Skip to main content

Verification and Advanced Cooperative Security

Back to All Publications

The security circumstances confronting the world today are fundamentally different from those which shaped the theory and practice of Cold War arms control. Then, the central problem was to deter a massive nuclear or conventional attack while using arms control to stabilise deterrence and prevent proliferation. Now, the United Stes and its allies have little reason to fear a deliberate large-scale attack. Instead, the most troublesome security problems involve smaller-scale, more diffuse dangers driven by key trends associated with globalisation.  Various developments, including the information revolution, the emergence of global markets and transnational networks, widespread access to dual-use materials and sophisticated technologies, and growing economic inequalities, have magnified the threats posed by angry individuals, disaffected groups and weak states. They have also multiplied the destruction that could occur from natural causes, accident, inadvertence or other unintended consequences of 'business as usual' in a tightly connected high-technology world.

The Advanced Methods of Cooperative Security Program at the University of Maryland is exploring conceptual issues and operational techniques for co-operative responses to new global security problems.  The goal is to promote interdisciplinary research and discussion about applications that exemplify emerging security problems and embody elements of potential solutions. The current focus is on research with dangerous pathogens, space activities and fissile material controls. This chapter presents the basic concept of advanced co-operative security and explores the role for verification in advanced co-operative security systems. It also provides a brief
illustration of advanced co-operative security in practice, using the example of biotechnology.

Nancy Gallagher is Associate Director for Research at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland, University of Maryland.

View All Publications