Mary Kaldor – England

.Linked with New thinking needs new direction.

Mary Kaldor is the Director of the Centre for the Study of Global Governance and a Professor of Global Governance at the London School of Economics LSE. An expert on security and civil society, she has researched and written exclusively about these topics, and has written for openDemocracy on Iraq and the issue of terrorism. Kaldor is also the co-chair of the Helsinki Citizens Assembly and the Governor of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy. She has published a number of books, including Global Civil Society: An Answer to War (2003), New & Old Wars (1999) and The Imaginary War: Understanding the East-West Conflict (1990). After graduating with a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy and Economics from Oxford University, Mary Kaldor was a Scholar at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute. Since then she has held positions as the Jean Monnet Reader in Contemporary European Studies, and as a Research Fellow, Associate Fellow and Senior Fellow at the University of Sussex. (openDemocracy).

… She is also convenor of the human-security study group that reports to the European Union’s foreign-policy chief Javier Solana … (and in the right column).

More Bio / CV: on LSE; on GlobalGovernance; on

She says: “The Pentagon could change from Terror Warrior to Human Security agent. It needs the Presidential direction to do so”. ( – ex


Mary Kaldor – England

2 Videos:

Sovereignty, status and the humanitarian perspective, Mary Kaldor.

In an interview with the Guardian, Mary Kaldor outlines her views on human security in the global context … (full text, April 15th, 2008).

She asks: Is it possible to suppose that the United States might finally experience its own perestroika after the end of the Cold War? I am not referring to the movement around Barack Obama’s call for change, although that could potentially be a critical factor in reinforcing and sustaining the new phenomenon of perestroika. Nor am I referring to the financial crisis although that too could provide an impulse for transformation. Rather I am talking about the far reaching debate and indeed restructuring currently going on inside the Pentagon as a result of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan … (full text).

Much of the new thinking derives from a strategic current within the US military that dates back to the US Marines 1940 Manual entitled `Small Wars’ (download the 492 pages).  This current of thinking lost the battle for strategy in Vietnam but remained alive in certain military circles. Much of the contemporary debate can be found in an online magazine entitled Small Wars Journal, which includes fascinating blogs from active servicemen about their experiences. One of the discussions, for example, is about the relevance of `fourth generation warfare’, which refers to the impact of globalisation on war and the argument that nations have `lost the monopoly on force’ … (full text, scroll down).

… Kaldor introduced five principles of this new doctrine. First, human rights are the focus of security forces. The soldier’s job is to protect people, not to defeat the enemy. This calls into question whether any “collateral damage” is acceptable. Second, there must be legitimate political authority. Military forces that are viewed as occupiers cannot fulfill this principle. Third, human security is based on multilateralism. Legitimacy demands interventions based on the rule of law so UN approval necessary. Fourth, human security is “bottom-up.” The opinions of the people affected must be considered as legitimacy requires consent. Fifth, the new doctrine is regionally focused. Causes of insecurity do not stop at national borders … (full text).

Find her and her publications on amazon;
on inauthor Google-search; on Google Book-search; on Google Scholar-search; on Google Group-search; on Google Blog-search.

And she says: “When politicians talk about energy “security”, they worry about securing the supply of energy to the west. But when politicians talk about climate change, they are more likely to adopt a global perspective, worrying about the planet as a whole and not just the west. Yet both challenges are interrelated and both require a global cooperative approach” … (full text).

… And, on top of all this, the British government has announced a decision to replace the Trident nuclear submarine and its warheads, entirely it seems for domestic political reasons -to outflank the Conservative opposition. The UK’s commitments under the non-proliferation treaty, the example this sets to would-be nuclear powers, not to mention the cost, are factors that seem to have been ignored. Sooner or later nuclear weapons will be used, whether by states or as a result of the illegal trade in which at least one state, Pakistan, has been engaged. The polonium story has given us a foretaste of what is to come … (full text, oct. 29, 2006).

… The first step to a new hemispheric partnership is the recognition that the Monroe doctrine is, in the 21st century, quite dead – and that it should not be revived – by force or by any other form of pressure. An acceptance of this truth, however reluctant on the “northern” side, would be an enabling step towards a better and more serious inter-American dialogue … (full text, oct. 7, 2008).

Mary Kaldor’s book, Human Security, is a collection of seven essays describing the historical context, theoretical foundations, and development of human security as a concept. Kaldor argues the world is seeing the emergence of what she coins “new wars”, that is “… wars that take place in the context of the disintegrating of states… fought by networks of state and non-state actors… where most of the violence is directed against civilians” (pg. 3). From this assumption she moves the reader through a series of logical steps, concluding with a new and unorthodox approach to human security and hence, the use of military force … (full text, July 7, 2008).

