International Politics, 2006, 43, (1–23) r 2006 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd 1384-5748/06 $30.00 www.palgrave-journals.


Securing Humans in a Dangerous World
Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell
Department of Development Politics, Bristol University, 10, Priory Road, Clifton, Bristol BS8 1TU, UK. E-mail:

Human security is commonly understood as prioritizing the security of people, especially their welfare and well-being, rather than that of states.1 Rather than examining human security as a measurable or specific condition, however, the focus here is how ideas of human security facilitate the way that Southern populations are understood, differentiated and acted upon by Northern institutions. Of special interest is how human security as a relation of governance has continued to evolve within the war on terrorism. This is explored, among other things, through interviews with a number of British-based NGOs and the Department for International Development. At the close of the 1990s, human security encapsulated a vision of integrating existing aid networks into a coordinated, global system of international intervention able to complement the efforts of ineffective states in securing their citizens. Compared to this more universalistic and Southern-oriented notion of human security, which had a place for independent aid agencies, the war on terrorism is refocusing developmental resources on those sub-populations, regions and issues regarded as important for homeland security. International Politics (2006) 43, 1–23. doi:10.1057/palgrave.ip.8800129 Keywords: security; NGO’s; aid; war on terrorism; development

Human security addresses a world in which concerns over catastrophic nuclear war between Northern states have been replaced by a more diffuse and multiform threat associated with alienation, breakdown and insurgency emanating from Southern ones. While competing definitions exist, human security it is generally understood embodying a merger of ideas of development and security. Human security implies a broadening and re-prioritization of determinants of security by which the security of individuals, rather than that of states, takes centre-stage. The idea suggests that security is something that goes beyond conventional concerns with military capacity and the defence of borders. Human security approaches usually treat an expanded range of social and developmental variables as being able to constitute an international security threat. Poverty, population displacement, HIV/AIDS, environmental breakdown and social exclusion, for example, all bear directly on human and

Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World


hence global security. The concept of human security has achieved striking prominence in the post-Cold War period. The term has gained widespread currency and, over the past few years in particular, has attracted a growing institutional interest. There has been a proliferation of government, practioner and academic networks,2 university centres, courses and research initiatives,3 publications,4 official reports5 and international commissions that draw directly on ideas around human security. Established in 2001, for example, was the independent International Commission on Human Security co-chaired by Professor Amartya Sen and the former UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Sadako Ogata.6 In the same year, a separate International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty sponsored by the Canadian government suggested that human security is, yincreasingly providing a conceptual framework for international action [y] there is growing recognition world-wide that the protection of human security, including human rights and human dignity, must be one of the fundamental objectives of modern international institutions (ICISS, 2001, 6). The rise of human security is usually portrayed as resulting from a growing humanism within the international system that draws on increasingly accepted norms and conventions associated with the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions, the founding of the International Criminal Court, and so on (ibid.). In the words of Astri Suhrke, human security ‘yevokes ‘‘progressive values’’ ’ (quoted by Mack, 2002, 3). Rather than examining human security from a humanistic perspective, this essay regards human security as a principle of formation. That is, as producing the ‘humans’ requiring securing and, at the same time, calling forth the state/non-state networks of aid, subjectivity and political practice necessary for that undertaking. Rather than rehearse the conceptual disputes surrounding the definition of human security (see King and Murray, 2001; Paris, 2001), the concern here is with human security as a relation of governance. Rather than focusing on human security as a specific condition or measurable state of existence, the emphasis is on human security as informing how international instutions and actors categorize, separate and act upon Southern populations. In exploring the governmental logic of human security, this article also examines how the human security framework has been affected by the war on terrorism. In particular, we draw on interview material to explore what post 9/11 changes mean for British-based NGOs and for the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID). These interviews were conducted during January to March 2004.7 At that time, the wider effects of the war on terrorism on humanitarian and development assistance, together with ongoing difficulties in Afghanistan and Iraq, were of continuing concern (BOND, 2003; CHS,
International Politics 2006 43

the balance has tipped against development and in favour of a ‘harder’ version of security which prioritizes homeland livelihood systems and infrastructures. We argue that the human security assemblage that emerged during the 1990s has undergone significant change. Biopolitics functions differently from institutionally based disciplinary power. 1991). From the middle of the 18th century. According to Foucault. indeed. This newer form is not directed at human-asmachine. education. Rather than individualizing. Christian Aid. biopolitics operates at the collective level at which apparently random events reveal themselves in terms of constants.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 3 2003. Biopolitics and the Promotion of Life In order to analyse human security from a governmental perspective. development criteria are being reprioritized towards the rebuilding of toppled states and. in order to stem terrorist recruitment. 243). Among other things. we have entered ‘ya new Cold War’ (ibid. Oxfam. Foucault’s conception of biopolitics is a useful analytical tool. The governmental consequences of this passage are framed in terms of the difference between the ancient right of the sovereign to take life or let live and a new power ‘yto foster life or disallow it to the point of death’ (Foucault 1998. the military. 2003. towards addressing popular disaffection in strategically defined areas. however. At the same time. 2003. 138). 241). economic and political factors that aggregate to establish the health and longevity of a population appear at the level of the individual as chance. a complementary but different power over life emerges. This incarnation of security threatens to absorb development. While human security represents the fusion of development and security. The first was a disciplinary and individualizing power. Beginning in the 17th century. probabilities and trends.). and so on (see Foucault. able to ‘ymake live and let die’ (Foucault. this new power over life. International Politics 2006 43 . while disquieting many NGOs. it operates at the aggregate level of population and constitutes a ‘ybiopolitics of the human race’ (Foucault. Development has been repoliticized. evolved in two basic forms. For its critics. The multiple social. 2004). it is a massifying power concerned with human-as-species. unpredictable and contingent events. the war on terrorism has reversed the progress made during the 1990s in promoting human rights and refocusing aid on poverty reduction. the emergence of biopolitics marks the passage from the classical age to the modern one. focusing on the human-as-machine and associated with the emergence of the great institutions of medicine. 2003. the war on terrorism appears to have created new opportunities and departures in relation to securing humans globally. Instead. however. punishment. Rather than endeavouring directly to modify these events (or the individuals that experience them).

