In this Study Unit, we have defined ‘security’ as a degree of protection against threats. These threats include a variety of forms of danger, damage, loss, and criminal activity. These threats could affect individual persons, properties, communities, nation-states and even the entire world. Security as a form of protection possesses structures and processes that provides or improves cultural stability as a condition. But the works of Foucault, Derrida and Connolly, for example, have proven that security measures ironically lead cultures towards insecurity.

It is pertinent to understand the complexities of the terms and terminologies that dominate the central discussions between and amongst technology, criminals and terrorists are interdependent. Despite their interdependence, it is important that as students of security studies, one is sensitive to the nuances and the pejorative use of the terms and terminology. While all terrorists are criminals, not all criminals are terrorists. The links between security, technology, crime and terrorism are akin to a spider web of intersecting and interlocking attachments, relationships, and hierarchies.

Agile and Adaptable

The ability to navigate the terrain of technology and its impact is dependent on the manner through which law enforcement and the security services are able to manage debates and operationalizing of the conception notion of security. This often is demonstrated in the concurrent manner through which there is a spirit of agility and adaptability needed to manage the evolving security environment.

Source: Designed for SEC337 by Dr Jolene Jerard (UAE University, 2019)

Appreciative of the Nuances of the Debate

An element that is pertinent to consider is the nuances of this debate. The complicities that arise from the unique nuances from each of these factors have significant implications to the understanding of interdependence of these variables.

Security as a fundamental concept has not changed. As societies evolve, the challenge would be that the collective understanding of society and what the collective aims to protect would change. In a constant series of adapting, that will fuel the economic security and culture.

Additional Resources

Hamilton, P. (1992). Talcott Parsons: critical assessments. London: Routledge.

Treviño, A. J. (2001). Talcott Parsons today: his theory and legacy in contemporary sociology. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.