International Security Oriented Transgovernmental Networks

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Thomas Hale:

"Security touches the core interest of the sovereign state, which has famously been defined by Weber as an entity with a monopoly over the use of force within its borders. It is therefore unsurprising that in this most crucial area of states’ concerns, new forms of governance, especially those involving sub- and nonstate actors, have taken least hold. That said, two forms of innovation are of note. As in finance, new forms of interdependence have spurred national authorities to cooperate with peers in other countries in new, more horizontal and flexible transgovernmental networks.

For example, after the 11 September 2001 attacks, countries created the Financial Action Task Force as a way to track and block transnational financial flows that supported extremist groups. Involving financial regulators from a number of countries, the network has proven relatively effective in blocking financial flows to terrorist groups and organized crime syndicates (Roberge 2011). New forms of governance have also arisen around human security, particularly around tracking humanitarian crises as they emerge through innovative technology.

For example, the Digital Humanitarian Network and the International Network of Crisis Mappers are consortia of organizations and volunteers that use crowd-sourcing and mobile technology to record, measure and map humanitarian needs as they emerge. A network called Ushahidi arose to map the violence that followed the 2008 elections in Kenya. By aggregating reports from social and news media through a collaborative crowd-sourced effort, Ushahidi was able to capture the violence more precisely than any governmental agency or international organization. The information collected by the network has helped provide evidence to hold those responsible to account, including via the International Criminal Court. Now Ushahidi has grown into a global platform, and is currently working to track violence in Syria, among other places."