship is arriving at the point, that is, where the breadth of intellectual activity regarding security reflects its polypolitical imbrications at the global and local levels. An exposition of the full scope of this novel critical line is the primary purpose of this paper.