Departmental Bulletin Paper Human Security’s Coming of Age

Ionescu, Magdalena

(79)  , pp.65 - 82 , 2015-03-31 , 国際基督教大学
Ever since it emerged in the context of UNDP two decades ago, human security has been hailed as a new approach to security, capable of challenging the narrow focus and the established assumptions of the traditional concepts of security. The body of cross-disciplinary research and policy practice that has emerged since then has struggled with the challenge of making the concept policy relevant in a way that can lead to real change in the lives of those it seeks to empower. In the process however, by incorporating some of the main assumptions that it was claiming to challenge, human security has lost its “transformative ethos” and has become a tool of hegemonic forces seeking to incorporate challengers and their tools into the structures that justify and facilitate their domination. In criticizing the unidirectionality of the theoretical and practical debate so far, this article argues that, if it is to make a truly meaningful contribution, human security needs to engage with the assumptions it has taken for granted and consequently left out of the debate: the belief that economic development and growth lead to social progress, the lack of focus on the West(7), and the relationship between “humanity” and “security” in the neoliberal age.

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