RSIS Seminar by Associate Professor Delphine Alles, Associate Professor of Political Science, University of Paris East, France, and Professor Pascal Vennesson, Professor, Military Studies Programme, IDSS, RSIS
Wide From the Start: Security and Post-Colonial State Building in Southeast Asia
Critical security advocates generally assume that the process of broadening and deepening security starts with a core, the defense of state borders, which is progressively left behind or complemented by “non-state” concerns and “non-military” policies. They see this incorporation of economic, societal and environmental issues to security as a conceptual and policy innovation which downplays and even puts into question the centrality of the military. Finally they maintain, broadening security tends to favor more liberal values and policies. In this paper, we seek to challenge this Western-centric interpretation by exploring the state and military sources of the comprehensive conception of security in Indonesia and Malaysia. Despite their differences in state building and international alignments, they both adopted comprehensive conceptions of security right from the start. Political, societal and economic issues have been constituted as security issues before the consolidation of frontiers and sovereignties. These issues have been securitized by nascent state building institutions, notably counterinsurgency-shaped militaries, which formulated broad conceptions of security and monopolized the implementation of policies to tackle them. The resulting security conceptions were not related to cooperative and liberal values and policies.
About the Speakers:
Delphine Alles is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Paris East (France), specializing in International relations. She is also a research fellow at the Research institute on contemporary Southeast Asia (IRASEC, Bangkok). Her most recent book is entitled Transnational Islamic Actors and Indonesia’s Foreign Policy. Transcending the State (Routledge, 2015).
Pascal Vennesson is Professor of Political Science at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University. His research and teaching lie at the intersection of the fields of international relations and strategic studies. Before joining RSIS, he held the Chair “Security in Europe”, at the European University Institute, Robert Schuman Center for Advanced Studies. He also taught “Strategy and Policy” for ten years at The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)-Bologna Center and at the College of Europe. He is the author, co-author and editor of six books and his refereed articles have been notably published in Armed Forces and Society, International Relations, Journal of Strategic Studies, Review of International Studies, Revue Française de Science Politique (French Political Science Review) and Security Studies (forthcoming). He is a member of the editorial boards of Revue Française de Science Politique (French Political Science Review), Security Studies, Armed Forces and Society and the European Journal of International Security. Professor Vennesson was a fellow at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Arms Control, at Ohio State University’s Mershon Center and a Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (National Center for Scientific Research) fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School of Government. He received his MA from the University Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne and his Ph.D. from Sciences-Po Paris.