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Natural Security

A Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World

Dr. Raphael Sagarin

Publication Year: 2008

Arms races among invertebrates, intelligence gathering by the immune system and alarm calls by marmots are but a few of nature's security strategies that have been tested and modified over billions of years. This provocative book applies lessons from nature to our own toughest security problems—from global terrorism to the rise of infectious disease to natural disasters. Written by a truly multidisciplinary group including paleobiologists, anthropologists, psychologists, ecologists, and national security experts, it considers how models and ideas from evolutionary biology can improve national security strategies ranging from risk assessment, security analysis, and public policy to long-term strategic goals.

Published by: University of California Press

Cover

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p. 1-1

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. 2-5

Contents

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pp. v-vi

Contributors

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-11

Some people immediately and without hesitation jumped at the chance to help this project along. For them, I am immensely grateful, for they are the ones who reminded me that I wasn’t completely crazy, or that if I was, I was at least in good company. I count the very first person I broached this idea with, Anne Solomon at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, among this lot. It was her enthusiasm and...

Part One: Introduction

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pp. 1-13

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1. The Origins of Natural Security

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pp. 3-13

Disease, resource scarcity, natural disasters, conflicts, and deadly conflict have threatened human societies for thousands of years. But these threats are not unique to humans. In fact, the rest of the biological world has faced them for over 3.5 billion years. Biological organisms have developed millions of responses to these threats, as evidenced by the incredible diversity of body forms, behaviors, and other methods of surviving and reproducing. Some of these responses...

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2. Living with Risk

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pp. 14-22

Disease, resource scarcity, natural disasters, conflicts, and deadly conflict have threatened human societies for thousands of years. But these threats are not unique to humans. In fact, the rest of the biological world has faced them for over 3.5 billion years. Biological organisms have developed millions of responses to these threats, as evidenced by the incredible diversity of body forms, behaviors, and other methods of surviving and reproducing. Some of these responses...

Part Two: Life History and Security

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pp. 23-35

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3. Security, Unpredictability, and Evolution: Policy and the History of Life

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pp. 25-41

Security has been a central concern of human societies and individual people throughout history. The scholars and policy makers who guide strategies against threats from without and within society approach their craft from the perspective of the human-based disciplines of history, political science, and economics. Human nature in this view is seen as both the cause of insecurity and the solution...

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4. From Bacteria to Belief: Immunity and Security

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pp. 42-68

The security and stability of a nation, group, or people can be considered as closely analogous to the immunity of a multicellular organism against internal and external threats to its integrity. In both situations, a coordination of many individuals (people and cells, respectively) responds to threats with suppressive or destructive systems. The origin of such group behavior and of group identity, however..

Part Three: Security Today

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pp. 69-81

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5. Corporations and Bureaucracies under a Biological Lens

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pp. 71-85

Security threats have evolved to more closely mimic natural pressures that confront organisms and ecosystems. In nature, complex challenges require dynamic solutions that benefit from being tested in the evolutionary marketplace. These natural defense strategies offer insight into national and international security strategies for confronting nontraditional security challenges. Decision makers...

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6. Selection, Security, and Evolutionary International Relations

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pp. 86-102

Alfred North Whitehead (1925, 179) once remarked that “change is inherent in the very nature of things.” Despite the undoubted truth of this statement, many political scientists treat economic entities, such as states, as static and unproblematic units that move across the international stage, not unlike chess pieces (Cederman 1997). Change (new patterns of interaction among entities) through time is thus presented as merely the differential outcome between particular moments...

Part Four: Evolution’s Imprint: Psychology and the Roots of Terrorism

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pp. 103-115

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7. Militants and Martyrs: Evolutionary Perspectives on Religion and Terrorism

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pp. 105-124

The main argument of this chapter is that evolutionary studies of religion are vital for understanding the proliferation, patterns, and logic of current trends in terrorist activity. The importance of this message is becoming increasingly evident. As Simon and Benjamin (2000, 59) prophetically warned before 9/11, the threat of terrorism will “intensify, because the old paradigm of predominantly state-sponsored terrorism has been joined by a new, religiously motivated terrorism...

