Articles - Security Science Journal
Bridging the Gap Between "Science" and "Security"
(Vol. 1 No. 1, 2020: Security Science Journal)
31 Jul 2020 06:19:00 PM
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DOI: https://doi.org/10.37458/ssj.1.1.5

Received: March 3, 2020
Accepted: May 26, 2020

Review Paper

Jonathan Fighel 
The International Institue for Counter Terrorism - ICT  


Abstract

Security is multidimensional in nature and diverse in practice. This diversity leads to difficulty in providing a single all-encompassing definition for the many applied domains of security. Security cannot be considered singular in concept definition, as definition is dependent on applied context. Security incorporates diverse and multi-disciplined actors, originating and practicing across many disciplines. This multidimensional nature of security results unclear understanding of a definition for the concept of security. Bridging the gap between the traditional definitions of science and the undefined definition of what is Security can be achieved through Scientific Security Research methodologies that will be engaged and implemented in the exploration, analysis and conclusions of the systematic and organized body of knowledge.

Keywords: science, security, definition, risk assessment.

1. Introduction

Whereas the traditional and conservative definition of what is Science is more or less agreed upon, the definition of  "security" is much more complex and problematic, a fact which makes it difficult (if not impossible) to reach an agreeable definition of what is "Security Science".   
The Webster Dictionary offers 4 definitions of what is Science. One of the suggested definitions of what is science which can be adopted for our discussion is "knowledge or a system of knowledge covering general truths or the operation of general laws especially as obtained and tested through scientific method". 
2. The preliminary questions regarding Security are:
  • Is there any agreed definition for Security and is it possible to reach an agreeable definition of what is Security?
  • Is there a difference between Security, Safety, Protection and Defense?
  • Can Security be viewed as a scientific domain?
  • Is it possible to bridge a gap between the two spheres with one comprehensive definition?
3. What is Security? 
The complexity to reach a comprehensive agreement upon definition
Security is multidimensional in nature and diverse in practice. This diversity leads to difficulty in providing a single all-encompassing definition for the many applied domains of security. Security cannot be considered singular in concept definition, as definition is dependent on applied context.
According to David A. Baldwin the concept of security may have a variety of means and many different kinds of security, e.g., economic security, environmental security, military security, social security, physical security, identity security, emotional security, and so on. This family of terms provides the security analyst with a useful vocabulary without undermining the basic intuitive notion of security (Baldwin, 1997). 
Security incorporates diverse and multi-disciplined actors, originating and practicing across many disciplines. This multidimensional nature of security results in unclear understanding of a definition for the concept of security (Brooks, 2009).
Concept definition may be achieved once we gain understanding of an appropriate and relevant security body of knowledge. It appears that security can only achieve definition through applied context and concept definition.

A traditional definition of security may be the provision of protection of people, information and assets for individual safety or community wellness. Security may be expanded to consider national security and the defense of a nation, through armed force or the use of force to control state’s citizens. Security may also imply public policing, with state employed public servants. Still others may consider security as crime prevention, security technology and risk management or loss prevention (Smith, Clifton, Brooks, 2013).
Security has strong parallels with Defense, as they both provide protection. Defense is often considered to be security. An example may be the parallelism demonstrated through police and military organizations, with the increasing convergence in their response to national security challenges. Today, in almost all of the Western Democratic states we can identify multiple separate government departments and agencies that are engaged and contributing to safeguarding the state. This diverse and multidimensional approach to security cannot support the definition of security. 
Security may present very different meaning to different people given the time, place and context. Security may be considered as all of the above, but this diversity results in a society that has no clear understanding of what security is (Griffiths , Brooks, Corkill, 2010).

The obstacle in ability to reach definition in light of the complexity and multidimensionality of the concept of security requires a nontraditional scientific approach to circumvent this challenge.
4. Bridging the definitions' gap
Security Science seeks to identify the basic elements in a defined geo-political and strategic environment by adopting a broad interdisciplinary research approach that incorporates political, economic, social, natural science, environmental and technological dimensions. Security Science provides a unique framework for the development of ideas and approaches that involve policy-makers, combining conceptual and theoretical components and dimensions with empirical and policy-oriented components. Security Science combines and integrates in unique interface security aspects from social and political sciences, which rely on qualitative research, with natural sciences which emphasize quantifiable data produced, tested, and confirmed. 

5. The Scientific security body of knowledge approach

David Brooks suggests developing and defining the knowledge categories of security. The knowledge categories aid, in part, in defining both the science of security and a concept definition of security (Brooks, 2009).
The knowledge categories and subordinate concepts of security can lay down the science of security framework which can be further developed and presented.
Knowledge categorization can provide the scientific foundation to the inquiry, which includes cognitive memory, knowledge categorization and expertise. The applied context is the security body of knowledge that provides a definition of security.

The defined body of knowledge will assist to establish a generic core of skills which enables the development of the security scientific knowledge. The defined body of knowledge will enable to conduct relevant security scientific academic studies and applied researches (quantitative and qualitative) in meeting the evolving security challenges, needs and priorities. 