… This is why what happens in the forthcoming US elections is so important. The changes within the Pentagon need political direction. Are population security or stability operations viewed as a means to an end – defeating terrorists that might attack the United States, winning the War on Terror? Or is the goal population security globally, which might require the use of military force against those nihilistic terrorists or genocidaires who are not amenable to negotiation and who cannot be arrested? In other words, is the goal to protect the United States unilaterally or can there be a new understanding that American security depends on global security? In the first case, the `new thinking’ continues to be viewed as a secondary or marginal activity for US forces. But if the aim is global security, the primary requirement is for a stabilisation capacity to end wars rather than fight them. The incoming president needs to articulate a new narrative for US security policy based on the notion that population security (or I would say human security) is a world-wide goal rather than the War on Terror and that the US will strengthen multilateral institutions in order to develop the capacity to prevent conflicts as well as reducing violence and contributing to stability and reconstruction. That way, the new President will able to harness the current perestroika to a new post-Cold War political paradigm. (full text).

Then she says: … “A number of reasons. For one thing, there are no decisive encounters in new wars – you dare not have battles. Also, new wars create a vested interest in war in all sorts of ways. New wars mobilise people around identity politics – and that sense of identity gets further consolidated in the war itself. There may not have been an idea of what it meant to be a ‘Bosnian’ before the Bosnian war – people were ‘Yugoslavs’, or whatever – but the war enormously strengthened sectarian identities. Extremists go to war to win power – they could not win power peacefully because nobody supports extremism in peacetime. And they keep going to war to maintain an atmosphere of fear from which they benefit. New wars also create groups of people with an economic interest in the continuation of the war. Funds are acquired through loot and pillage, smuggling or the drugs trade, and war becomes necessary to maintain those sources of income. And if you are no longer able to present the diaspora with an emergency they might start withholding their support. I was in Nagorno-Karabakh after 9/11, and discovered the diaspora had started supporting the victims of 9/11, not the Nagorno-Karabakhians. These are all reasons why it is difficult to end new wars” … (full interview long text).

The end of the Cold War did not lead to the dismantling of the military-industrial complex, which continues to exercise a powerful and pervasive political, economic and cultural influence on American society. Military spending fell after 1990 and the number of troops were reduced but research spending on advanced military technologiesw remained at its Cold War level, thereby constituting a permanent pressure to develop and produce new weapons systems. Moreover the Cold War narrative (drawn from the experience of World War II) about the role of the United States as a global leader in promoting democracy against its enemies through superior know-how, continued to dominate security thinking. Indeed the narrative was reinforced by the widespread argument that Reagan’s decision to deploy cruise missiles was what ended the Cold War and by the experience of the 1991 Gulf War, which seemed to prove the salience of sophisticated technology. Throughout the 1990s, the United States continued to emphasise the importance of airpower and rapid decisive manoeuvre warfare incorporating new advances in information technology as the cornerstone of American strategy. And defence intellectuals continued to draw up scenarios in which these forces would be used to repel a new range of enemies from rogue states to terrorists. Indeed the immediate aftermath of the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan was characterised by a mood of triumphalism about the American Way of War and the relevance of concepts like the Revolution in Military Affairs, Defence Transformation, or Netcentricwarfare … (full text, The Pentagon’s thinking, Mary Kaldor).

… A Cypriot pioneer: Nevertheless, there is no going back. What is happening in Cyprus could be viewed as an example of the way deepening can follow the widening of the EU. If a solution is indeed achieved, then it is important for the future of the EU that it is seen to play a crucial role in promoting a solution. The EU could do three things. First, the European parliament could offer to host a gathering of civil society in north and south to initiate a sort of democratic convention about the future shape of Cyprus. This could increase pressure on the political classes to reach a solution. Holding it in the European parliament and involving all the guarantor powers especially Turkey, would greatly enhance the visibility and legitimacy of such a convention. Second, the European Union should make it clear to Turkey that any solution of the Cyprus problem will speed up the negotiations over Turkish membership. Third, the EU should also consider what kind of security arrangements will be needed after an agreement. The EU brought the conflict inside the union by admitting Cyprus and now it has a responsibility to make sure the islanders are secure. This does not mean security in a traditional sense. Rather it means everyday personal security – freedom from fear and freedom from want. The military threats have disappeared but there remains organised crime, poverty in the north, and ethnic tension … (full text, July 16, 2008).


Turkey to receive 495 million euro pre-accession EU aid;

Wanted: a fairer capitalism, oct. 6, 2008;

Balkan Security: Visions of the Future? School of Slavonic and East European Studies/UCL, CSEES, 16 and 17 June 2000;

I Heart Mary Kaldor, Or, the Intelligent and decent Decent, a post in one act;

Grab the nearest book – meme time;

Well, Neville-Jones is shadow Security Minister;

The blog: Serially Speaking, Survival – August/September 2008;

TurcoPundit, August 27, 2008;

2007, reflections and predictions.

Comments are closed.