B-1 Ch-7 Security in Contemporary World - Solutions

 CBSE Class 12 Political Science

(Contemporary World Politics)
NCERT Solutions
Chapter-7 Security in the Contemporary World

Q 1. Match the terms with their meaning:

  1. Confidence Building Measures (CBMs)
  2. Arms Control
  3. Alliance
  4. Disarmament
  1. Giving up certain types of weapons.
  2. A process of exchanging information on defence matters between nations regular basis.
  3. A coalition of nations meant to deter or defend against military attacks.
  4. Regulates the acquisition of development of weapons.

Ans. (i)-(b); (ii)-(d); (iii)-(c); (iv)-(a).

Q 2. Which among the following would you consider as a traditional security concern/non-traditional/not a threat?

  1. The spread of chikungunya/dengue fever
  2. Inflow of workers from a neighbouring nation.
  3. Emergence of a group demanding nationhood for their region.
  4. Emergence of a group demanding autonomy for their region.
  5. A newspaper that is critical of the armed-forces in the country.


  1. Non-traditional
  2. Non-traditional
  3. Traditional
  4. Not a threat
  5. Not a threat

Q 3. What is the difference between traditional and non-traditional security? Which category would the creation and sustenance of alliances belong to?

Ans. Traditional security: External 

  • In the traditional conception of security, the greatest danger to a country is from military threats.
  • The source of this danger is another country which by threatening military action endangers the core values of sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.
  • The security policy is concerned with preventing war, which is called deterrence, and with limiting or ending the war, which is called the defence.
  • Traditional security policy has a third component called the balance of power.
  • A fourth and related component of traditional security policy is alliance building. An alliance is a coalition of states that coordinate their actions to deter or defend against military attack. Most alliances are formalised in written treaties and are based on a fairly clear identification of who constitutes the threat.
  • In traditional security, there is a recognition that cooperation in limiting violence is possible.
  • Traditional security also accepts confidence building as a means of avoiding violence.
  • In traditional security, force is both the principal threat to security and the principal means of achieving security.

Non-traditional security:

  • Non-traditional notions of security go beyond military threats to include a wide range of threats and dangers affecting the conditions of human existence.
  • They begin by questioning the traditional referent of security. In doing so, they also question the other three elements of security — what is being secured, from what kind of threats and the approach to security.
  • All proponents of human security agree that its primary goal is the protection of individuals. However, there are differences in precisely what threats individuals should be protected from.
  • Proponents of the ‘narrow’ concept of human security focus on violent threats to individuals or, as former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan puts it, “the protection of communities and individuals from internal violence”.
  • Proponents of the ‘broad’ concept of human security argue that the threat agenda should include hunger, disease and natural disasters because these kill far more people than war, genocide and terrorism combined.

Creation and sustenance of alliances belong to the traditional notion of security.

Q 4. What are the differences in the threats that people in the third world face and those Living in the First World face?

Ans. The threats are different in the third world and first world peoples because their regions are changed, hence they face different security challenges in the following manner:

  1. The newly independent countries faced military conflicts even with their neighbouring states.
  2. These countries faced threats not only from outside their borders, mostly from neighbours, but also from within.
  3. Internally, new states worried about threats from separatist movements which wanted to form independent countries.
  4. Sometimes, the external and internal threats merged.
  5. For the new states, external wars with neighbours and internal wars posed a serious challenge to their security.

Q 5. Is terrorism a traditional or non- traditional threat to security?

Ans. Terrorism is a non-traditional threat to wound the peace and order in the country. Terrorism refers to political violence that targets civilians deliberately and indiscriminately. International terrorism involves the citizens or territory of more than one country. Terrorist groups seek to change a political context or condition that they do not like by force or threat of force. Civilian targets are usually chosen to terrorise the public and to use the unhappiness of the public as a weapon against national governments or other parties in conflict. The classic cases of terrorism involve hijacking planes or planting bombs in trains, cafes, markets and other crowded places. Since 11 September 2001, when terrorists attacked the World Trade Centre in America, other governments and public also are paying more attention to terrorism, though terrorism itself attacks is not new. In the past, most of the terror attacks have occurred in the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and South Asia.

Q 6. What are the choices available to a state when its security is threatened, according to traditional security perspective?

Ans. Traditional security perspective emphasises on compromises to limit the violence by giving the following three choices to the state if its security is threatened:

  • to surrender when actually confronted by war, but they will not advertise this as the policy of the country.
  • to prevent the other side from attacking by promising to raise the costs of war to an unacceptable level.
  • to defend to protect itself when war actually breaks out so as to deny the attacking country its objectives and to turn back or defeat the attacking forces altogether.

Governments may choose to surrender when actually confronted by war, but they will not advertise this as the policy of the country. Hence, the state's security policy is to prevent a war which is called deterrence and with limiting or heading war called the defence.

Q 7. What is Balance of Power? How could a state achieve this?

