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and at the annual conference of the International Studies Association in Chicago. Francis Beer. pp. 1999). 2001). 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. the ‘Rule of Law. Ireland. My thanks to Michael Barnett. See “Chairman’s Summary.” Security Dialogue. Colin Dueck. 3 (September 1999).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.C. 265–276..ca/foreignp/humansecurity/Chairman_summary-e. “Human Security: A Shotgun Approach to Alleviating Human Misery?” Global Governance. Majid Tehranian. Daniel Drezner. Oliver Richmond. 1. Heather Owens and Barbara Arneil.’ and NGOs: Potentials and Problems for Humanitarian Intervention. 51–60. Lucerne. ed. Illinois (February 20–24. 1999). Other states in the network include Austria.. 4 (July–September 2001). 1999).2 and is the subject of new research projects at several major universities. Natalie Goldring. Chile. eds. Globalization. (Ottawa: International Development Research Centre. “The United Nations and Human Security. which have taken the lead in establishing a “human security network” of states and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that endorse the concept. Tauris. Human Security. 2000. the University of Denver’s International Security.” Second Ministerial Meeting of the Human Security Network. 1–12. Peter Stoett. http://www. 2d ed. Common Security in Asia: New Concept of Human Security (Tokyo: Tokai University Press. 1999).dfaitmaeci.. Vol. global security. Colorado (November 9–11. 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. and the African Experience (Boulder. “The Human Security Paradigm Shift: A New Lens on Canadian Foreign Policy? Report of the University of British Columbia Symposium on Human Security. Chen. 3 (July–September 2001). Vol. Michael Lipson. David Leblang. pp. Ian Hurd. 2 (Fall 2001). Human and Global Security: An Exploration of Terms (Toronto: University of Toronto Press.gc. 2001).” ibid. No. most formulations emphasize the welfare of ordinary people. H 87 . Human Security and Mutual Vulnerability: The Global Political Economy of Development and Underdevelopment. Daniel Lindley. the Netherlands.: Lynne Rienner.1 The term has also begun to appear in academic works. 7. Stephen Brooks. Greece. “Human Security. Ramesh Thakur. Yuen Foong Khong..” ibid. and Thomas Weiss for comments on previous drafts. and Tatsuro Matsumae and L. 2. Mali.B. Colo. Worlds Apart: Human Security and Global Governance (London: I. Steve Chan. eds. Peter Viggo Jakobsen.” Human Rights Review. 2.3 Roland Paris is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Colorado. Vol. No. 1995). Jorge Nef. Although deªnitions of human security vary. 30. 87–102 © 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Astri Suhrke. pp. Jordan. 2000). Caroline Thomas and Peter Wilkin. No. and Thailand. These include Harvard University’s Program on Human Security. Among the most vocal promoters of human security are the governments of Canada and Norway. cooperative security. Claudio Ciofª. May 11–12. Switzerland. For example. 26. 3. pp. No. Boulder. Switzerland.. Vol. “Human Security and the Interests of States. Slovenia.asp (accessed on February 14.

