Security studies emerged as a subfield of International Relations during the Cold War era and rapidly gained immense importance in the last few decades. The security studies per se entails the study of geopolitics, foreign policies, military strategies of conventional, unconventional (militance, terrorism, insurgence etc.) and sub-conventional warfare, nuclear doctrines, conflict situations and other related subjects. It deals with national security policies as also regional and global security issues.
Fostering broad-based diversity and inclusion bring the much needed fresh and diverse perspectives to the profession, businesses and academic studies. Diversity is not a new issue in international security. The field of security study holds a challenge towards the development of a reflective attitude, and explicit knowledge and understanding of the subject continue to be heavily Eurocentric and westernized. As a result of this, each person has a unique set of characteristics and measurements. A common culture of fairness and tolerance for difference is what inclusion refers to. Besides being correct from a moral standpoint, diversity and inclusion become the barometers for bringing different viewpoints and angles on the same subject. Homing on particularly to the field of security studies, it has traditionally been the domain of men than women and westerners than the non-westerns. Therefore, in today’s world, it becomes of paramount importance to have diversity and inclusion embedded inherently as it brings in the diverse talent pool on the table, thus giving rise to the enhanced probability of having debates, discussions and opinions with higher intellect and substance. The researchers learn to respect other’s viewpoints as also respect the difference in opinions.
With diversity and inclusion in security studies, the historical and cultural biases emanating because of the similar ethnicity and class are reduced and give way to the vast canvas of varied perspectives and dissimilar viewpoints. The trap to follow the set patterns in studies starts to diminish, and the grasp of the different perspectives by the students enhances. Better brainstorming of the discussions is the natural outcome. At a personal level, the researchers tend to have better “empathy” that requires to put themselves in the other person’s shoes as also they try to understand other’s cultures.
In essence, diversity and inclusion in the security studies will assist in providing a conducive environment devoid of cultural and historical baggage wherein the researchers talent pool will be better; they will have an unfettered vision; respect for others of different ethnicities and thus better understanding of the subject will ensure.
Raagini Sharma is the Research Director at Indic Researchers Forum, She also works as a Senior Analyst at the Greek-based think tank - Research Institute for European and American Studies (RIEAS). She has under her belt two Master's degrees; one in Conflict, Governance, and Development from the University of York, United Kingdom, and the second one in Politics and International Relations from the Central University of Gujarat, India. She is an alumnus of Delhi University where she graduated in Political Science (Hons.).
The article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the views of the Organisation.