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Human Security Paradigm Shift or Hot Air

Human Security Paradigm Shift or Hot Air

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. “Human Security and the Interests of States. “The Human Security Paradigm Shift: A New Lens on Canadian Foreign Policy? Report of the University of British Columbia Symposium on Human Security.. Common Security in Asia: New Concept of Human Security (Tokyo: Tokai University Press. Francis Beer. pp. 2000).” ibid.2 and is the subject of new research projects at several major universities. Other states in the network include Austria. Lucerne. which have taken the lead in establishing a “human security network” of states and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that endorse the concept.3 Roland Paris is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Colorado. Claudio Ciofª.gc.1 The term has also begun to appear in academic works. These include Harvard University’s Program on Human Security. 1999). and Thomas Weiss for comments on previous drafts. eds.dfaitmaeci. Vol. pp.” ibid. the Netherlands. 3 (July–September 2001). 2001). and Thailand. 1999). Illinois (February 20–24. Human and Global Security: An Exploration of Terms (Toronto: University of Toronto Press. 2. No. Although deªnitions of human security vary. No. Natalie Goldring. Daniel Lindley. Colorado (November 9–11. Switzerland. cooperative security. No. Daniel Drezner.asp (accessed on February 14. 3. Boulder. Worlds Apart: Human Security and Global Governance (London: I. Globalization. No. eds. 51–60. Peter Stoett.Human Security Paradigm Shift or Hot Air? Roland Paris Human Security uman security is the latest in a long line of neologisms—including common security. Oliver Richmond. Chen. Human Security and Mutual Vulnerability: The Global Political Economy of Development and Underdevelopment. Slovenia.B. 2000. Colo... and at the annual conference of the International Studies Association in Chicago. and comprehensive security—that encourage policymakers and scholars to think about international security as something more than the military defense of state interests and territory. My thanks to Michael Barnett. Ian Hurd. 265–276. Majid Tehranian. Human Security. “Human Security: A Shotgun Approach to Alleviating Human Misery?” Global Governance. Michael Lipson.: Lynne Rienner. Colin Dueck. Switzerland. David Leblang. Steve Chan. Chile. Vol. H 87 . Peter Viggo Jakobsen. Heather Owens and Barbara Arneil. Greece. 1–12. 1999).’ and NGOs: Potentials and Problems for Humanitarian Intervention. Tauris. Ramesh Thakur. Vol. (Ottawa: International Development Research Centre. and the African Experience (Boulder. 1995).” Second Ministerial Meeting of the Human Security Network. Vol. “Human Security. Mali. most formulations emphasize the welfare of ordinary people. Stephen Brooks. the ‘Rule of Law. 7. Caroline Thomas and Peter Wilkin. Yuen Foong Khong. pp. Jordan. http://www. An earlier version of this article was presented to the joint meeting of the International Security and Arms Control section of the American Political Science Association and the International Security Studies section of the International Studies Association in Denver. See “Chairman’s Summary. 1999). 3 (September 1999). ed. the University of Denver’s International Security. 1. 2. Jorge Nef. global security. 2001).. Among the most vocal promoters of human security are the governments of Canada and Norway. For example. 2d ed. 26.ca/foreignp/humansecurity/Chairman_summary-e. 30. Astri Suhrke.” Human Rights Review. pp. Ireland.” Security Dialogue.C. and Tatsuro Matsumae and L. May 11–12. 2 (Fall 2001). 4 (July–September 2001). “The United Nations and Human Security. 87–102 © 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Daniel Deudney. Existing deªnitions of human security tend to be extraordinarily expansive and vague. human security is powerful precisely because it lacks precision and thereby encompasses the diverse perspectives and objectives of all the members of the coalition. As Daniel Deudney has written in another context. the concept lacks a precise deªnition. encompassing everything from physical security to psychological well-being. “Reversing the Gun Sights: Transnational Civil Society Targets Land Mines. Vol. development agencies. 5. which provides policymakers with little guidance in the prioritization of competing policy goals and academics little sense of what. however. No. Despite these claims. 4. is to be studied.” International Organization. 613–644. “Environment and Security: Muddled Thinking. and Craig Warkentin and Karen . but few people have a clear idea of what it means. in particular. 47.5 But to say that human security has Graduate School of International Studies. The political coalition that now uses human security as a rallying cry has chalked up signiªcant accomplishments. and the University of British Columbia’s Institute of International Relations. p. Human security is like “sustainable development”—everyone is for it. Cultivated ambiguity renders human security an effective campaign slogan. but it also diminishes the concept’s usefulness as a guide for academic research or policymaking. 23. Richard Price. in short. exactly. the most ardent backers of human security appear to have an interest in keeping the term expansive and vague.”4 Two problems. Second. limit the usefulness of the human security concept for students and practitioners of international politics. “Not all neologisms are equally plausible or useful. 3 (Summer 1998). it remains unclear whether the concept of human security can serve as a practical guide for academic research or governmental policymaking. Vol. and NGOs—all of which seek to shift attention and resources away from conventional security issues and toward goals that have traditionally fallen under the rubric of international development. First. As a unifying concept for this coalition.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. pp. as Richard Price and others have shown. The term. the University of New South Wales’s Asia-Australia Institute. This is not to say that human security is merely “hot air” or empty rhetoric.International Security 26:2 88 Some commentators argue that human security represents a new paradigm for scholars and practitioners alike. 3 (April 1991). 52. The idea of human security is the glue that holds together a jumbled coalition of “middle power” states. The alliance of some states and advocacy groups has altered the landscape of international politics since the end of the Cold War. including the signing of an antipersonnel land mines convention and the imminent creation of an international criminal court. No. appears to be slippery by design.

