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Hedley Bull and post-cold war security

Makinda, S.M. (1997) Hedley Bull and post-cold war security. In: Australasian political studies 1997 : proceedings of the 1997 Australasian Political Studies Association Conference, 29 September - 1 October, Adelaide, SA, Australia pp. 653-668.

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Hedley Bull made a significant contribution to international security studies, but his role as a security theorist remains largely unexplored. This paper argues that Bull's ideas went beyond the traditional international security agenda and helped establish the foundation for critical security theory. Although Bull did not describe himself as a critical security theorist, his work indirectly provided a basis on which the assumptions underpinning the traditional international security assumptions could be challenged. What makes Bull's ideas on security relevant for the post-Cold War international climate is the fact that he took seriously the moral and political complexities of strategy which were often ignored by other realists. In his early work, Bull used realism and pluralism to address the traditional international security agenda. He also used 'classical' solidarism to explore ideas about collective security and the ability of the United Nations to deal with common threats to international order and security. In his later work, Bull used cosmopolitan solidarism to explain the need for international society and world society to tackle poverty, human rights abuses and other forms of injustice in the world as part of efforts to deal with international order an security. The agenda which Bull addressed through 'classical' and cosmopolitan solidarism has remained at the centre of security debates in the post-Cold War era.

Item Type: Conference Paper
Publisher: Dept. of Politics, Flinders University of South Australia
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