The world today is profoundly interconnected, but also characterized by ongoing national competition and intra-state conflict. At the nexus of these dynamics is the question of cross-border mobility, which cuts through and connects myriad, disparate areas of “entangled” security—from pandemics to climate change, to conflict and military engagement, to challenges to democracies in the form of internal polarization and external threats. The COVID-19 pandemic provides a striking illustration of this “global security entanglement” in action. This essay presents the concept of security entanglement, illustrates how it operates, and explores some of its theoretical and practical implications.

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