p. or as protection of national interests in foreign policy or as global security from the threat of nuclear holocaust. the authors Mingst. but the report’s subsequent proposal for a new concept of security—human security—lacks precision: “Human security can be said to have two main aspects.”8 The scope of this deªnition is vast: Virtually any kind of unexpected or irregular discomfort could conceivably constitute a threat to one’s human security.. Laura Reed and Majid Tehranian. “has for too long been interpreted narrowly: as security of territory from external aggression. 6. Second. safety from such chronic threats as hunger. Perhaps anticipating this criticism.” in Tehranian.. What Is Human Security? The ªrst major statement concerning human security appeared in the 1994 Human Development Report. Vol. it means protection from sudden and hurtful disruptions in the patterns of daily life—whether in homes. Worlds Apart. “International Institutions. 22. I consider ways in which the concept might. 8.Human Security 89 served as an effective rallying cry is different from claiming that the concept offers a useful framework for analysis.”7 This critique is clear and forceful. This article proceeds as follows. p.Forgotten were the legitimate concerns of ordinary people who sought security in their daily lives. The impact of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society rhetoric. 237–257. pp. I examine existing deªnitions of human security.. United Nations Development Programme. and Global Civil Society in the Age of the World Wide Web. I explore the limits of human security as a practical guide for academic research and policymaking. p. Fourth. one can support the political goals of the human security coalition while recognizing that the idea of human security itself is a muddle. First. Similarly. was arguably signiªcant—serving as a focal point for political supporters of his reformist social agenda—but the exact meaning of the term “great society” was obscure. despite its limitations. No.” the report argues. . 7. “The concept of security. as some of its proponents maintain. disease and repression. make a contribution to the study of international relations and security. And second. I examine recent efforts to narrow the deªnition of human security.. 2 (April–June 2000). Third. in jobs or in communities. 35. 1994 (New York: Oxford University Press. It means. Ibid. “Evolving Security Regimes. 23. ªrst. for example. the State. 1994).6 Campaign slogans can be consequential without being well deªned.” Global Governance. Human Development Report. 6. an annual publication of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

”11 Other states. anti-personnel landmines and. . (4) environmental security (e.g. 7. 183–196. Indeed the drafters of the report seem distinctly uninterested in establishing any deªnitional boundaries.asp (accessed on February 14. This list is so broad that it is difªcult to determine what.. survival of traditional cultures and ethnic groups as well as the physical security of these groups).g. have promoted a more restrictive deªnition of human security as “freedom from pervasive threats to people’s rights. 12.gc. 1 (January– March 2001). Cockell. 2. access to health care and protection from diseases). No. (5) personal security (e.ca/foreignp/humansecurity/ menu-e. war.go. 52. and dignity—for example. pp.10 although different members of the human security coalition have customized the deªnition to suit their own particular interests. p. safety or lives.” Global Governance.. chap.... ed. physical safety from such things as torture.” International Journal. drug use. daily life. transnational organized crime. freedom from poverty). protection from such dangers as environmental pollution and depletion). See also “Statement by Director-General Yukio Takasu at the International Conference on Human Security in a Globalized World. Axworthy has continued to espouse the concept of human security. such as Canada. which they apparently view as among the concept’s major strengths. 2 (Spring 1997). 24. poverty. 2000). 19–23.dfait-maeci. illicit drugs. 2001). John G. if anything. Regeneration of War-Torn Societies (London: Macmillan.g. 10. According to the government of Japan. the concept of human security “comprehensively covers all the measures that threaten human survival. Vol.” in Michael Pugh. for example. Canadian foreign ministry web site: http://www. Ibid. refugees... Vol. criminal attacks. enjoyment of civil and political rights. 3.. See also the statement by former Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy. p.. and even trafªc accidents). 21. sec.”12 But even this slightly narrower con9. 1999. Diplomatic Bluebook.g. 2001). violations of human rights. might be excluded from the deªnition of human security.International Security 26:2 90 of the report identify seven speciªc elements that comprise human security: (1) economic security (e. Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. “Human Security and Global Governance: Putting People First.g.jp (accessed on February 14. May 8.” Ulan Bator. and (7) political security (e. and freedom from political oppression).g. 2000. “Conceptualising Peacebuilding: Human Security and Sustainable Peace. 11. (6) community security (e. access to food).infectious diseases such as AIDS—and strengthens efforts to confront these threats.g. No. suicide. Since leaving his post as foreign minister in 2000. Both documents are reproduced on the Japanese foreign ministry’s web site at http://www. Instead they make a point of commending the “all-encompassing” and “integrative” qualities of the human security concept..mofa. see Lloyd Axworthy.. (2) food security (e.9 Today the UNDP’s 1994 deªnition of human security remains the most widely cited and “most authoritative” formulation of the term. domestic violence. “Canada and Human Security: The Need for Leadership. (3) health security (e. pp. environmental degradation.