not through a disciplinary technology of drilling or training but by establishing an aggregate ‘ya technology of security’ (ibid. While development programmes contain individualizing disciplinary elements. the separation of public health from curative medicine is an early example of a regulatory biopower. This short overview of biopolitics provides a grounding from which human security can be approached as a technology that makes it possible both to envisage. in other words. more localized institution-based disciplinary technologies of power. looks further upstream. That is. these mechanisms. For Foucault.8 Security in this context relates to improving the collective resilience of a given population against the contingent and uncertain nature of existence. Biopolitics works through regulatory mechanisms that seek to establish equilibrium. Based upon centralized hygienic campaigns and interventions. To achieve such security requires complex systems of public coordination and centralization of the kind and scale that did not arise in relation to the proceeding.). human security represents the merging of development and security (King and Murray. are connected with the issue of security. but still essential. International Politics 2006 43 . It utilizes forecasts. they also seek to strengthen the resilience of collectivities and populations. 246). statistical estimates and overall measures ‘yto intervene at the level at which these general phenomena are determined’ (ibid. Developing Humans Within the various assumptions and practices that constitute ‘development’ it is possible to recognize a biopolitics of life operating at the international level. risk management techniques and compensatory programmes that act at the aggregate level of economic and social life.). If. those varied economic. to examine in more depth the origins of human security. as is commonly argued. maintain an average or compensate for variations at the level of population. development draws widely on regulatory mechanisms. 2005). educational. typically in the form of projects. Biopolitics establishes ‘ysecurity mechanisms [y] around the random element in a population of living beings so as to optimize a state of life’ (ibid. however. health and political interventions aimed at improving the resilience and well-being of people whose existence is defined by the contingencies of ‘underdevelopment’. and author. Biopolitics maintains homeostasis. in attempting to redress imbalance. a biopolitics of global governance. development is a biopolitical security mechanism associated with populations understood as essentially self-reproducing in relation to their basic social and welfare needs (Duffield. To appreciate the governmental significance of human security it is also necessary. Towards this end.. it remains to explore each of these component parts in turn. In particular. 2001).Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 4 Biopolitics.

for example. as a biopolitical assemblage. The introduction of the Human Development Index.). It is concerned with relations and institutions able to act in a regulatory manner on populations as a whole to maintain their equilibrium. employment and social inclusion as an essential precursor for the realization of market opportunity. UN agencies and NGOs. Sustainable development defines the type of ‘development’ that is securitized in human security. the risks involved. formal development practice embraced a human. 208). In short. In bringing together previously unconnected environmental and developmental actors. 1993. The UNDP. the idea of sustainable development grew to become the developmental leitmotif of the 1980s. The move towards sustainable development was a move away from an earlier dominance of state-led modernization strategies based on the primacy of economic growth and assumptions that the underdeveloped world would. eventually resemble the developed. educational measures aimed at enabling the poor to understand the contingencies of their existence and to manage better. was seen as part of the ‘yparadigm shift’ towards the emerging consensus that ‘ydevelopment progress — both nationally and internationally — must be people-centred. with its composite measure of population welfare that includes per capita income. people-centred focus that not only prioritized the development of people ahead of states. Rather than economic growth per se. life expectancy and educational attainment. dedicating it to ‘yending the mismeasure of human progress by economic growth alone’ (UNDP. 1996. As an assemblage it brought in non-state actors and multilateral agencies and saw mandates change as well as new ways of interacting emerge. and compensate for.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 5 The type of development that constitutes the present foundation of human security is more accurately defined as ‘sustainable development’. after passing through various stages. In promoting diversity and choice. This includes. the phrase quickly entered the rhetoric of politicians. sustainable development forged new International Politics 2006 43 . In bringing together the domains of development and the environment. equitably distributed and environmentally and socially sustainable’ (ibid. sustainable development is a biopolitics of life. sustainable development created the possibility for new forms of coordination and centralization. A popular definition is that of the 1987 World Commission on Environment and Development: sustainable development is a ‘ydevelopment that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (quoted by Adams. for example. a broader approach to development emerged based on aggregate improvements in health. Despite being widely criticized for its lack of conceptual rigour. education. iii). launched its annual Human Development Report in 1990. in particular. Under the banner of sustainable development. it also decoupled human development from any direct or mechanical connection with economic growth.

Reflecting the move from states to people already rehearsed in sustainable development. It holds that these new wars. 2000. this ‘changing nature of conflict’ refrain has since become an established truth recycled ad nauseam in policy documents. unlike the past. These wars were ‘yoften of a religious or ethnic character and often involving unusual violence and cruelty’ largely directed against civilians (Boutros-Ghali. 7). population is also the terrain on which such conflicts are fought. By wrecking infrastructures and livelihood systems. Emerging at the same time as the idea of human security. as argued above. by strengthening coping mechanisms and subsistence strategies. tipping them into disequilibrium and increasing the risk of enduring cycles of violence and displacement. unlike the past. conflict becomes redefined as a terminal threat to sustainable development. It became accepted that today’s wars. It defines the nature of the threat that a developmental biopolitics defends populations against. conflict similarly moves its locus from wars between states to conflicts within them. the very nature of conflict was said to have altered.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 6 means of coordination and centralization that have the human being rather than the state as the referent object of development. academic works and the media.. This is both in terms of livelihood systems and social networks being the object of attack and attrition as well as providing sites of resistance and counter-attack. are largely civil conflicts in which warring parties not only show no restraint regarding human life and cultural institutions but also deliberately target essential infrastructures and livelihood systems for criminal gain (International Alert. DFID et al. 2000. A new international consensus on the changed nature of war emerged in the early 1990s. Not only had hopes of a new era of post-Cold War peace been confounded by the persistence of conflict in many developing countries. Both development and security within human security take life as the referent object. sustainable development is also seen as a bulwark against the dangerous enticements and alternative rewards that illegitimate indigenous leaders can International Politics 2006 43 . While the accuracy of this ‘changing nature of conflict’ motif is questionable. Collier. The changing nature of conflict theme sees organized violence as ‘ydevelopment in reverse’ (Collier. 1999. 2003).9 it is essential for establishing the problematic of human security. Discovering Internal War How conflict has been understood in the post-Cold War period is central to understanding the concept of ‘security’ within human security. were increasingly ‘ywithin States rather than between States’. ix). development is portrayed as a biopolitical condition of socio-economic homeostasis. However. Conflict destroys development because. 1995. As with sustainable development.

