Saturday 18 Aug 2018 | 02:48 | SYDNEY
Saturday 18 Aug 2018 | 02:48 | SYDNEY

Regime type and security


Malcolm Cook

25 November 2010 12:00

International relations analysts, particularly security analysts, often hesitate to comment on how a country's regime type shapes its approach to national security. Yet democracies and dictatorships define and approach national security very differently.

For dictatorships, national security and the national interest is regime security and regime interest. This conflation of the nation and the regime (and sometimes the individual leader) naturally makes thes dictatorships worry more about their security, and to see more domestic and external threats to their security. Beijing's response to this year's Nobel Peace Prize and its attempts to control the internet are testimony to this conflation.

Leadership transitions in dictatorships, often opaque and drawn out, also have more negative externalities for regional and global security. As Rory pointed out in his latest post, North Korea's mounting acts of war against the South seem to be emanating from the leadership transition now under way in the Hermit Kingdom. Who knows how long it will take and how many more eruptions from the DPRK we will witness along the way. 

Image courtesy of Threadless Tees.