Tue, Sep 8

POL 389-800, Security Studies
SUNY Oswego | Fall 2020
Dr. Craig Warkentin

Reading

  • Ch. 4, Historical Materialism (Herring, 47-60)

Goals

  • Articulate the main assumptions of historical materialism
  • Explain how historical materialists conceptualize security
  • Describe historical materialism's prescription for security
  • Contrast historical materialism to liberalism and realism

Terms

  • alienation (48)
  • capitalism (48)
  • capitalists (54)
  • class (48)
  • cold war (48)
  • constructivism (53)
  • commodification (50)
  • discourse (57)
  • emancipation (55)
  • empirical (48)
  • exploitation (48)
  • failed states (57)
  • gender (47)
  • human security (54)
  • imperialism (49)
  • International Relations (53)
  • militarism (51)
  • militarization (51)
  • mode of production (54)
  • neoliberalism (49)
  • norms (54)
  • post-Marxist (57)
  • referent object (56)
  • social science (48)
  • structural violence (56)
  • teleology (54)

Preliminaries

Questions (59)

  1. Why is historical materialism becoming increasingly prominent in Security Studies?
  2. What does historical materialism share with realism and liberalism? What does it offer that is distinctive in comparison with realist and liberal thinking about security?
  3. Why do historical materialists reject a sectoral approach to thinking about security in favor of a holistic one?
  4. Historical materialists accept that states are important for security but see states as reflecting class interets rather than national interests: what are the implications of this approach?
  5. What are the links between historical materialism and Critical Security Studies?
  6. How does historical materialism improve our understanding of structural violence and human security?
  7. What do historical materialists mean when they argue that arms production and the arms trade are forms of militarized capitalism?
  8. Why is the economic and political value of arms exports so exaggerated? What class interests do those exaggerations serve?
  9. What does historical materialism tell us about the relationships between development and security?
  10. Do you agree with the neoliberal view that increased insecurity for labor is a good thing? If not, what can be done to challenge the insecurity for labor that neoliberalism promotes?

Resources