69). establishes an interventionist dynamic. 1997. and the UNDP’s Human Development Report (1994). health. the proposition that poor countries have a higher risk of falling into conflict than rich ones (because the resulting social exclusion can be exploited by violent and criminal leaders) coalesced into a policy consensus (see Collier. the Agenda for Peace was one of the first systematic elaborations of the idea that the postCold War period was defined by threats to people’s well-being rather than inter-state conflict. If sustainable development brought the issue of collective selfreproduction centre-stage. It is the belief ‘yamong millions of people within society that they have ‘‘no stake in the system’’ ’. 42–43). together with concerns that disaffected people are liable to be drawn to them. demographic.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 7 present to impoverished and alienated peoples (Carnegie Commission. 1999. It is a sense of alienation and the legitimate desire for change among groups that the technologies of sustainable development seek to harness and empower in order to improve the self-management of contingency and risk. 2000). the rediscovery of internal war during the 1990s problematized the nature of the state in the developing world. Weak and failing states existing in zones of crisis can be captured by unsuitable rulers. We will now examine the distinct institutional dimensions attaching to the development and security inflections of human security. 1995. however. and believe they have more to gain from war than peace’ (Saferworld. Boutros-Ghali calls for these issues to be International Politics 2006 43 . During the 1990s. It is not just poverty. ix). a sense of resentment derived from exclusion. With respect to the security dimension of human security. the Agenda argues that the referent object of security is the individual rather than the state and that this broadens the definition of security to include wider environmental. 42–43). human security emerged in the mid-1990s and began to develop considerable institutional depth. 1997). Two early documents of enduring influence to human security are UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali’s 1992 Agenda for Peace (1995. crucially. An Unstable Assemblage of Global Governance As an organizing concept. indeed. A range of conflict resolution and social reconstruction strategies emerge from this dynamic that are geared for the sovereign separation of such leaders from the led while acting governmentally on collectivities and populations to strengthen their resilience and civility (DAC. the more acute the sense of grievance ‘ythe more likely it is that a large number of people will be susceptible to the siren voices of extremists. The perception of these rulers as the illegitimate enemies of development. that draws people towards aggressive leaders but. economic and political issues (Boutros-Ghali. In what is now a well-established human security approach.

two events have defined how human security as a biopolitical assemblage has taken shape. community and political. The UNDP presents human security as being constituted by ‘freedom from want’ and ‘freedom from fear’. together with protection from damaging disruptions ‘yin the patterns of daily life’ (UNDP. for example.. safety from chronic threats such as hunger and disease. food. NGOs and civil society groups working within ‘yan integrated approach to human security’ (ibid. If the Agenda has shaped the security dimension of human security. 2003). have described the project as a ‘yunifying event’ in terms of launching human security as an assemblage that fused security and development (King and Murray. The second event was the 2003 release of the Commission of Human Security’s Human Security Now. the UNDP’s initiative has.10 This distinction between effective and ineffective states on the terrain of population is central to The Responsibility to Protect. 589). human security (like human rights) has been re-inscribed within the juridico-political architecture of the nation-state. nonetheless. That is. 2001). can constitute a risk to people International Politics 2006 43 . 1994. the UNDP’s Human Development Report has had equivalent influence with regard to the development dimension. 2002) as well as encouraging more inclusive definitions (Thomas. 23). More recently. or are only able to maintain order ‘yby means of gross human rights violations. While critics have argued that this list is descriptive and lacks an explanation for how these areas are related. Evident in The Responsibility to Protect is the fact that. how. 44). The first was the publication at the end of 2001 of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty’s report The Responsibility to Protect. These two reports reflect. The UNDP has stimulated others to suggest more rigorous ways of measuring human security through new and cross-cutting data sets (ibid. onto the terrain of moral duty (Warner. health. until recently. been influential. It moves the earlier juridically based idea of ‘humanitarian intervention’ as requiring authorization under the UN charter. in a practical sense. King and Murray. The proposition that human security prioritizes people rather than states is more accurately understood in terms of effective states prioritizing populations living within ineffective ones. 2001. In an interconnected and globalized world ‘yin which security depends on a framework of stable sovereign entities’ the existence of failed states who either harbour those that are dangerous to others. Mack. The Responsibility to Protect sees human security at the heart of a redefinition of the nature of sovereignty in respect of the state and the international community. while implying a universal ethic. personal. The UNDP divides life’s contingencies into seven interconnected areas of security: economic. environment. the governance networks of human security were being constructed in two complementary but different ways..Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 8 addressed through an extensive international division of labour that includes not only states but also UN agencies.

