The political arena has always been a mixture of “peace and war,” “compromise and conflict,” as well as “convergence and divergence.” The fact that ancient Greeks likened politics to the two-faced god of Greek mythology, Janus, is indicative of this duality. Of course, the belligerent and hazardous face of politics due to its more evident and often more unfavorable manifestations, outcomes and consequences, has usually drawn more attention and has accounted for the lion’s share of political science and literature.
Perhaps, this is why during the past decades, the issue of “management of conflicts and risks to global security” has turned into a major approach that arises from the peaceful aspect of politics, and has turned into a specialized field, which is rapidly growing. During modern times, the type, level and scope of conflicts and risks to global security have undergone major alterations due to a host of reasons. Those reasons, include the emergence of modern technologies along with profound lifestyle changes and developments in the living models of contemporary humans as a result of changes in human social relations. On the other hand, the emergence of new international actors, globalization, revolution in information and communication technology, electronic exchanges that form everyday life of humans, and dwindling importance of geographical borders have been also playing their part. As a result, attitudes, approaches, theories, methods and techniques related to this issue have likewise undergone many important changes.
In any historical era and in various human societies, theoretical discussions and practical approaches taken to conflict settlement have always been heavily affected by notions and viewpoints about the “quality and causes of conflicts and risks,” which prevailed in those eras. In recent years, the field of politics was often looked upon from a moral standpoint and such phenomena as war and violence were attributed to human avarice and other similar traits. As a result, it was widely believed that achieving peace and settlement of conflicts hinged on the amount of attention that human beings paid to such moral values as “justice” and “forgiveness.” Alternatively, as an idealistic attitude started to dominate politics, the prevalent notion was that political conflicts result from weakness of regulatory political institutions and norms. Therefore, people came to believe that strengthening those “norms” would prevent war and violence. It was on the basis of such an opinion that the approach known as “peace through the law of war” became the dominant approach. During past decades, a form of idealistic viewpoint has been governing politics in which political conflicts and war are usually ascribed to the conflict of interests and power imbalance among various political units and actors and it is believed that achieving peace would be possible through the “balance of power” and “deterrence.”
At any rate, the arena of politics has become much more complicated than ever before both on national and regional levels, and on the international level. Meanwhile the diversity and number of political actors, including state and non-state as well as national and subnational have greatly increased while their role in power equations as well as internal and external conflicts has been enhanced. This issue, per se, confirms the reality that at the present time, more accurate study of risks to global security has become too urgent. Abrar Moaser Tehran International Studies and Research Institute has decided to provide its audience with relevant scientific and strategic literature, through its “Iran Review Quarterly,” taking into account conceptual changes in “viewpoints and theories related to global security risks” and “alterations in approaches, methods and technique related to management of risks.” We look forward to achieving this goal through consultation and exchange of views with all experts in this field.