Human Security

Human Security

Exploring the relationship between security and development from local, regional and global persp... read more

Human security introduction

This theme examines the relationship between security and development from local, regional and global perspectives. Insecurity impacts societies as a whole, impedes development and stalls post-conflict reconstruction, often across wider regions. Integrated strategies are needed to solve the conflicts of the 21st century and to build a more secure world.

By the end of the Cold War, the concept of human security had already begun to develop against a background of changing patterns in violent outbreaks. The emergence of internal conflicts in Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe sadly illustrated that national and international traditional security concepts fell short. Additionally, with globalization, conflicts – from local to global – are increasingly marked by a shift to transboundary patterns. This requires an appropriate security approach, beyond the focus on the state and more towards multi-stakeholder, transregional and human-centred strategies  that sustainably tackle the underlying causes of conflict.These  include economic and political inequalities, scarcity, terrorism, migration and the drug trade. The current severe unrest in the Sahel is a clear example of the necessity for a transboundary approach to conflict.

The marriage between security and development policies is inevitably tied up with all sorts of geopolitical interests. Over the last decades important steps have been taken to bridge political, economic, military, humanitarian and juridical goals in  a development security nexus. Milestone reports that marked the political debate were the UNDP’s 1994 Human Development  Report and  more recently the 2011 World Development Report on conflict, security and development. THE BROKER’S aim on this Human Security theme page is to enrich the analysis from a typical critical BROKER perspective applying a multidisciplinary approach, with a focus on what these developments mean for the poor, for inequality, and for regional and global relationships.

Human Security blog

What a narrow focus on social contracts misses

Seth Kaplan  | 02 March 2014

In response to David Sogge, Seth Kaplan addsfive ways in which those working to develop or enhance social contracts can be more effective.

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Editorial articles

Managing ethnic conflict during transitions

Saskia Baas | December 20, 2013

The fresh eruption of violence in South Sudan illustrates once more the ethnic dividing lines within the countries’ government.

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The War of Ideas Continues

David Sogge | December 06, 2013

Policy-making on security and peacebuilding is marked by rival ideas on the human security paradigm and the contested terrains of statecraft and development...

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A context of multiple institutions

Frauke de Weijer | November 04, 2013

The variety of institutional arrangements creates challenges for trying to match approaches to the local complexities of fragile states.

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Restructuring the Middle East

George Joffé | September 19, 2013

The ongoing crisis in the Middle East increasingly looks to be a replicate of the divisions of the Cold War when local conflicts became proxy conflicts for t...

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Human inequality puts sovereign equality to the test

Janne E. Nijman | March 27, 2013

The notion of sovereign equality as the foundation of the international legal order is showing ever more creaks and squeaks.

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Expert opinions

Putting the Social Contract at the Heart of Peacebuilding and Statebuilding

David Sogge  | 13 February 2014

An old yet surprisingly relevant political idea – the social contract -- is today making the running in the competitive world of aid and development...

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Peacebuilding is essentially local

Cedric de Coning  | 04 December 2013

Complexity theory sheds light on the essential role of self-organization in sustainable peace consolidation

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Entering the ‘negotiation of rule’

Gemma van der Haar Bart Weijs  | 13 November 2013

The World Conference on Humanitarian Studies created space for debating international engagement in fragile and conflict-affected settings

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Power dynamics and natural resources

Power dynamics and natural resources

Resource disputes are grounded in structural inequalities and reveal conflicting interests.

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