The Security Dilemma in Saudi-Iranian Relations
Mohamed Bin Huwaidin

The concept of security dilemma emerged as early as the 1950s with the writings of John Herz, Herbert Butterfield, and Robert Jervis.It is one of the very important concepts in the field of international relations because it can explain conflict and war. Herz’s article “Idealist Internationalism and the Security Dilemma” is the first major work in the concept of security dilemma. Herz defines the concept of security dilemma as “politically active groups and individuals are concerned about their security from being attacked, subjected, or annihilated by other groups and individuals. Because they strive to attain security from such attack, and yet can never feel entirely secure in a world of competing units, they are driven toward acquiring more and more power for themselves, in order to escape the impact of the superior power of others”.2 Butterfield explains the security dilemma in his book History and Human Relations by outlining that “the greatest war in history can be produced without the intervention of any great criminals who might be out to do deliberate harm in the world. It could be produced between two powers, both of which were desperately anxious to avoid a conflict of any sort”.3Jervis contributed to this concept in his important article “Cooperation under the Security Dilemma”. Jervis argues that the security dilemma exists when “many of the means by which a state tries to increase its security decrease the security of others”.4

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rhps.v3n2a8