The state, still the guardian of its own security

For several years, globalization theorists have been predicting that nation-states will see their traditional central role in national security strategy eroded in favour of regional and transnational institutions. But is this really the case? 

The researchers with the Projet sur la mondialisation et la sécurité régionale (Globalization and the National Security State Project), directed by Thazha Varkey Paul, have succeeded in clarifying the major security issues facing our society in the 21st century. They have produced several publications and reports, including the significant work Globalization and National Security State (Oxford University Press, 2010). 

This book calls into question the popular notion that globalization has led to a decline in the nation-state's role as guarantor of national security. By examining the great powers, regional security institutions, weak states - those most impacted by the turmoil generated by globalization – and the ones experiencing local tensions, the authors reach several conclusions. According to them, many factors, in particular recent increases in military spending and the fact that regional security organizations have not been able to supplant nation-states, which continue to pursue traditional defence policy, show that the state continues to play a major role in the realm of national security and that globalization's effects on national security are not universal. 

A second book entitled When Regions Change has been submitted for publication and will be published by Cambridge University Press. It addresses the factors affecting regional order in different parts of the world, such as the balance of power, economic interdependence and the evolution of diplomacy and democratic institutions. The researchers have also produced a roundtable report Is the European Model Replicable in Other Regions?.

The group's work has made an important contribution to political debate in Quebec and Canada concerning globalization's influence on the role of the state in global security management.


Globalization and the National Security State Project


Thazha Varkey Paul, Université McGill

Regulars members

  • Michel Fortmann, Université de Montréal 
  • John A. Hall, Université McGill 
  • Vincent Pouliot, Université McGill 
  • Norrin Ripsman, Université Concordia