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8. Causes of and Solutions of Islamic Fundamentalist Terrorism

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pp. 125-140

Long before the terror attacks of 9/11, the United States faced the threat of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism. Throughout the decade before the horrible attacks of that day, the United States had been repeatedly attacked but had chosen not to address the threat directly or effectually. Post-9/11, the counterterrorism policy of the United States is the antipode of what it was. Campaigns in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, the Horn of Africa, the Philippines, Indonesia...

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9. The Power of Moral Belief

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pp. 141-144

Suicide attacks have grown exponentially in recent years, and while they account for only 5% of terrorist events, they result in roughly 50% of the casualties due to terrorism (Atran 2006b). This poses a seemingly difficult question for an evolutionary analysis of security: how would such a self-destructive behavior not only survive, but thrive, especially in a world of limited resources? Villarreal (this volume) proposes some explanations for the evolutionary roots of...

Part Five: Ecology and Security

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pp. 145-157

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10. Fourteen Security Lessons from Antipredator Behavior

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pp. 147-158

Knowledge is power, whether it creates new ways to control a situation, or whether it simply explains the biological basis of a situation. I believe that there are lessons about security that we can learn from the sheer diversity of ways that nonhumans avoid predation. I am a behavioral ecologist. Behavioral ecologists adopt an economic approach when we study animals in natural settings to understand...

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11. Population Models and Counterinsurgency Strategies

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pp. 159-185

Efforts to contain terrorist or insurgent populations share many characteristics that would be familiar to any modern ecologist studying the dynamics of natural populations. The quantitative tools of ecology may therefore be useful in understanding these types of conflicts. We use data on two insurgencies, one that was defeated (Malaya 1948–1960) and one ongoing (Iraq 2003– ), to examine whether...

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12. The Infectiousness of Terrorist Ideology: Insights from Ecology and Epidemiology

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pp. 186-206

Terrorism in the twenty-first century is unconventional, unpredictable, and potentially unavoidable. In part, this is because contemporary terrorists are increasingly transnational, industrious, unorthodox in their methods, and decentralized (e.g., Ariza 2006; Ehrlich and Levin 2005). Some have proposed that we view terrorism through the lens of epidemiology, where terrorist ideology is analogous to an infectious agent of threat to global public health (in particular...

Part Six: Synthesis

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pp. 207-219

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13. Paradigm Shifts in Security Strategy: Why Does It Take Disasters to Trigger Change?

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pp. 209-239

Prior to 9/11, U.S. counterterrorism policy and intelligence suffered from numerous problems. The striking feature about this is not the flaws themselves, but rather that these flaws were long appreciated and nothing was done to correct them. It took a massive disaster—3000 American deaths—to cough up the cash and motivation to address what was already by that time a longstanding...

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14. Network Analysis Links Parts to the Whole

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pp. 240-260

We live in an increasingly globalized and interconnected world. As the conventional wisdom states, everything is connected to everything else, including humans, ecosystems, and nations. Physicists have examined this complexity, first as a research curiosity, later as a field of science, and currently as a new conceptual paradigm. In this chapter, I present some interesting and notable similarities between ecological and social networks and outline how our knowledge in...

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15. A Holistic View of Natural Security

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pp. 261-278

When considering the role of ecology and evolution in a discussion of contemporary societal issues, there is a fundamental tension between two opposing forces. First is the fact that we as individuals and societies are intimately shaped by our natural history. Second is the reality that our daily lives, our technologies, and our societal institutions appear to operate independently of evolutionary...

Index

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pp. 279-289


E-ISBN-13: 9780520934313
Print-ISBN-13: 9780520253476

Page Count: 306
Publication Year: 2008