Ans. Traditional security policy has a third component called the balance of power. Balance of power is a balance between bigger and smaller countries by cooperating with each other economically and technologically. A smaller country is always suspicious to break out war from a bigger or powerful country. Hence, they maintain a balance of power to build up one's military power together with economic and technological power to protect one's own security.
For instance, a neighbouring country may not say it is preparing for an attack. There may be no obvious reason for the attack. However, the fact that this country is very powerful is a sign that at some point in the future it may choose to be aggressive. Therefore, Governments are sensitive to the balance of power between their country in other countries. They do work hard to maintain a favourable balance of power with other countries, especially those close by, those with whom they have differences, or with those they have had conflicts in the past. A good part of maintaining a balance of power is to build up one’s military power, although economic and technological power are also important since they are the basis for military power.

Q 8. What are the objectives of military alliances? Give an example of a functioning military alliance with its specific objectives.

Ans. The objectives of military alliances are:

  1. Alliance building is an important component of traditional security to threats to deal between states and nations to deter or defend against military attacks.
  2. Alliances are formalised in written treaties and identification of who constitutes the threat.
  3. Countries form alliances to increase their effective power relative to another country or alliance.
  4. Alliances are based on national interests and can change when national interests change.

For example, the US backed the Islamic militants in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union in 1980s but later attacked them when Al-Qaeda, a group of Islamic militants, led by Osama Bin Laden Launched terrorist strikes against America on 11th September 2001.

Q 9. Rapid environmental degradation is causing a serious threat to security. Do you agree with the statement? Substantiate your arguments.

Ans. Yes, we agree with the statement because in some situations one country may have to disproportionately bear the brunt of a global problem i.e. environmental degradation. For example, due to global warming, a sea level rise of 1.5–2.0 meters would flood 20 percent of Bangladesh, inundate most of the Maldives, and threaten nearly half the population of Thailand. Since these problems are global in nature, international cooperation is vital, even though it is difficult to achieve.

Q 10. Nuclear weapons as deterrence or defence have limited usage against contemporary security threats to states. Explain the statement.

Ans. Nuclear weapons have limited usage due to arms control method of cooperation.
Arms control regulates the acquisition or development of weapons. The Anti-ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in 1972 tried to stop the United States and the Soviet Union from using ballistic missiles as a defensive shield to launch a nuclear attack. While it did allow both countries to deploy a limited number of defensive systems, it stopped them from large scale production of those systems.
The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) of 1968 was an arms control treaty in the sense that it regulated the acquisition of nuclear weapons: those countries that had tested and manufactured nuclear weapons before 1967 were allowed to keep their weapons; and those that had not done so were to give up the right to acquire them. The NPT did not abolish nuclear weapons; rather, it limited the number of countries that could have them.

Q 11. Looking at the Indian scenario, what type of security has been given priority in India, traditional or non-traditional?
What examples could you cite to substantiate the arguments?

Ans. India has faced both traditional (military) and non-traditional threats to its security that have emerged from within as well as outside its borders.
Its security strategy has four broad components, which have been used in a varying combination from time to time:

  1. Strengthening its military capabilities because India has been involved in conflicts with its neighbours:
    1. Pakistan in 1947–48, 1965, 1971 and 1999;
    2. China in 1962.
    3. Since it is surrounded by nuclear-armed countries in the South Asian region, India’s decision to conduct nuclear tests in 1998 was justified by the Indian government in terms of safeguarding national security. India first tested a nuclear device in 1974.
  2. The second component of India’s security strategy has been to strengthen international norms and international institutions to protect its security interests.
    1. India’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, supported the cause of Asian solidarity, decolonisation, disarmament, and the UN as a forum in which international conflicts could be settled.
    2. India also took initiatives to bring about a universal and non-discriminatory non-proliferation regime in which all countries would have the same rights and obligations with respect to weapons of mass destruction.
    3. It used non-alignment to help to carve out an area of peace outside the blocs.
    4. India signed Kyoto Protocol in 1997 to be a part of road-map for reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases to check global warming.
  3. To meet security challenges within the country:
    1. Several militant groups from areas such as Nagaland, Mizoram, Punjab, Kashmir have sought to break away from India.
    2. India makes efforts to preserve national unity by adopting a democratic political system by providing freedom of speech and expression along with the right to vote.
  4. To develop its economy:
    1. India develops the way to lift vast mass of citizens out of poverty, misery and huge economic inequalities.
    2. A democratically elected government is supposed to combine economic growth with human development without any demarcation between the rich and the poor.

Q 12. Read the cartoon below and write a short note in favour or against the connection between war and terrorism depicted in this cartoon.

Ans. Terrorism is a non-traditional threat to security as it is goal oriented political weapon. It is a war against democracy and a crime against humanity.
Terrorism refers to political violence to target civilians deliberately and indiscriminately. International terrorism involves the citizens or territory of more than one country. The terrorist group seeks to change a political context or condition that they do not like by force or threat of force. Civilians targets are usually chosen to terrorise the public and to use the unhappiness of the public as a weapon against the national government or other parties in conflict. Even, the US superpower could not escape itself from terrorism and it became a global phenomenon Le, terrorist attack on World Trade Tower on 11th September 2001.