1-16 of 16 Results

  • Keyword: human security x
Clear all


This chapter examines various dimensions of security and insecurity within states. It first considers different conceptualizations of security and the range of areas within which it may be applied before discussing security and insecurity in the state of nature. It then explores the impact of security and insecurity on global politics, Thomas Hobbes' ideas about security and insecurity, and collective security as embodied in the United Nations (UN). It also reviews some pressing security challenges in the post-Cold War period and the broadening of the security agenda to encompass more recent concerns such as human security, environmental security, and energy security. Finally, it analyses the ‘war on terror’ that came in response to 9/11, raising further questions concerning how best to deal with nonconventional threats.


Jon Barnett and Geoff Dabelko

This chapter examines the concept of environmental security, focusing on how it has both broadened and deepened the issue of security. It first traces the origins of environmental security, showing that it is the product of a merger of international environmental agreements, efforts by the peace movement to contest the meaning and practice of security, the proliferation of new security issues in the post-Cold War era, recognition that environmental changes pose grave risks to human well-being, and the growing community of research practice that seeks to build peace through natural resource management. The chapter goes on to consider the different meanings of environmental security, along with four major categories of environmental security problem: how environmental change can be a factor in violent conflict or a risk to national security, how war and preparation for war can damage the environment, and how environmental change can pose a risk to human security.


Stefan Elbe

This chapter examines the impact of health on security. It first considers how health and human security are connected via diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis. In particular, it looks at health security, economic security, and food security. It then describes some recently emerging infectious diseases, such as SARS, influenza pandemic, and Ebola, that are now also recognized as threats to national security. It also discusses diseases that are known to pose narrower threats to bio-security within the context of international efforts to combat terrorism, focusing on disease-causing biological agents such as anthrax, smallpox, and plague. The chapter concludes by contrasting two different ways in which the health-security nexus can be understood. Two case studies are presented, one relating to the impact of HIV/AIDS on the South African National Defence Force, and the other relating to the Aum Shinrikyo cult’s Sarin nerve gas attacks in Tokyo.


This chapter reflects on the past and present of Security Studies, with a particular focus on the changing periods of theory production and practical problem solving. It begins by tracing the origins and institutional structure of Security Studies, noting that it started out as an American, think-tank based, interdisciplinary field and then became institutionalized as a part of a single discipline, International Relations (IR). Since the 1990s, the field has enjoyed a new period of high theory productivity, but largely in two separate clusters with the United States and Europe as centres of each. Among important developments during the so-called Golden Age of Security Studies were game theory and deterrence theory. The chapter proceeds by examining the stagnation of Security Studies before concluding with an assessment of future prospects and challenges facing the field, citing debates over issues such as human security and emerging non-Western approaches to IR.


Sam Raphael and Doug Stokes

This chapter examines growing concerns over global energy security due to rising demand for fossil fuels by industrialized economies coupled with increasing uncertainties over future energy reserves. It considers the implications of increasing energy insecurity amongst the world’s major powers for international security by focusing on the politics of oil. After providing an overview of the problem of energy security, the chapter discusses the connection between energy security and International Relations theories such as liberalism, realism, and historical materialism. It then explores the link between energy security and human insecurity, and how the search for energy security by states in the global North affects the human security of communities in the oil-rich global South. The chapter concludes with an analysis of the role played by the United States in underpinning global energy security in the post-war era, and the impact that this has had for oil-rich regions.


25. Nigeria  

Consolidating Democracy and Human Rights

Stephen Wright

This chapter examines the consolidation of democracy and human rights in Nigeria. With regard to the relationship between development and human rights, Nigeria presents an interesting puzzle. It is rich in oil, but has not been able to translate its immense natural resources into sustainable economic development and respect for human rights. Ethnic and religious tensions, a result of colonialism, have been exacerbated by disastrous economic development, which has in turn led to a deteriorating human rights situation and intense violence. The chapter first considers the political economy of Nigerian oil before discussing the country’s political and economic development, with particular emphasis on critical aspects of human security and civil society. It concludes with an assessment of the progress that has been made as well as ongoing development challenges Nigeria faces.


26. Guatemala  

Enduring Underdevelopment and Insecurity

Rachel Sieder

This chapter examines Guatemala’s underdevelopment in the context of social, economic, cultural, and political rights. It first provides an introduction to poverty and multiple inequalities in Guatemala before discussing patterns of state formation in the country. It then considers the 1996 peace accords, which represented an attempt to reverse historical trends, to ‘engineer development’, and to secure the human rights of all Guatemalans. It also explores human security and development in Guatemala and identifies the main contemporary causes of the country’s persistent underdevelopment: a patrimonialist and predatory state underpinned by a strong, conservative private sector, an extremely weak party system, the continued influence of active and retired members of the armed forces in politics, entrenched counterinsurgency logics, and the increasing presence of transnational organized crime.


This chapter assesses the general concept of security and the way in which issues come to be ‘securitized’. The security of the sovereign state, in a system of states, and existing under conditions of anarchy, has been the traditional focus of studies in global or international politics. Security in this context has therefore been concerned largely with the threats that states pose to each other. Over the last few decades, however, the agenda for security in global politics has expanded, and so too has its conceptualization. The chapter looks at traditional approaches to security and insecurity, revisiting the Hobbesian state of nature and tracing security thinking in global politics through to the end of the Cold War. This is followed by a discussion of ideas about collective security as embodied in the UN, paying particular attention to the role of the Security Council and the issue of intervention in the post-Cold War period. This period has also seen the broadening of the security agenda to encompass concerns such as gender security, environmental security, cyber security, and the diffuse concept of ‘human security’. Finally, the chapter provides an overview of the ‘war on terror’, raising further questions concerning how best to deal with non-conventional security threats.


