Mandel's comprehensive study provides an integrated, explanatory analysis of the new global security environment, which he terms the global playground, and the consequent blossoming of ominous flows or deadly transfers. It includes an analysis of the behavior of rogue states, terrorist groups, transnational criminal organizations, and deviant individuals. Mandel begins with a discussion of the general nature of the emerging global situation and the transborder activities that occur within it, then turns to an overarching analysis of the intractable causes, pernicious consequences, and futile cures associated with these ominous transnational flows. Such activities include clandestine conventional arms, illegal human migration, illicit drugs, hazardous materials, lethal diseases, and information disruption. Both national and international organizations are fundamentally weak when it comes to dealing with such transfers.
In contrast to the prevailing view that more deterrence-oriented coercion is necessary to stop these flows, this study suggests that a bottom-up approach involving changes in mass attitudes is crucial. It does not shy away from pointing directly at potential areas of security dysfunction at all levels of policy making. In taking a largely theoretical rather than case-specific approach to exploring these issues, it hopes to avoid the usual laundry list of shocking anecdotal incidents to develop a broader understanding of the new security dilemmas confronting us all. Finally, in demonstrating the futility of existing remedies and in suggesting an alternative, preliminary set of ideas to cope with these transactions, Mandel attempts to give security policy makers a wider arsenal of options from which to choose.
About the Author:
ROBERT MANDEL is Chair and Professor of International Affairs at Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon./e He has written five books and numerous articles and chapters dealing primarily with security and conflict issues. He has testified before the United States Congress and worked for the Central Intelligence Agency, the Defense Department, and the United States Institute of Peace.