Bridging the gap between the traditional definitions of science and the unspecified definition of what is Security can be achieved through Scientific Security Research methodologies that will be engaged and implemented in the exploration, analysis and conclusions of the systematic and organized body of knowledge.
6. Security Science is an independent scientific interdisciplinary domain
As demonstrated in ICT research (in which I was personally involved) on the phenomenon of Suicide Terrorism, the research combined interdisciplinary scientific security body of knowledge with scientific research methodologies which encompassed systematic research tools from Sociology, Psychology and individual interviews from prison with a defined group of failed suicide bombers. 

The full research was published in two separate volumes in "Terrorism and Political Violence" in 26 January 2010: Making Palestinian Martyrdom Operations/Suicide Attacks: Interviews with Would-Be Perpetrators and Organizers (Merari, Fighel et all., 2010) and on 27 January 2010 "Personality Characteristics of Self-Martyrs / Suicide Bombers and Organizers of Suicide Attacks" (Merari, Diamant et all., 2010).

The first part of the research was designed to acquire academic and applied knowledge about the ways in which suicide attackers are recruited and prepared and on the motivation of suicide bombers. The factors that influence the decisions of organizers of suicide attacks have so far been sketchy and sporadic, derived mostly from media sources. The body of knowledge which was employed were testimonies of the would-be suicides, the analysis of the indictments and courts' decisions.  

In this study, 15 Palestinian would-be suicides and 14 organizers of suicide attacks participated in semi-structured interviews designed to fill this lacuna. The papers focused on the self-reported feelings and behavior of the suicide bombers from recruitment to dispatching, as well as on the organizers’ self-reported views and decisions concerning suicide attacks.
Each participant was interviewed by one of four specialists on Palestinian affairs, who were well acquainted with Palestinian society and militant groups. The interviewers used a semi-structured questionnaire, designed to obtain information about their decisions on the preparations for and management of suicide attacks and the factors that affected them, as well as about their opinions and feelings in this regard. These interviews were also conducted individually and in Arabic.

The second part was psychological interviews and tests. The research tools and procedures were conducted by four senior clinical psychologists, fluent in Arabic, who interviewed the participants and tested them in individual sessions (one interviewer and one interviewee at a time). Each session was composed of a comprehensive clinical semi-structured interview aiming at getting the biographical background, significant events in life, adjustment to change and coping with crises.
The semi-structured interviews were followed by a series of psychological tests. The set of tests included: Rorschach test, TAT (Thematic Apperception Test), House- Tree-Person drawings and an adapted version of the California Personality Inventory (CPI) comprised of 300 questions (CHPI), which had been translated into Arabic.

The scientific findings and conclusions from both parts were integrated and combined into applied practical and operational aspects to enable also the security professionals and law enforcement agencies in the "Real World" to benefit from the enriching significant scientific findings for security and operational implementation.

Another similar scientific research (in which I was also personally involved), was recently conducted by ICT regarding "Lone Wolves Attacks in Israel" .
The study focused on independent terrorists in the surge of terrorism that Israel experienced from October 2015 to December 2017. These terrorists acted alone or with accomplices, but with no operational support from a terrorist organization.
The study included sociological personal interviews and psychological tests personal interviews with 45 lone wolf terrorists in prison, utilizing scientific research mythologies to profile the terrorists' motivational factors for the attacks.

The study, looking at various motives for committing terrorist lone attacks with in-depth interviews conducted with 45 terrorists, has established that a blend of personal motives and external factors were behind their decisions to carry out the attacks, including psychological personal background, ideological motives, personal factors and trigger events (copycat attacks, geopolitical events and traumatic personal events).

Both researches, as mentioned above, are significant demonstrations of Scientific Security Research methodologies that were engaged and implemented in the exploration, analysis and conclusions of the systematic and organized body of knowledge. They are also establishing the fact that the urgent need for security science new and dynamic adoptable approach is possible and workable.

7. Conclusions
Security Science is an independent scientific interdisciplinary domain that combines interdisciplinary scientific security body of knowledge with scientific research methodologies which encompassed systematic research tools.
The Scientific security body of knowledge approach develops and defines the knowledge categories of security. The knowledge categories and the subordinate concepts of security can lay down the science of security framework which can be further developed and presented.

 

 


Prevazilaženje jaza između pojmova “bezbednost” i “nauka”

Bezbednost je višedimenzionalne prirode i raznolika u praksi. Ova raznolikost dovodi do poteškoća u pružanju jedinstvene sveobuhvatne definicije za mnoge primenjene oblasti bezbednosti. Bezbednost se u definiciji koncepta ne može smatrati jedinstvenom, jer definicija zavisi od primijenjenog konteksta. Bezbednost uključuje različite i multidisciplinirane aktere, koji potiču i vežbaju u mnogim disciplinama. Ova višedimenzionalna priroda bezbednosti rezultira nejasnim razumevanjem definicije pojma bezbednosti. Uklanjanje jaza između tradicionalnih definicija nauke i neodređene definicije šta je bezbednost može se postići naučnim metodama u nauci bezbednosti koje će biti angažovane i primenjene u istraživanju, analizi i zaključcima sistematskog i organizovanog skupa znanja.

Ključne reči: nauka, bezbednost, definicija, procena rizika.



Author Biography 

Jonathan Fighel, The International Institue for Counter Terrorism - ICT 

Senior Researcher



References 


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