Randolph B. Persaud

This chapter examines the concept of human security in descriptive, analytical, and empirical terms by drawing on both the scholarly and policy relevant literatures. It begins with a discussion of the development of human security, focusing on the emergence, contribution, and impact of the most important drivers of human security, especially in institutional terms. These include the United Nations Development Program’s 1994 Human Development Report (HDR), the Commission for Human Security, the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, the Millennium Development Goals, and the International Criminal Court. The chapter proceeds by considering the intellectual and institutional genealogy of human security. Finally, it analyses the most trenchant critiques of human security, which can be categorised into: too broad to be useful; national interest and co-optation; reformist tool of global capitalism; and neo-colonialism.


John Barry and Kerri Woods

This chapter examines the ways that environmental issues affect human rights and the relevance of human rights to environmental campaigns. It also evaluates proposals for extending human rights to cover environmental rights, rights for future generations, and rights for some non-human animals. The chapter begins with a discussion of the relationship between human rights and the environment, along with the notion that all persons have ‘environmental human rights’. It then analyses the impact of the environment on human security and its implications for human rights issues before considering case studies that illustrate how environmental issues directly impact on the human rights of the so-called environmental refugees, who are displaced from lands by the threat of climate change and also by development projects. Finally, the chapter describes the link between human rights and environmental sustainability.



From international politics to world politics

Patricia Owens, John Baylis, and Steve Smith

This text offers a comprehensive analysis of world politics in a global era. It examines the main theories of world politics—realism, liberalism, Marxism, social constructivism, poststructuralism, post-colonialism, and feminism. It reviews the main structures and processes that shape contemporary world politics, such as global political economy, international security, war, gender, and race. Furthermore, it addresses some of the main policy issues in the globalized world, including poverty, human rights, and the environment. This introduction offers some arguments both for and against seeing globalization as an important new development in world politics. It also explains the various terms used to describe world politics and the academic field, particularly the use of ‘world politics’ rather than ‘international politics’ or ‘international relations’. Finally, it summarizes the main assumptions underlying realism, liberalism, Marxism, social constructivism, post-structuralism, post-colonialism, and feminism.


Stephanie Lawson

This chapter examines traditional concepts of security and insecurity in the realm of international politics. It first considers Thomas Hobbes’s account of the state of nature and the emergence of the power politics approach to security as worked out by Hans Morgenthau and his successors. It then discusses the evolution of security thinking through to the end of the Cold War, ideas about collective security as embodied in the United Nations and the nature of security cooperation in Europe through NATO. It also explores some pressing security challenges in the post-Cold War period and the broadening of the security agenda to encompass more recent concerns ranging from environmental security to energy security and the notions of ‘human security’ and ‘responsibility to protect’. Finally, it analyses the ‘global war on terror’ and especially how the 9/11 attacks affected the discourse on security and insecurity.


22. Iraq  

A Failing State?

Nadje Al-Ali and Nicola Pratt

This chapter examines whether Iraq is a failed state and how it drew such characterization. It focuses on the period since the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein. The chapter considers three areas: the reconstruction of Iraq’s political institutions; post-invasion violence and security; and human and economic development. It shows how the failure to reconstruct political institutions capable of reconciling Iraq’s different political groupings has weakened central government, exacerbated corruption within state institutions, and contributed to ethnic/sectarian violence, thereby creating a favourable environment for the emergence of the Islamic State. The chapter argues that the Iraqi state is failing to provide necessary services and infrastructure for economic and human development and even basic security for much of the population.


Amitav Acharya and Jiajie He

This chapter examines the limitations and problems of strategic studies with respect to security challenges in the global South. It first considers the ethnocentrism that bedevils strategic studies and international relations before discussing mainstream strategic studies during the cold war. It then looks at whether strategic studies kept up with the changing pattern of conflict, where the main theatre is the non-Western world, with particular emphasis on the decline in armed conflicts after the end of the cold war, along with the problem of human security and how it has been impacted by technology. It also explores the issue of whether to take into account non-military threats in strategic studies and the debates over strategic culture and grand strategy in China and India. It concludes by proposing Global International Relations as a new approach to strategic studies that seeks to adapt to the strategic challenges and responses of non-Western countries.


This chapter examines the liberalist approach to the theory and practice of international politics. It begins with an overview of liberalism and liberal internationalism’s main characteristics, including how they overlap with, yet significantly depart from, the realist perspective. It then considers the major liberalist schools of thought, namely: commercial or economic liberalism, human rights liberalism, international organization or institutions liberalism, and democratic liberalism. The chapter explores how contemporary liberal internationalism is losing significant power and appeal because the major Western states of the world system are experiencing serious international and domestic difficulties. It closes by indicating that the Western liberal internationalist order will likely lose a sizable portion of its long standing international dominance, resulting in a more widely spread global security management arrangement among a larger number of major states.


15. Canada and antipersonnel landmines  

The case for human security as a foreign policy priority

Lloyd Axworthy

This chapter examines the impact of the Ottawa Process on the use of antipersonnel landmines as well as its significance to foreign policy analysis. The Ottawa Process led to the signing of an international treaty to ban the use and trading of landmines in 1997. It also contributed to the concept of human security and the emerging global principle of responsibility to protect. The chapter first considers the dynamic between governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) leading up to the launch of the Ottawa Process before discussing how middle power countries worked with NGOs and used soft power diplomacy to achieve a ban on landmines. It also explores the utility of the Ottawa Process as a model for recent international efforts, including the Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, the establishment of the International Criminal Court, and the treaties on cluster munitions and the trade in small arms.