is to be studied.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Cultivated ambiguity renders human security an effective campaign slogan. “Environment and Security: Muddled Thinking. As Daniel Deudney has written in another context. 47. Second. encompassing everything from physical security to psychological well-being. 4. p. the University of New South Wales’s Asia-Australia Institute. First. appears to be slippery by design. which provides policymakers with little guidance in the prioritization of competing policy goals and academics little sense of what. but few people have a clear idea of what it means. human security is powerful precisely because it lacks precision and thereby encompasses the diverse perspectives and objectives of all the members of the coalition. the most ardent backers of human security appear to have an interest in keeping the term expansive and vague.”4 Two problems. Vol. Existing deªnitions of human security tend to be extraordinarily expansive and vague. 5. The political coalition that now uses human security as a rallying cry has chalked up signiªcant accomplishments. The alliance of some states and advocacy groups has altered the landscape of international politics since the end of the Cold War. The idea of human security is the glue that holds together a jumbled coalition of “middle power” states. in particular. pp. Richard Price. including the signing of an antipersonnel land mines convention and the imminent creation of an international criminal court. This is not to say that human security is merely “hot air” or empty rhetoric. As a unifying concept for this coalition. it remains unclear whether the concept of human security can serve as a practical guide for academic research or governmental policymaking. Despite these claims. 613–644. “Not all neologisms are equally plausible or useful. The term. however. Human security is like “sustainable development”—everyone is for it.International Security 26:2 88 Some commentators argue that human security represents a new paradigm for scholars and practitioners alike. Vol. No. exactly. 52. and the University of British Columbia’s Institute of International Relations. 3 (Summer 1998). “Reversing the Gun Sights: Transnational Civil Society Targets Land Mines. 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. Daniel Deudney.5 But to say that human security has Graduate School of International Studies. but it also diminishes the concept’s usefulness as a guide for academic research or policymaking. as Richard Price and others have shown. limit the usefulness of the human security concept for students and practitioners of international politics. No. the concept lacks a precise deªnition. development agencies. in short. 3 (April 1991). 23. and Craig Warkentin and Karen .” International Organization.

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

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

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

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

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

edu/ªles/hs.29 Both of these projects. . 2001). 2000. 2001.” as well as measures of different societies’ “capacity to deal with these threats. on January 24. which will be cochaired by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Sadako Ogata. May 4. proposes construction of a “human security audit” that would include measures of “direct and indirect threats to individual bodily safety and freedom. Bajpai.. education. In addition to these projects. .”27 Using this standard.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. http://www. Gary King and Christopher Murray.edu/ ?krocinst/ocpapers/op_19_1. 2001. 29. proposes inclusion of “bodily safety” and “personal freedom” in his human security audit. August 2000). meaning elements that are “important enough for human beings to ªght over or to put their lives or property at great risk. 19:OP:1 (Notre Dame. representativeness in decisionmaking structures. the United Nations and the government of Japan announced plans to establish a Commission on Human Security. This is the approach that Gary King and Christopher Murray have adopted in their ongoing project on human security.” Harvard University. Ibid. and . health.pdf (accessed on February 14. they identify ªve key indicators of well-being—poverty. face problems that seem endemic to the study of human security. First. the fostering of norms. political freedom. “Rethinking Human Security.” Kroc Institute Occasional Paper No. and argues that this audit would draw attention to the fact that “threats to safety and freedom are the most important” elements of hu26. they represent welcome efforts at operationalizing the concept of human security with a more precise deªnition of the term. . institutions. 8. and democracy—that they intend to incorporate into an overall measure of human security for individuals and groups. namely. January 24.26 King and Murray offer a deªnition of human security that is intended to include only “essential” elements. Ind. Kanti Bajpai. “Human Security: Concept and Measurement. another scholar. however. they identify certain values as more important than others without providing a clear justiªcation for doing so. p.PDF (accessed on February 14.”28 Although both projects are still in the early stages of development. See “Independent Panel on ‘Human Security’ To Be Set Up.: University of Notre Dame.nd. 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. so that it might offer a better guide for research and policymaking. 2001).harvard. http://gking. for instance. 27. 28. Similarly. Kanti Bajpai.” Agence France-Press.

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

then. In other words.” Bajpai also discusses some of these differences in “Human Security: Concept and Measurement. describe the concept of human security more vaguely than do Canadian or Japanese government documents on the subject. moreover. the members of this coalition are able to minimize their individual differences. they are unlikely to support outside calls for greater speciªcity in the deªnition of human security. or to think about other ways in which the concept of human security could contribute to the ªeld of security studies. “The Axworthy Years: An Assessment.” Second Ministerial Meeting of the Human Security Network. 2000.htm (accessed on February 14.International Security 26:2 96 taining a certain level of ambiguity in the notion of human security. http:// www.” Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. to the Government of Canada’s “Human Security: Safety for People in a Changing World. and individuals. 2001).” as does Fen Osler Hampson. and our understanding of how such research “ªts” within the larger ªeld of security studies is still limited. The communiqués of the human security network. perhaps even to the point of alienating certain members and weakening the coalition as a whole.hri. Compare “Chairman’s Summary. for example. 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. National Press Club. in contrast to more traditional approaches to security studies that focus on protecting states from external threats. groups.ca/partners/G78/English/Peace/hampson-axworthy.” presentation prepared for delivery to the Group of 78. Much of this work is relatively new. But perhaps there are other avenues by which the idea of human security can contribute to the study of international relations and security. 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.33 Given these circumstances. Why. and the “Statement by Director-General Yukio Takasu. Ottawa. even if the concept of human secu33. . 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. October 31. thereby accommodating as wide a variety of members and interests in their network as possible. because deªnitional narrowing would likely highlight and aggravate differences among them.