“Canada and Human Security. 15. Human Security. (3) social security. (2) economic security. “Evolving Security Regimes. the rule of law.” Second Ministerial Meeting of the Human Security Network. and sustainable development. Axworthy.” p. and humane interpersonal relations. protection of civilians in conºicts. or “the set of psychological orientations of society geared to preserving and enhancing the ability to control uncertainty and fear. Jorge Nef. 17. the achievement of an acceptable quality of life. human security includes “the totality of knowledge.” (4) political security. According to Caroline Thomas. human security refers to the provision of “basic material needs” and the realization of “human dignity. for example. “Introduction. or local in origin and scope. 16. “Chairman’s Summary. 14. 25. Nef. personal. gender. Globalization.” in Thomas and Wilkin. p. institutions and activities that protect. which “hinges on establishing conditions fostering respectful. Many works amount to restatements or revisions of the UNDP’s laundry list of human security issues. free from want and fear. loving. and Japan. good governance. and the processes which protect and 13.” and communication security. and with equal opportunities to develop their human potential to the full.”14 The sentiments embodied in these statements are honorable. or social status. ethnicity. national. including “freedom from discrimination based on age. .13 Meanwhile the human security network—which.” including “emancipation from oppressive power structures—be they global. a guarantee of fundamental human rights. Reed and Tehranian. but they do little to clarify the meaning or boundaries of the human security concept. Human Security and Mutual Vulnerability. the Canadian formulation includes safety from physical threats. or the importance of “freedom and balance in information ºows. and the African Experience. and physical security.”15 Laura Reed and Majid Tehranian offer their own list of human security’s ten constituent elements—including psychological security. 3.Human Security 91 ceptualization of human security is sweeping and open-ended: Among other things. 184.”17 For Robert Bedeski. technology. p. Caroline Thomas. and (5) cultural security. Some academic writings on the subject have been similarly opaque.” pp. defend and preserve the biological existence of human life. arguing that human security comprises (1) environmental. but offer equally expansive deªnitions. includes several other states and a broad assortment of international NGOs—has committed itself to the goal of “strengthening human security with a view to creating a more humane world where people can live in security and dignity. Norway.”16 Other scholars avoid the laundry list approach. in addition to Canada. 39 and 47. social equity. devises a ªvefold classiªcation scheme.

what is it not? A Guide for Research and Policymaking? Policymakers and scholars face different. which in practice seems to mean treating all interests and objectives within the movement as equally valid. international. . Owens and Arneil. Robert Bedeski. conclude with this caveat: “It is important to reiterate that these overlapping categories do not represent a hierarchy of security needs from personal to national. after presenting their list of ten constituent categories of human security. if human security is all these things.”19 The observation that all human and natural realms are fundamentally interrelated is a truism.” p. for instance. part of the ethic of the human security movement is to emphasize the “inclusiveness” and “holism” of the term. and the Evolution of the Northeast Asian State.org/docs/bedeski. 2000. On the contrary. This is a difªcult task not only because of the broad sweep and deªnitional elasticity of most formulations of human security but also—and perhaps even more problematically—because the proponents of human security are typically reluctant to prioritize the jumble of goals and principles that make up the concept. To put it simply. For policymakers. and does not provide a very convincing justiªcation for treating all needs. not everything can be a matter of national security. as it has come to entail such a wide range of different threats on one hand.html (accessed on February 14.”20 For those who study.”18 Again. 53.International Security 26:2 92 perfect collective peace and prosperity to enhance human freedom. Reed and Tehranian. Nor does it help decisionmakers in their daily task of allocating scarce resources among competing goals: After all. problems in attempting to put these deªnitions of human security into practical use. University of Victoria. “Human Security. 2. the task of transforming the idea of human security into a useful analytical tool for schol18. Reed and Tehranian.” p. but related. and policy objectives as equally important. http:// www. “Evolving Security Regimes. with all of the urgency that this term implies. international politics.globalcentres. and environmental rights. human security “is too broad and vague a concept to be meaningful for policymakers. 20.” Centre for Global Studies. As noted above. “The Human Security Paradigm Shift. 19. rather than practice. the challenge is to move beyond all-encompassing exhortations and to focus on speciªc solutions to speciªc political issues. 2001). February 8. Knowledge. each realm impinges upon the others and is intrinsically connected to wider political and economic considerations. values. while prescribing a diverse and sometimes incompatible set of policy solutions to resolve them on the other.

