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Globalization Plays Role in Sense of Insecurity

February 22, 2010 – When it comes to security, psychology professor Fathali Moghaddam says the traditional approaches are no longer adequate for dealing with new interconnected global threats.

His new book, The New Global Insecurity: How Terrorism, Environmental Collapse, Economic Inequalities, and Resource Shortages Are Changing Our World (Praeger Security International, 2010), explores how and why people are experiencing a growing sense of insecurity and what we can do to make the future more peaceful.

“Threats to our security are coming from even the most remote and economically deprived parts of the world,” says Moghaddam, who also directs the Conflict Resolution Program at Georgetown.

The book analyzes the elements and roots of global insecurity in relation to terrorism, torture, economic instability, threatened identity and religious fundamentalism.

In addition to military hardware, health and other sources that are the focus of traditional “realist” and “human security” schools of thought, Moghaddam says priority must now be given to identity, particularly collective identity.

“Threatened collective identities are now integral to our feelings of insecurity,” he writes.

Moghaddam introduces some novel solutions, based on an exploration of “soft” and “hard” security capital, as well as the “dual-source theory” of security.

“We must develop a far more effective policy for managing diversity and intergroup relations at national and global levels,” he writes. “This will enable us to more effectively prevent conflict and improve security.”

As a final point, Moghaddam introduces a new policy that he proposes is superior to multiculturalism and assimilation, which are based on seriously flawed psychological assumptions.

“Omniculturalism policy is best suited to overcome the excess and imbalances of assimilation and multiculturalism policies and to meet the challenge of global insecurity,” the professor writes.

He says this new policy is science-based and can be effectively achieved through the education system, through naturalization procedures for new citizens and in all domains where socialization leads to an individual’s more active participation in larger society.

“The book is a must read for anyone interested in a psychological approach to the national and international challenges posed by globalization,” says Leonie Huddy, editor of the Journal of Political Psychology and professor of political science at the State University of New York.

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