It is striking that while the security of people rather than the state is prioritized. social safety nets. fragmenting or generally chaotic state entities (ibid. unlike The Responsibility to Protect.. however. than in an environment of fragile. 5). In this respect. 3). When a state is unable or unwilling to ensure the human security of its citizens. It signals for special consideration. collapsed. or set of innovative ideas for the measurement of human security the emphasis within Human Security Now is to encourage the complex and extensive forms of coordination and centralization necessary for the biopolitical regulation of global populations. not least in holding a similar holistic and interdependent view of human security. 2002). Human Security Now is more in keeping with the UNDP. the protection of people on the move. practices and successes of all these groups should be linking in national. and non-inflammatory education.. 8). and private companies that are currently operating such agendas independently of each other. This requires working institutions at every level of society. the Commission remains wedded to reinstating the state: ya cohesive and peaceful international system is far more likely to be achieved through the cooperation of effective states confident in their place in the world. education. largely takes the moral case for intervention for granted. is more dynamic and integrated with conflict and its effects (also see Mack. Rather than presenting a particularly new definition. basic health needs. 2003. there is no longer such a thing ‘yas a humanitarian catastrophe occurring ‘‘in a faraway country of which we know little’’ ’ (ICISS. In achieving this ambitious aim. The Commission defines human security as the protection of the vital core of human life through ‘yprotecting fundamental freedoms — freedoms that are the essence of life’ (CHS.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 9 everywhere’. health care. regional and International Politics 2006 43 . for example. 2001. Important here is ensuring protection through the building of a comprehensive international infrastructure that shields people’s lives from menacing threats. the main task is to bring these numerous separate initiatives into a coherent global strategy: To overcome persistent inequality and insecurities. Its division of the contingencies of population. civil society groups. NGOs. it is noted that there already exist numerous loose networks of actors including UN agencies. Rather than inventing something new. human security in relation to conflict and post-conflict recovery. the efforts. diplomatic engagements and conflict early warning systems (ibid. Human Security Now. the Commission argues ‘ythe principle of non-interference yields to the international responsibility to protect’ (ibid. ix). including police systems. 132). in practical terms. Indeed. the environment. economic insecurity. The report relates to development and is more concerned with the ‘consolidation’ of global populations.

Post 9/11 developments. the world’s conflict zones. security considerations increasingly direct developmental resources toward International Politics 2006 43 . This is an ambitious and expansive view of human security as an assemblage of global governance. illicit commodities. This shift has had significant and complex ramifications for NGOs who have adapted to the altered political landscape with varying degrees of success. based on the distinction between effective and ineffective states. how disasters or conflicts in one region have the ability. now influence the consolidating biopolitical function of development. information. September 18. programmes and data sets. 2001). the relation between development and security was that of ‘equal but different’ (UN. The war on terrorism has had an acute impact upon human security as an evolving assemblage of global governance. 1998). especially homeland security. now has a decision to make.. Primacy is given to issues of global circulation. The goal of these alliances could be to create a kind of horizontal. networks. have problematized the unstable and emerging human security assemblage. however.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 10 global alliances.11 Taken together. The New Global Danger Every nation. shadow economies or terrorist networks. to impact on other regions or countries. or you are with the terrorists (President Bush. The security component of human security is largely concerned with a responsibility to protect. Human Security Now argues for a biopolitics of human population based upon global forms of coordination and centralization largely formed from the integration of existing aid networks. in theory at least. while accepting the risks of global circulation. 2003). Prior to the war on terrorism. The predominance of security concerns. for example. through population displacement. That is. and so on — emanating from. The scales have tipped in favour of addressing security concerns associated with global circulation. cross-border source of legitimacy that complements that of traditional vertical and compartmentalised structures of institutions and states (ibid. In contrast. Either you are with us. 142). weapons. It sees such regulatory networks as collectively having the ability and legitimacy to support the efforts of weak and ineffective states. money. in every region. the development side is more concerned with local consolidation: improving the resilience of global populations through better coordination and biopolitical regulation (Chen et al. The Responsibility to Protect and Human Security Now present two interconnected trajectories to human security’s institutional framework. and flowing through. means that issues of global circulation — of people.

1999) they are now the subject of rafts of policy initiatives. this is a chance for the UN to identify state crises and work with the World Bank and other agencies in order to act ‘ydecisively when human security is at risk’ (ibid. 2003) and the EU (Solana. regions and sub-populations deemed critical in relation to the dangers and uncertainties of global interdependence. 2005 is the year that it will respond to Kofi Annan’s High Level Panel on how to address state failure under the UN Charter and thus discourage the unilateralism of recent years. 1992). 4). DFID is working with the FCO. the Secretary of State for International Development suggested that ‘yone of the main reasons why it is proving so hard to achieve Millennium Development Goals is the concentration of the poorest in crisis states’ (Benn. The National Security Strategy. ‘yis how we link development and security. all highlight development assistance as a strategic tool in the International Politics 2006 43 . It is a multidimensional conflict that also engages with questions of poverty. The common goal is reducing the risk of state crises’ (ibid. such states were treated with relative neglect during the 1990s (Newburg. An interdependent world has more uncertainties and hence increased risk (Beck. 1998). they have also widened old disparities and encouraged new forms of exclusion. The ‘yhighest item on the agenda’. v). it is increasingly appreciated that the globalization sword can cut both ways. preventing new sanctuaries from forming. stated one DFID interviewee. 3). criminal and destabilizing forms of global circulation (Castells. particularly in the context of failing states’. 2002. In achieving security. addressing weak or the so-called ‘failed states’ has been identified as pivotal. While greater interdependence and interconnection are often celebrated. In today’s radically interconnected world. As President Bush’s National Security Strategy sees it. 2004. 2). all of which foment illicit.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 11 measures. According to Benn. 1992). While globalization and ‘network society’ have generated undreamt flows of wealth. funds and recruits. and stemming the proliferation of weapons. With respect to the UN. enemies are no longer the massed armies of opposing state encampments but their opposite: transnational global terrorist networks ‘yorganized to penetrate open societies and to turn the power of modern technologies against us’ (Bush. together with the OECD (DAC. the fruits of liberal-democracy are under threat from a new global danger. in which borders are increasingly porous. Whereas. 2003). The newfound concern over failed states indicates that the war on terror is not simply a military campaign. development and internal conflict. A speech by Hilary Benn. MoD and the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit to improve Britain’s ability to respond by devising an integrated approach that ‘ycombines development programmes with diplomatic engagement and security interventions. Securing freedom necessitates stopping the spread of terrorist networks through closing home bases. Inequalities visited on the South can ‘boomerang’ on the North (George.