Indeed Cockell himself acknowledges that his policy prescriptions are “arbitrary. Although these guidelines seem reasonable. consider John Cockell’s efforts to apply the human security concept to the phenomenon of international peacebuilding operations in countries at risk of slipping into.” see Giovanni Sartori.. Further. Cockell is effectively saying that peacebuilding seeks to prevent a decline in human security from causing a decline in human security. Ibid. 25.Human Security 93 arly research is also problematic. He then identiªes “four basic parameters. seek sustainable and durable results.”23 Yet because the UNDP deªnition of human security includes safety from violence as a central component of human security. because the concept of human security encompasses both physical security and more general notions of social. and psychological well-being. On the problem of “conceptual stretching.21 To illustrate these problems. No. pp. Ibid.” American Political Science Review.25 21. 22.” pp. 4 (December 1970). 26. 21. economic..22 After embracing the open-ended UNDP deªnition of human security. for the conduct of peacebuilding operations: Peacebuilders should focus on root causes of conºicts. . violent conºict. Suhrke makes a similar point in “Human Security and the Interests of States. it is impractical to talk about certain socioeconomic factors “causing” an increase or decline in human security. “Conceptualising Peacebuilding. then it effectively means nothing. the sprawling concept of human security could support many more—and quite different— principles for peacebuilding. 270–271. which makes little sense. it is far from clear what academics should even be studying. cultural. if human security means almost anything. 1033– 1053.” which belies the notion that human security entails a particular “orientation” toward peacebuilding. or just emerging from.” based on the principles of human security.” 23. as Cockell claims. p. The study of causal relationships requires a degree of analytical separation that the notion of human security lacks. civil war. pay attention to the differences in local conditions from one operation to the next. 24. 21.24 More generally. given that these factors are themselves part of the deªnition of human security. and mobilize local actors and resources in support of peace. Cockell states that “peacebuilding is a sustained process of preventing internal threats to human security from causing protracted. pp. “Concept Misinformation in Comparative Politics. Cockell. Given the hodgepodge of principles and objectives associated with the concept. Human security seems capable of supporting virtually any hypothesis—along with its opposite—depending on the prejudices and interests of the particular researcher. Vol. 64.

institutions. political freedom. another scholar.: University of Notre Dame.”28 Although both projects are still in the early stages of development. “Rethinking Human Security. http://www. 8. Similarly. they identify certain values as more important than others without providing a clear justiªcation for doing so. . on January 24. which will be cochaired by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Sadako Ogata. for instance. In addition to these projects. the fostering of norms. “Human Security: Concept and Measurement. they identify ªve key indicators of well-being—poverty.PDF (accessed on February 14. .edu/ ?krocinst/ocpapers/op_19_1. the United Nations and the government of Japan announced plans to establish a Commission on Human Security. First. Kanti Bajpai. however.. education. See “Independent Panel on ‘Human Security’ To Be Set Up.nd. 2001.” Harvard University. 2000.” as well as measures of different societies’ “capacity to deal with these threats. Ibid. Ind. This is the approach that Gary King and Christopher Murray have adopted in their ongoing project on human security. health. they represent welcome efforts at operationalizing the concept of human security with a more precise deªnition of the term. Bajpai. Gary King and Christopher Murray.harvard. 2001). August 2000). and argues that this audit would draw attention to the fact that “threats to safety and freedom are the most important” elements of hu26. p. A clear measure or audit of human security would allow scholars to assess the factors that lead to declines or increases in the human security of particular groups or individuals. 19:OP:1 (Notre Dame.edu/ªles/hs. Kanti Bajpai.26 King and Murray offer a deªnition of human security that is intended to include only “essential” elements. 29. 27. January 24. proposes construction of a “human security audit” that would include measures of “direct and indirect threats to individual bodily safety and freedom.” Agence France-Press. face problems that seem endemic to the study of human security. so that it might offer a better guide for research and policymaking.”27 Using this standard. 28. proposes inclusion of “bodily safety” and “personal freedom” in his human security audit. representativeness in decisionmaking structures. meaning elements that are “important enough for human beings to ªght over or to put their lives or property at great risk. and .International Security 26:2 94 Attempts to Narrow the Concept One possible remedy for the expansiveness and vagueness of human security is to redeªne the concept in much narrower and more precise terms.” Kroc Institute Occasional Paper No.pdf (accessed on February 14.29 Both of these projects. May 4. . namely. http://gking. 2001. and democracy—that they intend to incorporate into an overall measure of human security for individuals and groups. 2001).

