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Defining Security

Security, in international relations parlance, has traditionally meant the security of governments, structures, and states – the survival, development, and success or failure of individuals, groups, structures, and nations who seek to gather, hold, or grow power. This has traditionally excluded, or neglected, marginalized communities and structures… particularly women.

But as we both experienced, as members of a minority demographic in the Marine Corps, and learned, as academics studying gender in the context of security: security matters for everyone. Security is defined differently by different people, groups, institutions, and nations. And whose definition of security is presented matters deeply for the policies and agenda embraced by those in power.

Who is seated at the table and the security perspectives and beliefs they share fundamentally shape national security.

As we study security and ask how diverse teams leaders shape security, we must also ask: whose security are we considering?