The worry is that ‘their’ security and development are becoming important only insofar as they are a means towards ‘ours’. 2003. who may themselves be motivated by grievances and resentment. 10).. and national/international. 8). for example. ‘yfeed on these factors and exploit them. Insurgent populations. injustice and helplessness. stress that there are also severe tensions between the promotion of homeland security and the furthering of human security in the poorest countries.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 12 war against terrorism. the war on terror has International Politics 2006 43 . gathering support for their organizations’ (DAC. illustrates that while the regional containment of the effects of poverty and conflict remains important. Education and job opportunities become key. The package of developmental measures designed for offsetting alienation involves a complex set of biopolitical interventions with the ultimate goal of building ‘ythe capacity of communities to resist extreme religious and political ideologies based on violence’ (ibid. it pulses from those mobile sub-populations capable of bridging and circulating between the dichotomies of North/South. suggest that Europe’s military forces ‘yneed to be able to address the real security needs of people in situations of severe insecurity in order to make the world a safer place for Europeans’ (SGESC. the authors argue.. 5). Similarly. The ‘ywhole point of a human security approach’. 7). reflecting the concern that the new global danger no longer necessarily lies with the abject poor. for example.. Other observers. who are fixed in their misery: instead. 2004. Areas where the causal links are less apparent are liable to fall by the wayside. In an echo of the 1990s ‘the poor are attracted to violent leaders’ argument. 11). modern/ traditional. NGOs and the Subordination of Development Some advocates of human security are keen to assert the complementarities and even indivisibility of ‘their’ security and ‘ours’. The authors of A Human Security Doctrine for Europe. however. terrorist leaders. shadow economies and violent networks are the new global danger in a world ‘yof increasingly open borders in which the internal and external aspects of security are indissolubly linked’ (ibid. In this situation. The Development Assistance Committee’s (DAC’s)Lens on Terrorism report. References to the merits of ‘enlightened self-interest’ often gloss over real tensions between domestically oriented security priorities and Southern-oriented development priorities. ‘is that Europeans cannot be secure while others in the world live in severe insecurity’ (ibid. to assert the inextricable link ´ : ‘no between security and development has become something of a cliche development without security and no security without development’. the Lens on Terrorism sees terrorist insurgency as stemming from a sense of anger arising from exclusion. For many NGO staff interviewed. current policy has broadened to address issues of leakage and interpenetration.

Now the top priorities are about terrorists. During the Cold War. 8). Instead of being ranged outwards towards other states and political blocs. with its threats to institutional independence arising from politically directed aid. 2004. This is no longer the poverty focus that gained ground in relation to sustainable development during the 1990s. NGOs and aid organizations. it is directed inwards at policing the flows and contingencies of population. CHS. the alliance is essentially biopolitical. While the war on terrorism has renewed international interest in effective states. 2003. are currently being reappraised in assistance terms. of the use of official assistance. 15). ‘yapproaches to inequality and exclusion should be given increased priority’ (DAC. the threat of global terrorism has produced a shift of emphasis towards transitional populations living in strategic regions.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 13 brought about the elevation of security and the relegation of development. While cooperative borderland states. (Christian Aid. the ‘yaggressive assertion of the hard security agenda works against human security’. 2004.12 As the Commission for Human Security argues. While reducing absolute income poverty remains important. The ‘massive politicization of development and humanitarian assistance’ that was frequently raised by interviewees. illegal asylum and drugs’ (NGO Interview). current approaches to conflict ‘yfocus on coercive. erstwhile Third World states were part of competing superpower geopolitical alliances. to reward political allegiance. including arms sales and trade concessions. however. Human Rights and Political Space While poverty reduction is still central to development assistance. these transitional entities are aided with global developmental technologies to regulate life in the interests of global security. exclusion and marginalization. Cosgrave. The reappearance is noted. 2004). political or military support and apprehending possible perpetrators’. It is their frustration and alienation that underpin terrorism. is of concern to many UN agencies. Compared to the ‘soft’ security of development. especially strategically located ones. for example. The focus on circulation as opposed to consolidation. International issues ‘yhave been redefined much more in terms of national self-interest promoted through force. 2003. Poverty reduction then was concerned with improving the position of the International Politics 2006 43 . 23–24). simply ‘yterrorism replacing communism as the bogey’ (Cosgrave. and aggression by states as well as people’ (CHS. short-term strategies aimed at stopping attacks by cutting off financial. rather than ‘yaddressing the underlying causes related to inequality. 2003. has invited comparisons with the Cold War. 2003. What Christian Aid has dubbed ‘the new Cold War’ is not. also see BOND.

Human rights organizations have raised such concerns. 2004). the military doctrine among leading states was to support civilian humanitarian agencies and to only become directly involved in humanitarian activities as a last resort. Aid generally. despite flagging the importance of poverty reduction. this situation has changed (Donini et al. the Lens on Terrorism can be interpreted as ‘ythe redirection of aid away from poverty reduction and towards a counter-terrorism and security agenda’ (BOND. In Afghanistan as well as Iraq. At the same time. For many aid agencies. China. the threat of terrorism has given states the opportunity to derogate from existing human rights treaties on the grounds of security (Cosgrave. in relation to India.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 14 poorest members of society. 2004). the military has become directly involved in activities labelled as ‘humanitarian’. Nepal. has been redefined in directly political terms. 2004). Nigeria. have used terrorism as pretext for repressing legitimate internal opposition. According to some NGO respondents. the war on terrorism has reversed the progress made during the 1990s in affirming human rights. As International Politics 2006 43 .. and aid related to social reconstruction in particular. for example. A hard security agenda has closed down channels that were previously open to us. This concerns everything from key players in resolving conflict being thrown in jail on trumped up terrorist charges to resources not being available for certain activities. As the NGO members of the Global Security and Development Network have argued in a joint statement to DAC. and especially Afghanistan. social reconstruction and support for transitional state entities is meant to turn these countries into stable democracies. Thailand. 2004. Afghanistan.. Pakistan. Since Kosovo. 2004). South Africa. Bangladesh. 9/11 has changed how we can work with certain groups because some of the people we work with are classified as terrorists and that classification complicates our activities greatly. The reversal of human rights is also matched by the curtailment of what aid agencies call ‘humanitarian space’ (FIFC. Not only has the practice of detention without trial reappeared in countries such as the USA and Britain. This repressive climate has had a widespread impact on those aid agencies working in relation to civil society and the legitimate expression of opinion. many members of the global ‘coalition of the willing’ have used existing legislation or passed new national security laws which. Kenya and Tanzania (ibid. critics argue. During the 1990s. 27–35). 1. also see Christian Aid. Uganda. These activities include repairing essential infrastructure and delivering supplies. This places tremendous responsibilities upon aid agencies and draws them directly into a political process. 2003. there has been: ya restriction of the political space from governments down to the ground that we can operate in [y]. Zimbabwe. due to widespread insecurity. Woods. In particular.