32 By main30. This raises another problem. On the strategic use of the term “security” as a tool for changing policy or obtaining resources.30 He does not explain. 1998).” Thus the challenge for these scholars is not simply to narrow the deªnition of human security into a more analytically tractable concept. In other words.Human Security 95 man security. Additionally. however. demands public attention. 124. King and Murray. No. (Delhi: Oxford University Press. they favor certain values as representative of human security without offering a clear justiªcation for doing so. but Bajpai does not address this issue. a good education? Perhaps it is. good education. 58–59. Ibid. Deªning the core values of human security may be difªcult not only because there is so little agreement on the meaning of human security. but because the term’s ambiguity serves a particular purpose: It unites a diverse and sometimes fractious coalition of states and organizations that “see an opportunity to capture some of the more substantial political interest and superior ªnancial resources” associated with more traditional. King and Murray state that their formulation of human security includes only those matters that people would be willing to ªght over. see David E. really more important than.” p. What about education? Is the ability to choose one’s marriage partner. or perhaps even more. “What Is Security?” Dædalus. But they neglect to offer evidence that their ªve indicators are. p. May 7. pp. 53 (emphasis added).” New York Times. 4. reasonable health care. Vol. “Rethinking Human Security. 32. and democracy). exp. On the urgency that is automatically associated with the concept of national security. individuals could ªnd themselves in the strange position of enjoying a high level of human security (low poverty. why other values are not equally. and commands governmental resources. thereby purging the most familiar connotation of security— safety from violence—from their deªnition of human security. .. who might not consider themselves very “secure. 3 (Summer 1995). Week in Review. Sanger. 3. see Emma Rothschild. 31. which is one of Bajpai’s examples of personal freedom. “Sometimes National Security Says It All. their decision to exclude indicators of violence from their composite measure of human security creates a de facto distinction between human security and physical security. say.” which conveys urgency. See also Mahbub ul Haq. One need only think of residents of certain neighborhoods in Belfast.31 These actors have in effect pursued a political strategy of “appropriating” the term “security. ed. closely related to the risk of violent conºict. Similarly. political freedom. 2000. military conceptions of security. p. but to provide a compelling rationale for highlighting certain values. in fact. while facing a relatively high risk of becoming victims of deadly violence. important than the values he champions. Under the KingMurray formulation. Reºections on Human Development.

2000.” Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade.” as does Fen Osler Hampson. then. even if the concept of human secu33. moreover. describe the concept of human security more vaguely than do Canadian or Japanese government documents on the subject.” Second Ministerial Meeting of the Human Security Network. Compare “Chairman’s Summary. In other words. I would like to suggest one such possibility: Human security may serve as a label for a broad category of research in the ªeld of security studies that is primarily concerned with nonmilitary threats to the safety of societies. and individuals.33 Given these circumstances.htm (accessed on February 14. and the “Statement by Director-General Yukio Takasu. . and our understanding of how such research “ªts” within the larger ªeld of security studies is still limited. http:// www. 2001).ca/partners/G78/English/Peace/hampson-axworthy. “The Axworthy Years: An Assessment.hri. they are unlikely to support outside calls for greater speciªcity in the deªnition of human security. in contrast to more traditional approaches to security studies that focus on protecting states from external threats. National Press Club. October 31. Why.” Bajpai also discusses some of these differences in “Human Security: Concept and Measurement. The communiqués of the human security network. to the Government of Canada’s “Human Security: Safety for People in a Changing World. or to think about other ways in which the concept of human security could contribute to the ªeld of security studies.International Security 26:2 96 taining a certain level of ambiguity in the notion of human security. Human Security as a Category of Research To recapitulate my argument so far: Human security does not appear to offer a particularly useful framework of analysis for scholars or policymakers. Much of this work is relatively new.” presentation prepared for delivery to the Group of 78. thereby accommodating as wide a variety of members and interests in their network as possible. for example. Ottawa. groups. But perhaps there are other avenues by which the idea of human security can contribute to the study of international relations and security. because deªnitional narrowing would likely highlight and aggravate differences among them. the members of this coalition are able to minimize their individual differences. May 1999. should scholars bother trying to transform the concept of human security into a serviceable analytical tool at all? Why embark on what could well be a quixotic quest to wrest the deªnition of human security away from those who have an interest in keeping it vague and expansive? Perhaps a more sensible alternative would be to employ a less politically encumbered terminology. perhaps even to the point of alienating certain members and weakening the coalition as a whole.

