Security governance consists of a range of institutions and political units that attempt to ensure, protect and (in some cases) violate regional and international security. Security regimes play an interesting role in shaping security governance from a particular, discreet perspective by focusing on specific issues with international relations. We can think about security regimes as arms control regimes such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) regime, Chemical Weapons Convention regime as well as nascent regimes such as on hand guns, biological and toxin weapons, and land mines in addition to those regimes that are focused on the victims of security, such as those for children, refugees and migrants. Our focus here is to look at the contribution of such regimes and how they ‘plug in’ to security governance architectures. While other chapters in this volume focus on the intricacies of such regimes, this chapter focuses more on thinking conceptually about how security governance relates to the variety and multitude of actors in the international system. The chapter examines the nature of regime complexity looking at regimes not as formal institutions but as a collection of overlapping and multilevel structures and actors that seek to address the same policy area. The literature on regime complexity shows that much security governance comes out through a greater degree of diversity than ever before as international relations becomes fractured across traditional nation-states leaving power differentiated between a variety of agents.
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