such perceptions can be highly damaging for NGOs. coherence was the policy name given to the search for increased impact to be realized by getting ‘aid’ and ‘political’ actors to work International Politics 2006 43 . especially in relation to poverty reduction measures. they have become indistinguishable from the occupying forces (Vaux. the war on terrorism is weakening what. from the perspective of local populations. the most obvious casualty has been the neutrality of aid organizations. the fear of being tarred with the same brush as ‘the occupiers’ requires a calculation as to ‘ywhether one activity or one engagement [in co-operation with Western forces] will jeopardize our overall credibility in the eyes of local people’. Whether or not the perceived proximity between NGOs and occupying forces is real or imagined. has been the main strength of NGOs: a legitimacy and authority derived from the support of the partners and communities with whom they work. It has also firmly aligned itself with America and the war on terrorism. This ‘ylack of distinction by locals in terms of who is on the ground doing what is deeply problematic for us’. however. At the operational level. rocketing of premises and the booby-trapping of vehicles. During the 1990s. This concern was raised by a number of NGO staff consulted and relates to the issue of ‘coherence’. whole swathes of Afghanistan and Iraq are no-go areas for NGOs and many have already left Iraq where. Coherence and the DFID The British government has raised the profile of development issues and increased its spending. 2004). Among the NGOs interviewed. in the past. For example. complementary. in fact. the situation is currently ‘ybeyond the security threshold’ (NGO Interview). Through the ambushing of convoys. This new security environment challenges established assumptions. 2004. such undertakings ‘yare more properly described as military intervention in pursuit of a political goal’ (Christian Aid.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 15 some agencies argue. Non-governmental organizations are acutely concerned that. In many respects. The bombing of the Baghdad headquarters of the UN and ICRC in August 2003 are graphic illustrations of the new situation that aid agencies find themselves in. 23). The government’s efforts to place Britain at the forefront of both these struggles have raised concerns about the degree to which these goals are. as the murder of CARE International head Margaret Hassan has shown. Being the good guys is not so easy nowadays’. Currently. 2004). ‘ythe notion that if we make ourselves look like the good guys then we will be OK. Many have begun to ask whether the benefits that aid workers bring is ‘ynow outweighed by the price that they are being asked to pay’ (Foley. over 40 aid workers have been murdered in Afghanistan in the past year alone.

Similar concern has also been voiced from within government at an apparent erosion of the autonomy that DFID established when it became a separate department from the FCO in 1997. It necessitates DFID being able to act at the level of population in order to regulate.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 16 together. the idea originated in 2000 as part of a government review of conflict in relation to its ‘joined up government’ initiative. diplomatic and military actors. as with many NGOs.. there is also a pragmatic acceptance of political reality. FCO and MOD. Within parts of DFID. NGOs. Predating the war on terrorism. For example. the tendency is for human security and development objectives to be conflated with those of global security and geopolitics.13 DFID. At the same time. what is clear is that the prominence given to security issues is complicated for DFID. there was also a widespread perception that these arrangements have seen DFID lose influence to the FCO and MOD. formulate joint strategies and harmonize their activities (Macrae and Leader. manage and compensate for the contingent factors that lead to violent conflict. the initiative represents security-driven centralization that blurs departmental boundaries between aid. Whether or not this appraisal is correct. 7). it was a mobilizing concept enabling UN agencies. In the case of conflict the intention was to maximize its prevention and management by ensuring that ‘yeach department’s work supports and complements the others’ (ibid. While conscious that the 2002 International Development Act aims to restrict British aid programmes to those that contribute to poverty reduction. as a department of state. FCO and MoD now share a Public Sector Agreement (PSA) target with the Treasury. Bringing together the resources and personnel of DFID. the PSA is a powerful tool of centralization. obliging previously separate departments to adopt common strategies.14 While several of the NGOs interviewed identified some positive aspects of these new interdepartmental initiatives. Progress towards this target is ‘ydemonstrated by a reduction in the number of people whose lives are affected by violent conflict and a reduction in potential sources of conflict’ (ibid. sometimes decisions have to be made between development and security. 2000). 2003). in terms of regional prioritization. there is ‘ya marked inclination to assert that development is strictly about poverty reduction’. there is a realization that there are security pressures on how the development budget is spent. definitions and data sets. one example is Britain’s Global Conflict Prevention Pool (DFID et al. 6). Attempting to increase the coherence between development and security involves tensions and trade-offs between competing agendas. This is a biopolitical target. diplomats and military actors to explore the changing boundaries of development and security through news forms of coordination and centralization. Indeed... However. In terms of the search for coherence among government departments. At the time. Obscuring the contentious nature of these decisions. it is thought that International Politics 2006 43 .

The political prioritization of addressing state failure. For some. DFID sees itself as having ‘yshown that development is as much about police and military reform as it is about traditional development concerns’. Some countries can be winners in this situation. In pure developmental terms. ‘ywith a population of only seven million. reflecting the ICISS’s Responsibility to Protect. the fact that these issues are important for the people that we are supposed to be helping. DFID has no monopoly on development and there is nothing to prevent other departments. investing in a development function in countries which they regard as strategic. Once the champions of the ‘grass-roots’ and averse to ‘top down’ development to the point of monotony. after the fashion of the military in Afghanistan. The driving force for engagement in Somalia.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 17 countries ‘ywill drop down the agenda’ where they are not deemed by the FCO to be of strategic interest or where DFID and the FCO do not share common concerns. DFID is able to demonstrate that it has much to offer within these negotiations. In Afghanistan. In particular. for example. not least intellectually. Negotiating the new Security Terrain By deepening a sense of crisis among NGOs. the war on terrorism has brought to a head a longer-term shift. DFID has already broken new ground as a development agency. ‘yif DFID does not engage the security agenda developmentally then others will’. by being ‘yprepared to tackle security sector reform’. some NGOs are finding themselves ‘ysucked in whether we like it or not’ to the construction of transitional state entities. Such pragmatism is a mixture of threat-awareness regarding development as well as an appreciation of the new opportunities emerging: yit is going to be a hard negotiation and we are going to have to devise red lines that we will have to insist are not crossed. Coming to International Politics 2006 43 . In this respect. for example. Nonetheless. That is. is largely counter-terrorism and migration. Somalia is the bottom of the pile’. one NGO observed: ‘ywe are tendering for contracts to run a piece of the government. it has engaged with the anti-terrorist agenda through ‘ymaking the ground less fertile for terrorist recruitment not least by reducing poverty and injustice’. from being outside the state during the 1960s and 1970s. we have to confront security issues and we have to confront. That would have been anathema to a humanitarian organization a while ago’. It is a case of. also enhances the prospects of developing a more rigorous analysis to present to ministers when recommending action or inaction. NGOS have progressively become more tied in with state policies and interventions. We are going to have to be tough in talking to other departments. At the same time.

g. one interviewee saw human security as being threatened not only by the rise of a hard security agenda but also by the stance of certain developmental agencies themselves. to a large International Politics 2006 43 . An observer at a recent meeting on the issue commented that NGOs need to fully discuss the matter among themselves since ‘yif there is a security and development nexus we need to think much harder about how we should position ourselves. has acquired significant urgency: The sector has lost confidence. As a framework for integrated action that focuses on the human impact of conflict.. While NGOs acknowledge that there is a relationship between security and development. This was an exploratory UN programme based on the explicit attempt to integrate aid and politics (Duffield et al. be it military. Motivated by what was seen as organizational inflexibility and a fear of diluting humanitarian principles. we stand no chance of resisting those pressures. Certain aspects of the coherence agenda hold the promise of better channelling development resources towards poverty alleviation. As one consultant put it. 1999).. NGOs that now endorse the ‘new Cold War’ position. for example. The issue then was not that aid and politics were incompatible. transitional authorities and the armed forces. We are reactive as a sector to push/pull factors from outside. the private sector or donor agendas. NGOs are really experiencing a crisis of identity about added-value and their specific role and contributions. were an active part of the 1998 Strategic Framework for Afghanistan. it was that in many zones of instability there was a lack of political interest and involvement by donor governments (Macrae and Leader. NGOs. ‘ywhile NGOs were complicit with the aid and human security agenda of the 1990s.’ Although the close affiliation between NGOs and Western states appears contrary to the NGO ethos of autonomy and independence. at the EU level) are likely to see development subsumed under foreign policy objectives (Woods. Yet other initiatives currently pursued under the same banner (e. 2000). many organizations were either supportive or complicit with the initial stages of increased government/NGO interconnection during the 1990s. for example. they have been keen to defend their organizational interests. it was suggested that some agencies were ceding the ground to a hard security agenda by persisting in ‘ycompartmentalized’ approaches and by refusing to engage pragmatically in discussions about the interconnections between security and development: ‘ytrying to move away from a recognition of the political complexities seems to be extremely unhelpful’.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 18 terms with the new security environment and reappraising relations with donor governments. 2002). 2004). Until we get ourselves sorted and really work out what we are here to do and why. themselves encouraged moves for greater coherence between aid and politics in the past (IDC.

Apart from charity laws preventing political campaigning. International Politics 2006 43 . contains winners as well as losers. NGOs have. been developing closer financial.’ Many of the NGO staff consulted were concerned that their organizations were unable to speak out directly on the publicly sensitive legal and political dimensions of the war on terror in general. and so on. This narrowing of objectives. The new security terrain that has emerged. NGOs in receipt of significant donor funding may assert their preparedness to ‘ybite the hand that feeds us’ but such incidents are rare in practice. however. the vision of human security that began to hit its stride towards the end of the 1990s involved the securing of Southern populations through bringing together the existing practices. multileveled global infrastructure — able to complement. over the past decade or so. the efforts of ineffective states. usually directors and senior managers.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 19 extent driven by it. institutions and networks of sustainable development. or temporarily replace. Rather than prioritizing the security of people living within ineffective states (a key manoeuvre in human security) the security of ‘homeland’ populations has moved centre-stage. defending metropolitan livelihood systems and essential infrastructures. The war on terrorism has problematized this particular governmental model of human security. many agencies were divided between those wanting to speak out and others. In the run up to the war. Compared to earlier more universalistic notions of human security. The reasons for such caution are numerous. including the secondment of staff. self-censorship and proximity to government can create difficulties for maintaining an independent and campaigning ‘non-governmental’ ethos. they are having second thoughts about being part of the global war on terror. the particular species life to be secured is now more narrowly defined in terms of its potential for terrorism. indeed — a new. Compared to many European NGOs. is premised upon securing the same in the global ‘borderland’. has deepened a sense of crisis among initially independent NGOs. and the loyalty test that it embodies. however. British agencies generally describe themselves as having an amicable working relationship with government. its way of life. It envisaged a horizontal and coordinated system of cross-border interventions. While it has advantages in terms of organizational positioning. contractual and programmatic ties with donor governments. Conclusion: The Changing Security Terrain As a biopolitical technology of governance. urging caution and restricting comment to humanitarian issues. In a radically interdependent world. and the occupation of Iraq in particular. in short.

3 The universities of Harvard. The collapse within political imagination of the national/international dichotomy also makes it possible to envisage a further deepening of coherence between aid and politics.unesco. for example. South Africa (www. arms control and bio-chemical experts. Mali. bankers.humansecurity. OECD’s DAC. 4 For an extensive bibliography see Paris (2001). UNDP (1994).org/securipax/) and the Human Security News Association bringing together freelance journalists and web-builders (www. 2 Noteworthy examples include ‘The Human Security Network’ launched in 1999 at a foreign ministerial level and involving the governments of Austria. 2001). Slovenia. in the interests of better policing global circulation. or does it signal a global biopolitical tyranny? Notes 1 The research for this article was made possible by an ESRC Grant (RES-223-25-0035) within its New Security Challenges is in the process of producing an annual Human Security Report. Oxford and Tufts. Thailand That is. together with hybrid means of surveillance and bridging institutional forms. together with developmental initiatives to regenerate ineffective states and support borderland populations. 5 Key official reports interconnected whole herald a new vision of human security. for example. The Canadian-based Centre for Human Security (www. Also. does this prospect of being able to act upon homeland and borderland populations as a complex. However. Boutros (1995).org/). In this case. Boutros-Ghali. Greece. created new possibilities for coordination and centralization.ligi.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 20 In stressing the fragility of international borders and the growing interconnectedness of livelihood systems and economic dependencies across homeland and borderland populations (Blair. International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty (ICISS. 2001). Ireland. 6 www. as an observer status. the war on terrorism has both sharpened the focus of the development/security complex and. The first report was due for publication in Autumn 2004. the merging of existing ones. between the ‘home’ functions of government and it’s ‘international’ departments. as interconnected networks of flows and circulatory dynamics linking homeland and borderland regions. communications specialists. educators. Collier et al. Norway. Jordan. Chile. New forms of coordination and centralization. 2003. Canada.uba. modelled on UNDP’s Human Development Report. development planners and religious leaders’ (DAC.humansecurity-chs. 10). conjures the possibility of being able to act on populations globally. Switzerland. for example. New data sets. the UNESCO Forum on Human Security (www.humansecuritynetwork. the Netherlands. could harmonize measures to better integrate homeland communities of immigrant origin with the apparatus of international migration and asylum control. have established major institutes. 2003). (2003). centres or programmes dedicated to human security. OECD (1998). Commission on Human Security (CHS. has suggested that the new players in the war on terrorism include ‘yfinancial International Politics 2006 43 .

Overseas Development Institute. Hon. suggest that. According to Nye. T. Monty Marshall. with its ideas of empowerment and Soft power. 8 In Society Must be Defended (2003. All interviews were conducted on a non-attributable basis. (Oct 3. B. on the other hand works through attraction and is voluntaristic in nature. ‘Failing’. 11 Similarly ambitious visions of human security have recently been echoed in the European context: ‘An effective human security approach requires coordination between intelligence. Britain deployed a PRT in Mazar-e-Sharif in Northern Afghanistan in July 2003.J. 2001) ‘This is the Battle with Only One Outcome: Our Victory’. (1992) Risk Society. 10 A wide range of labels exists to distinguish between effective and ineffective states. Christian Aid. The later being a paroxysmal expression of biopolitics involving extreme forms of both disciplinary and regulatory power. including the United Nations.htm. These teams are intended to work together ‘yin an interdisciplinary fashion as an expression of civil–military integration’ (Watkins. DFID is currently working with Institute of Strategic Studies. and of other multilateral actors. trade policy. ‘weak’ or ‘crisis’ states are usually described in terms of weak institutions and infrastructure. Hilary Benn MP. London School of Economics. 14 Regarding the latter. pp. rather than being unusual. Human development. 1). 2002. The non-military staff are provided from the FCO and development expertise from DFID. 13 A field-level example of these new cross-departmental arrangements is the Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan.Mark Duffield and Nicholas Waddell Securing Humans in a Dangerous World 21 7 The authors would like to thank the staff of Action Aid. foreign policy. http://members. 15–20). in F. 253–261). International Politics 2006 43 . Benn. The terms ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ power/security are currently in wide circulation among aid workers. the IMF and regional institutions’ (SGESC. Blair. These began life in December 2002 as an initiative of the American military.. Also see. Beck. 2002). 207–222. (1993) ‘Sustainable Development and the Greening of Development Theory’. Foucault expands this biopolitical analysis of security to include the emergence of state racism during the nineteenth century and the subsequent development of Nazism.) Beyond the Impasse: New Directions in Development Theory. A PRT combines military and civilian personnel. absent or inadequate public services. owing to the limitations of existing data sets on global conflict. 12 The terms ‘hard’ and ‘soft’ security originate in the work of Joseph Nye (Nye. Conciliation Resources. it is presently difficult to demonstrate variations in the number of people ‘affected by violent conflict’ together with its many ‘potential sources’. U. to develop a data set that can quantify these wider human security elements of conflict. H. Speech by the Rt. International Alert. internal or civil wars have formed the majority of all post-WWII conflicts (Mack. 2004). References Adams. 9 Several independent data sets. (2004) ‘The Development Challenge in Crisis States’. People follow because they wish to obtain or emulate what they desire. Guardian 4–5. 2003. the World Bank. development policy and security policy initiatives of the [European] member states. can be understood as soft power. of the [European] Commission and the [European] Council. 2004. for example. non-recognition of human rights and predilections to conflict (Maass and London: Zed Books. Oxfam and Save the Children Fund for their willingness to share their time and thoughts. Schuurman (ed. DFID. London: Sage. 17). hard power primarily relates to the exercise of assertive politico-military authority. Pretoria.

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