O pojęciu i istocie bezpieczeństwa

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On the Notion and Essence of Security


The subject of the paper is the notion and essence of security. The paper is divided into three parts; the first one discusses the essence of security, the second – the increasing significance of security in non-military dimensions, while the third part presents different ways of defining the notion of security. The first part analyzes security in its philosophical, existential and biological contexts. These considerations are concluded with a general definition of security as the opportunity to fulfill one’s existential needs as well as to ensure one’s existence, survival and development. Security is also a state of certainty of the above opportunities. The second part of the paper concerns the issue of the expansion of the notion of security. This is related to redefining power in international relations and with the progressing specialization of the fields of study that deal with the issue of security. Additionally, attention should be paid to the expanding repertoire of threats, which forms an element of numerous definitions of security. The expansion of this repertoire itself may be a consequence of increased awareness in various realms of social activity (e.g. environmental protection). The last part concentrates on the ways of defining security and concerns four approaches to security as the (1) subject, (2) object, (3) a spatial entity, and (4) a process. It can be said that the concept of security is open; it is impossible to present a single, clear set of definitions. This follows from the open repertoire of threats and different approaches of different fields. Therefore, static approaches to the essence of security should be criticized. It should also be stated that the range of the concept will continue to expand.




bezpieczeństwo, security, pojęcie bezpieczeństwa, notion of security, istota bezpieczeństwa, essence of security


Przegląd Politologiczny, No. 3/2010, pp. 24-32.



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Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego