Risk, Global Governance and Security: the Other War on Terror
Reviewer: Emmanouela Mylonaki (London South Bank University)
- Publisher: Routledge, 2009
- ISBN: 9780415471961
- Available at: Amazon
- Author's page: Yee-Kuang Heng and Kenneth McDonagh
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Since its commencement, the Bush Doctrine, a.k.a. the Global War on Terror (GwoT), has been defined and analysed by reference to military and other violent actions rather than by reference to the lower-profile aspects of global cooperation counter-terrorism strategies. This books aims at addressing the “other” war on terror which moves beyond military campaigns to several multilateral cooperative attempts to fight terrorism. The authors examine the following alternative less-noticed non-military aspects of the war on terror: 1. the campaign against terrorism financing, 2. the ad hoc US-led informal coalition of the willing in the Proliferation Security Initiative, and 3. the cooperation of states and private actors in issues relating to aviation security.
The authors argue for the importance of private actors in global governance as a source of capacity and expertise and make constructive suggestions on policy solutions for global governance frameworks in the “other” war on terror. The book is innovative in the sense that it concentrates on informal means of global governance which may result in the harmonisatition of global risk based standards to the war on terror in areas which are generally under-researched such as civil aviation. The main argument is to move beyond the purely violent and military action against terrorism to a more enhanced forms of international cooperation which has the potential of resulting in the victory of the “other” war on terror.
Following a detailed presentation in chapter one of the adopted theoretical framework, ideas about managing the World Risk Society and global governance literature are examined in chapter two in order to demonstrate ways by which global governance may help to manage risks. Chapter three examines in details the development and activities of the Financial Action Task Force, its mechanisms and processes and assess its effectiveness in reducing terrorism risk. Chapter four focuses on the PSI attempt at counter-proliferation and mitigating the risks.
It demonstrates another dimension and manifestation of the wide spectrum and range of cooperative global governance efforts against terrorism, in terms of reducing the risks of terrorist obtaining weapons of mass destruction. The contemporary terrorism threat and the likelihood of terrorists getting access to weapons of mass destruction make the contribution significant and timely.
Chapter five looks at the role of private non-state actors in global aviation security, such as the global airline association IATA. The aviation case study demonstrate how private sector involvement might contribute to the fight against terrorism and the chapter highlights the fact that the managing of global transnational security risks needs to be extended beyond merely states alone to incorporate a range of non-state actors public and private at global, national and sub-national levels.
Chapters four and five are presented as empirical studies along with justified explanations as to the selection of the cases under investigation. Chapter five is quite innovative in the sense that it approaches civil aviation as an issue for global governance and demonstrates that global terrorist risk to aviation security demands a global response to manage it. Thus, it reinforces the importance of non-military aspects which have so far been underestimated. Interestingly, the authors are concerned with initiatives developed outside the UN framework which constitutes a distinctive feature of the book. The final chapter highlights some of the implications associated with the “other war” on terror and the legality implications that may arise from it.
The book contributes to the policy and academic debates on the war on terror and it could be of interest to students of international relations and political studies. It has a clear layout and is written in an accessible manner for students and academics alike. This is an innovative book in its approach and subject matter and offers a fresh perspective on issues generally overlooked by the literature.