What is Security Dilemma in International Relations?

The security dilemma is a concept in international relations that refers to the ways in which actions taken by states to increase their own security can inadvertently threaten the security of other states. The security dilemma arises when states pursue policies that are intended to make them safer, but that are perceived as threatening by other states, leading to a cycle of increasing militarization and tensions.

The security dilemma is often seen as a fundamental problem in international relations, as states may have conflicting security interests and may have different perceptions of what constitutes a threat. This can lead to a situation in which one state’s efforts to increase its security are seen as a threat to the security of another state, leading to a cycle of mutual mistrust and increased military buildup.

The security dilemma can be particularly acute in the context of arms races or military alliances, as states may feel pressure to match the military capabilities of their rivals or allies in order to ensure their own security.

The security dilemma can be addressed through a variety of measures, such as arms control agreements, confidence-building measures, and efforts to reduce tensions and promote cooperation.

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