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War as risk management.

Heng, Yee-Kuang (2004) War as risk management. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science (United Kingdom).

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Abstract

This thesis examines the reconceptualisation of war as risk management. It is suggested that recent wars exhibit repetitive patterns revolving around the central concem of managing systemic risks to security in an age of globalisation. It implies continuity where one might expect discontinuity in US and British campaigns over Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq from 1998-2003, given the different US Administrations and strategic contexts involved. The challenges it poses relate to 'classical' notions associated, rightly or wrongly, with war such as 'noble' heroic purposes, to decisive outcomes in the form of surrender ceremonies. Such notions have hampered a proper appreciation of the various forms war can take. Furthermore, the predominant International Relations (IR) approach relating to war and security - Realism- appears to contribute incomplete explanations to these wars. The alternative perspective developed here is based on 'risk management'. Underpinning this study is what sociologists call the Risk Society where risk management has emerged as an axial organising principle. Social science disciplines, notably sociology and criminology, have incorporated these theories into their research agendas, yielding richer perspectives as a result. Yet, IR has largely not done so in a concerted way, despite its inherently cross-disciplinary nature and increased prominence of risk in the strategic context. The framework informing this study is thus adapted from recent theorising on risk management strategies in the wider social sciences. The purpose is to systematically analyse using the theoretical framework developed herein, how concepts of proactive risk management such as active anticipation, the precautionary principle, 'reshaping the environment' and appreciating 'non-events' can be usefully applied to understanding contemporary war and IR.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Political Science, International Relations, Military Studies
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses
URI: http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/1714

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