36 By deepening. .. for example. 129–153. 421–438. Horowitz. 1998). David Campbell. See. Vol. for example. for example. 68. postmodernists. 37.: Lynne Rienner. and Sean M. 36. Walt. See. Mass.37 These efforts have been prompted in part by the contributions of “critical” theorists—including feminists. “Redeªning Security. and Commitments to Peace. 127–155. rather than focusing narrowly on external threats to states.: Lynne Rienner.Human Security 97 rity itself is too vague to generate speciªc research questions. 1 (Summer 1999). Keith Krause and Michael C. 8. pp. Williams. it is possible to construct a matrix of the security studies ªeld. Global Dangers: Changing Dimensions of International Security (Cambridge.34 Since the end of the Cold War. 162–177. Democratization. Barbara F. Writing Security: United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity (Manchester: Manchester University Press. 24.: Lynne Rienner. 1 (March 1991). and Barry Buzan.” Foreign Affairs. Krishna Kumar. 36. Walter.: Lynne Rienner.”35 By broadening. 35. use and control of military force” primarily by states. Security. and Jaap de Wilde. No. Lynn-Jones and Steven E. Stephen M. 2 (Spring 1989). Ullmann. eds. Strategy. see Edward A. in particular. “The Renaissance of Security Studies. Robert L. such as environmental scarcity and degradation. Colo. mass refugee movements. and constructivists—who have probed the assumptions and political implications of the term “security” itself.. 1999). Using human security in this manner would be compatible with the spirit of the term—particularly its emphasis on nonmilitary sources of conºict—while recognizing that there is little point in struggling to operationalize the quicksilver concept of human security itself. nationalism. Miller. Security. See. Despite resistance from some scholars. 1997). For a critique of Walt’s traditionalism. it could still play a useful taxonomical role in the ªeld by helping to classify different types of scholarship.38 Using the notions of broadening and deepening.. eds. Kolodziej. pp. ed. 1998). 38. Vol. p. pp. the spread of disease. 1995). Identity. I mean the consideration of nonmilitary security threats. and Donald L. I borrow these terms from Richard Wyn Jones. After the Peace: Resistance and Reconciliation (Boulder. “Renaissance in Security Studies? Caveat Lector!” International Studies Quarterly. and nuclear catastrophe. The matrix con34. No. 35. Security: A New Framework for Analysis (Boulder. No. Colo. Rothstein. “Redeªning Security. the subject matter of security studies has undergone both a “broadening” and a “deepening. Critical Security Studies (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. as illustrated in Figure 1.” International Security.: MIT Press. 1985).. terrorism. Ethnic Groups in Conºict (Berkeley: University of California Press. I mean that the ªeld is now more willing to consider the security of individuals and groups. and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Vol. 212. 1997). the ªeld of security studies has developed beyond its traditional focus on the “threat. such as Stephen Walt. Vol. No. “Designing Transitions from Civil War: Demobilization. Richard H. 1 (Summer 1983). 1999). overpopulation. Vol. and Critical Theory (Boulder. Colo. Jessica Tuchman Mathews. Ole Wæver. ed. 1999). Colo.” International Security. 4 (December 1992). No. Rebuilding Societies after Civil War: Critical Roles for International Assistance (Boulder. Bill McSweeney.” International Studies Quarterly. pp.

Brown. These divisions produce the following fourfold typology of the ªeld: • Cell 1 contains works that concentrate on military threats to the security of states.” World Politics. (Cambridge. See. Miller. Walt. Coté. for example. fall into this category. particularly in the United States. No. Michael E. and .39 Most of the articles published in International Security. The top half of the map includes works that focus on security threats to states. “Security Studies and the End of the Cold War. I assume that a “security threat” connotes some type of menace to survival. Vol. the bottom half comprises works that consider security threats to societies. for example. Jr. Richard K. Sean M. rev. David A. and individuals. which has traditionally dominated academic security studies. Vol. 2000). Lynn-Jones. 50. Nye.. and Joseph S. No. America’s Strategic Choices. 48.: MIT Press. 1 (October 1995). Jr. The left side of the matrix shows literature that focuses on military threats. or both. ed. Conventional realists tend to adopt this perspective. “The Renaissance of Security Studies”. Betts.. pp. each representing a different cluster of literature in the ªeld. pp. A Matrix of Security Studies tains four cells. and Steven E. Owen R. Mass.. and the right side on military or nonmilitary threats. Baldwin.International Security 26:2 98 Figure 1. groups. eds. 117–141. 7–33. “Should Strategic Studies Survive?” World Politics. 1 (October 1997). 39.