for example. No. I borrow these terms from Richard Wyn Jones. 162–177. 38. See. “Redeªning Security. “Redeªning Security. 24. mass refugee movements. see Edward A. No. See. No. Bill McSweeney. 1 (Summer 1983). and Critical Theory (Boulder. ed. 127–155. 2 (Spring 1989). 212. 1998). Strategy. the spread of disease.Human Security 97 rity itself is too vague to generate speciªc research questions. the ªeld of security studies has developed beyond its traditional focus on the “threat.” International Security. 8. as illustrated in Figure 1. For a critique of Walt’s traditionalism. Jessica Tuchman Mathews.”35 By broadening.. 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. 36. the subject matter of security studies has undergone both a “broadening” and a “deepening. and Jaap de Wilde. p. Krishna Kumar. 1 (March 1991). 1985). David Campbell. No. eds. and nuclear catastrophe. pp. Ullmann... I mean that the ªeld is now more willing to consider the security of individuals and groups. Vol. Ole Wæver.: Lynne Rienner. Miller. I mean the consideration of nonmilitary security threats.36 By deepening. Rebuilding Societies after Civil War: Critical Roles for International Assistance (Boulder. it is possible to construct a matrix of the security studies ªeld. 1997).: Lynne Rienner. and constructivists—who have probed the assumptions and political implications of the term “security” itself. it could still play a useful taxonomical role in the ªeld by helping to classify different types of scholarship. 36. Rothstein. 1998). Walter. Security: A New Framework for Analysis (Boulder. Colo. for example. Security. See. and Donald L. such as environmental scarcity and degradation. Security. “Renaissance in Security Studies? Caveat Lector!” International Studies Quarterly. “Designing Transitions from Civil War: Demobilization. Mass. 68.37 These efforts have been prompted in part by the contributions of “critical” theorists—including feminists. Identity. and Commitments to Peace. Horowitz. Critical Security Studies (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. “The Renaissance of Security Studies. The matrix con34.. Richard H. Robert L. and Interests: A Sociology of International Relations (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Stephen M. use and control of military force” primarily by states. Kolodziej. terrorism. Vol. 1997). . 1999). pp. Vol. eds. Lynn-Jones and Steven E. 1995). Democratization. Colo. 129–153. postmodernists. such as Stephen Walt. Walt.: Lynne Rienner. for example. 37. 1999). Vol. pp. No. Global Dangers: Changing Dimensions of International Security (Cambridge. Williams. 421–438. 4 (December 1992).34 Since the end of the Cold War.” International Security. Colo. and Barry Buzan.: MIT Press. Writing Security: United States Foreign Policy and the Politics of Identity (Manchester: Manchester University Press. rather than focusing narrowly on external threats to states. ed.” Foreign Affairs. Vol. Despite resistance from some scholars. 35. in particular. nationalism. Ethnic Groups in Conºict (Berkeley: University of California Press. Barbara F. 35. overpopulation. Colo. Keith Krause and Michael C. After the Peace: Resistance and Reconciliation (Boulder.38 Using the notions of broadening and deepening. 1999). pp.: Lynne Rienner. and Sean M.” International Studies Quarterly. 1 (Summer 1999).

