Domestic Instability and Security Communities


The problem of political instability is neglected in the literature on security communities. In this article I argue that domestic stability, defined as the absence of large-scale violence in a country, is a necessary condition of these communities. Domestic violence precludes the existence of security communities because it renders people and states insecure; it creates the risk of cross-border destabilization and violence; and it generates uncertainty and tension among states, inhibiting trust and a sense of collective identity. I conclude that the benchmark of a security community—dependable expectations of peaceful change—should apply as much within states as between them. This is consistent with the work of Karl Deutsch, whose pioneering concept of a security community is widely understood to mean the absence of interstate war. Deutsch, in fact, was equally concerned with large-scale internal violence.


European Journal of International Relations (2006) 12 (2) 275-299 [doi: 10.1177/1354066106064510]

Domestic Instability and Security Communities

Published 1 January 2006