See. 1–59. military threats) to the national security of states. 41. Blanchard.” See also Ullmann. 381–400. No. “America’s Two-Front Economic Conºict. Benjamin Valentino. The Myth of ‘Ethnic Conºict’: Politics.’” International Security. 44. originally published as a special issue of Security Studies.” is typical of this category. Lipschutz. Thomas F. Chaim Kaufmann. . See. 1999). Richard N. pp. See. 232–238. 1998). and Norrin M. 6 (Summer 2000). which argued that nuclear weapons posed a threat to the survival of all states. Jean-Marc F. for example. Vol. Economic Sanctions and American Diplomacy (New York: Council on Foreign Relations. Deªning National Security: The Nonmilitary Aspects (New York: Council on Foreign Relations. rather than substate actors. 64–91. pp. Jessica Tuchman Mathews’s much-cited 1989 article. Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues. 16–27. also available at http://ecsp. 2001).” Review of International Political Economy.pdf (accessed on May 5. “The Banality of ‘Ethnic War. Environment. No. Vol. ed.. Common Security: A Blueprint for Survival (New York: Simon and Schuster. No. Mathews.. to be the salient object of security. “International Security Studies: A Report of a Conference on the State of the Field. but she still considers the state. Vol. 2 (March–April 2001). Barbara F. 40. for example. and Joseph J.44 Sean M. Vol. Civil Wars.. among other things. Edward D. see Geoffrey D. 2000). and Nils Peter Gleditsch. and Jonathan Kirschner. Fred Bergsten.si. in which substate groups are the principal belligerents.Human Security 99 • Cell 2 contains works that address nonmilitary threats (instead of.J. 1993).” International Security. Beverly Crawford and Ronnie D. No. No. 5. Dabelko. 43. 35. including environmental and economic challenges. Insecurity. and Intervention (New York: Columbia University Press.43 • Cell 3 includes works that focus on military threats to actors other than states: namely societies. C. Power and the Purse: Economic Statecraft. and Violence (Princeton.40 Other examples of such work include the Palme Commission’s 1982 report. 1982). Common Security. 9.41 investigations into the relationship between environmental degradation and international armed conºict.” International Security. 3 (Spring 2000). University of California. and ‘Cultural’ Violence (Berkeley: International and Area Studies. “Redeªning Security. pp.edu/pdf/Report6– 10. 1998). eds.” Security Studies Vol. “Redeªning Security”. 4 (Spring 1988). Environmental Change and Security Project Report. 80. and individuals. N. The prevalence of intrastate violence since the end of the Cold War has given rise to a large literature on intrastate conºicts. ed. Economics.42 and studies of foreign economic policy and international security. 3 (May 1998). Romm. Ripsman. eds. 1 (Summer 2000). 42. 42–70. Mansªeld. Interdependence. Walter and Jack Snyder. and National Security (London: Frank Cass. Vol. Haass. pp.” Foreign Affairs.. 25. 1 (Spring 1998). for example. eds. pp. groups. 12. “Redeªning Security. 1999). Vol. John Mueller. Mathews argues that foreign security policies should incorporate considerations of environmental destruction. “Final Solutions: The Causes of Mass Killing and Genocide. Lynn-Jones. Scarcity. or in addition to.: Princeton University Press. “Possible and Impossible Solutions to Ethnic Civil Wars. “Armed Conºict and the Environment: A Critique of the Literature. Homer-Dixon.” Journal of Peace Research. For an excellent bibliography. No. No.. “Political Economic in Security Studies after the Cold War. 9. 1–2 (Autumn 1999– Winter 2000). Nos. pp. 5–27. pp. pp. 1–316.

Scully. Va. Jack A. 2 (April 1993). pp. 47–69. “Towards a Democratic Civil Peace? Opportunity. 2 (September 1970). Dictatorships. Vol. These two factors. 1816–1992. Walker Connor. pp. pp.International Security 26:2 100 In addition. pp. Rule. and Counterinsurgency: Does Regime Type Really Matter?” Conºict Quarterly.edu/ªles/civil.” International Interactions. “Eco. 48. fuel violence within societies?46 Are certain types of domestic political institutions more conducive to domestic peace?47 Is the degree of urbanization of a society. eds. pp.” Journal of Conºict Resolution. groups. pp. No. Steve Majstorovic.: Princeton University Press. Rule. 451–478. Stopping the Killing: How Civil Wars End (New York: New York University Press. 136–175.J. For a critique of this report. N. Grievance. 9. 3 (Summer 1992).” paper presented to the workshop Civil Conºicts. and Civil War. pp. and Roy Licklider.” International Political Science Review. N. Washington. 331–360. “Why Minorities Rebel: A Global Analysis of Communal Mobilization and Conºict since 1945. and Scott Gales. 23. Rummel. Vol. 3 (June 1997). Gerald W.: Princeton University Press. Power Kills: Democracy as a Method of Non-Violence (New Brunswick. R. or access to medical care. No. Saul Newman. 93. Pamela T.” Social Science Quarterly. Brown. and Change (Greenwich. 1993). ed. 1997).. Colo. 14. Ted Robert Gurr. Ted Robert Gurr.J. Marc Levy. Tanja Ellingsen. See. 41. 1 (Spring 1995). 1 (June 1997). Nos. 1–2 (October 1997).: Princeton University Press. Vol. February 1999. “Improving Forecasts of State Failure.or Ethno-Nationalism.” Vol. State Failure Task Force Report: Phase II Findings (McLean. . Illinois. “Democracy and Civil War: A Note on the Democratic Peace Proposition. No. N. Geoffrey D. 1996). pp.J. Vol. and Michael Engelhardt. and individuals. 47. Matthew Krain and Marissa Edson Myers. “Democracies. “StateSponsored Mass Murder: The Onset and Severity of Genocides and Politicides. No. Steven Finkel and James B. see Gary King and Langche Zeng.pdf (accessed on May 5. 1986). Ethnonationalism: The Quest for Understanding (Princeton. No. November 13. 77–97. Goldstone. Ted Robert Gurr. Vol. and Alan N. and Matthew Krain. Donald M.” paper prepared for the Midwest Political Science Association meeting in Chicago. 1998).45 • Cell 4 is concerned with military or nonmilitary threats—or both—to the security of societies. 43. are studied in Daniel C. 1. 45. James B. No.. Surko. 109–118.. 20. “Relative Deprivation and Related Theories of Civil Violence: A Critical Review.: Science Applications International Corporation. World Bank. 52–63. pp. 145–164. Why Men Rebel (Princeton. Vol. and William Ford and John Moore. ed. Håvard Hegre. pp. No. 51.: JAI. and Violence in Developing Countries.” in Connor. Uncivil Wars: International Security and the New Internal Conºicts (Boulder. “Additional Evidence on the Social Characteristics of Riot Cities. http://gking. Dabelko. Ethnic Conºict and International Security (Princeton. 12.J. Theories of Civil Violence (Berkeley: University of California Press. Conn. 33–53.: Transaction. Unger. associated with the occurrence of civil violence?48 What other societal conditions pose a particular danger to the survival of groups and individuals? All of these questions would fall into the category of research that I label “human security. “Politicized Ethnicity and Economic Inequality. Barbara Harff. pp. 339–348. Snow.” or the intentional killing by a state of its own citizens. 1988). Vol. Esty. 4 (Spring 1996).harvard. D.: Lynne Rienner. 2000.” Nationalism and Ethnic Politics.” Public Choice. for example. 46. Does poverty. “Democide and Genocide as Rent-Seeking Activities. Vol. No. among others. 3 (April 1991). 2001). 1993). for example.J.C. Conºicts. Nils Petter Gleditsch. also fall into this category. Crime. “Does Modernization Breed Ethnic Conºict?” World Politics. 161–201. 1994).. N. Research in Social Movements. studies of “democide. Michael E. Vol.” in Kurt Lang and Gladys Lang. 1970).

