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What is human security?

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  1. Introduction
  2. Human security: A difficult definition
    1. The infinite number of definitions of human security
  3. Human security and human rights
  4. Human security and human development
    1. A parallel between Sen's trident and the three human concerns developed previously
  5. Conclusion
  6. References

The end of Cold War brought new global challenges to the security field. The arousal of new forms of conflict, such as internal wars and terrorism made it important to rethink civilian protection as the centre of this new perspective of security. Threats to security are no longer restricted to states, nor can the state protect its citizens from fear by conventional military action. In his speech appealing for a change in the way we think about security, Sergio Vieira de Mello , underlined the idea that « the security of states and the security of peoples are clearly intertwined, for the insecurity of peoples inexorably leads to the disintegration of states and to regional and international instability »

[...] ) Human security is ( . ) a concern with human life and dignity The idea that this concept would revolutionize society in the 21st Century by creating a response to a new security spectrum, boosted the initiative of creating in January 2001, a Global Commission on Human Security. This Commission would eagerly aim at the twin goals for human security established at the Millennium Summit in 2000 by Kofi Annan: freedom from fear and freedom from want The definition since then developed embraces far more than the absence of violent conflict It focuses on the complementarity of state and human security, the latter encompassing in its broadest sense the access and guarantee of a series of factors. [...]

[...] political security and cultural security and of course, every individual's conception of their own legitimate human security, which corresponds to their own needs and desires, questions the fundamental reason for defining such a concept which can virtually mean everything [Paris rhetorically asks this question in his article: Again, if human security is all these things, what is it not ? This makes it harder for policymakers to elaborate priorities in order to fulfil everybody's necessities. How is it possible to define a prioritarization of action, regarding namely intervention when the concept itself doesn't manage to do so? [...]

[...] Therefore, by stretching across all geographical areas, human security is subject to potential threats, in both developing and developed countries, whereas human rights are universal. Human Security and Human Development Although human security and human development (as well as human rights) share the same individual-centred approach, the former should not be considered identical to the latter. Even though there has always been a tendency to connect development and economic growth which obviously is one of the possible views of the issue[9] - the definition of development cannot be restricted to the latter. [...]

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