that certain socioeconomic conditions are not associated with any particular threats to human survival. and relatedly. 185. may simultaneously pose a threat to the survival of states and substate actors. .” Dædalus. the advantage of using human security as a descriptive label for a class of research is that the label would not presuppose any particular normative agenda. the boundaries between these four quadrants are not absolute. however.. Second. state-centric. is not a signiªcant 49.49 Fourth. but rather they would focus on more speciªc questions that could be clearly deªned (and perhaps even answered). Scholars may conclude. p. First. offers little analytical leverage because it is so sprawling and ambiguous. 50. These alternative approaches actually fall into broad groupings and have become sufªciently important to merit their own classiªcation scheme. for example. the contents of cell 4 echo many of the concerns of the human security coalition. scholars working in the “human security branch” of security studies would not need to adjudicate the merit or validity of human security per se. Finally. employing human security as a label for a broad category of research eliminates the problem of deriving clear hypotheses from the human security concept itself—a concept that. mapping the ªeld in this manner—with human security as one branch—helps to differentiate the principal nontraditional approaches to security studies from one another. the very fashionability of the label “human security” could beneªt scholars by drawing attention to existing works within cell 4 and opening up new areas of research in this branch of the ªeld. it is no longer helpful or reasonable to deªne the ªeld in dualistic terms: with the realist. and to one another. so it makes intuitive sense to use this terminology. I have argued. military-minded approach to security studies at the core and a disorderly bazaar of alternative approaches in the periphery. 124. Third. “The Insecure State: Reºections on ‘The State’ and ‘Security’ in a Changing World. although many scholars in this branch of security studies may be interested in normative questions as well as empirical ones.Human Security 101 Using the term “human security” to describe this type of scholarship has several advantages. Environmental degradation. Steven J. Del Rosso. and could thus full into either cell 2 or cell 4. Of course. Vol. Mapping the ªeld in new ways can help us to understand how these approaches relate to more traditional approaches to security studies. Consequently. 2 (Spring 1995).50 The permeability of these boundaries. Jr. With the broadening and deepening of security studies in recent years. No. for example.

groups. On the other hand. . the idea of human security has successfully united a diverse coalition of states. and a guide for policymakers and academic researchers. Deªnitional expansiveness and ambiguity are powerful attributes of human security. the human security coalition has accomplished a number of speciªc goals. however. human security could provide a handy label for a broad category of research— a distinct branch of security studies that explores the particular conditions that affect the survival of individuals. rather than a distinct causal hypothesis or theory—which would need to be more clearly speciªed. and societies—that may also help to establish this brand of research as a central component of the security studies ªeld. a new conceptualization of security. or to policymakers who must prioritize among competing policy goals. human security is so vague that it verges on meaninglessness—and consequently offers little practical guidance to academics who might be interested in applying the concept. Efforts to sharpen the deªnition of human security are a step in the right direction. international agencies. such as the negotiation of the land mines convention.International Security 26:2 102 problem for scholars because each quadrant represents a broad category of research—or a cluster of issues and questions. But as a new conceptualization of security. but only in the sense that they facilitate collective action by the members of the human security coalition. but they are likely to encounter resistance from actors who believe that the concept’s strength lies in its holism and inclusiveness. a political campaign. The very same qualities. a set of beliefs about the sources of violent conºict. Conclusion Human security has been described as many different things: a rallying cry. hobble the concept of human security as a useful tool of analysis. As a political campaign. or a set of beliefs about the sources of conºict. As a rallying cry. and NGOs.

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