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

“International Security Studies: A Report of a Conference on the State of the Field. No. Mathews argues that foreign security policies should incorporate considerations of environmental destruction. 232–238. and ‘Cultural’ Violence (Berkeley: International and Area Studies. 6 (Summer 2000). The prevalence of intrastate violence since the end of the Cold War has given rise to a large literature on intrastate conºicts.. 1–316. 41. 1–59. 1999).edu/pdf/Report6– 10. Walter and Jack Snyder. and Joseph J. No. Deªning National Security: The Nonmilitary Aspects (New York: Council on Foreign Relations. Richard N. 2001). originally published as a special issue of Security Studies.J. 4 (Spring 1988).43 • Cell 3 includes works that focus on military threats to actors other than states: namely societies. Insecurity. For an excellent bibliography. No. 64–91. 42–70. “America’s Two-Front Economic Conºict.” See also Ullmann. 44. Vol.. ed. 1998). eds. 9. “Redeªning Security. 3 (Spring 2000).44 Sean M.’” International Security. No. See. 1 (Summer 2000).” International Security. Benjamin Valentino. Economics. 40. See. and Nils Peter Gleditsch. Vol. Haass. Fred Bergsten. Common Security. Lipschutz. Jean-Marc F. and National Security (London: Frank Cass. “Political Economic in Security Studies after the Cold War. . John Mueller. C. groups. “Redeªning Security”.Human Security 99 • Cell 2 contains works that address nonmilitary threats (instead of. rather than substate actors.” Security Studies Vol. Thomas F. Edward D. including environmental and economic challenges.pdf (accessed on May 5. The Myth of ‘Ethnic Conºict’: Politics. No. to be the salient object of security. and Intervention (New York: Columbia University Press. pp. 12. Jessica Tuchman Mathews’s much-cited 1989 article.42 and studies of foreign economic policy and international security. University of California.” Journal of Peace Research. among other things. See. and Jonathan Kirschner. Vol. see Geoffrey D. 3 (May 1998). Dabelko. also available at http://ecsp. No.” Foreign Affairs. pp. Economic Sanctions and American Diplomacy (New York: Council on Foreign Relations. pp. Mansªeld. pp.si. Power and the Purse: Economic Statecraft. for example.. Scarcity. “The Banality of ‘Ethnic War.41 investigations into the relationship between environmental degradation and international armed conºict. Romm.” International Security. 1–2 (Autumn 1999– Winter 2000). pp. Nos. “Armed Conºict and the Environment: A Critique of the Literature. Homer-Dixon. for example. 25.40 Other examples of such work include the Palme Commission’s 1982 report. 1998). Mathews. 381–400. N. 9. No. 1 (Spring 1998). which argued that nuclear weapons posed a threat to the survival of all states. or in addition to. 43. Vol. Civil Wars. 80. pp.” is typical of this category. Vol. 35. eds. eds. and individuals. Chaim Kaufmann. for example.: Princeton University Press. pp. in which substate groups are the principal belligerents. 42. Vol.. “Final Solutions: The Causes of Mass Killing and Genocide. but she still considers the state. 5. and Violence (Princeton. 1999). military threats) to the national security of states. 2000). Environmental Change and Security Project Report. Lynn-Jones. ed. “Redeªning Security. 1993). Interdependence. Ripsman. Beverly Crawford and Ronnie D. Barbara F. and Norrin M. 1982). “Possible and Impossible Solutions to Ethnic Civil Wars. Common Security: A Blueprint for Survival (New York: Simon and Schuster. 16–27. 5–27.” Review of International Political Economy.. 2 (March–April 2001). Blanchard. Environment. Independent Commission on Disarmament and Security Issues. pp.

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

124. 50. military-minded approach to security studies at the core and a disorderly bazaar of alternative approaches in the periphery. Finally. Third. is not a signiªcant 49. the contents of cell 4 echo many of the concerns of the human security coalition. 185. scholars working in the “human security branch” of security studies would not need to adjudicate the merit or validity of human security per se. but rather they would focus on more speciªc questions that could be clearly deªned (and perhaps even answered). With the broadening and deepening of security studies in recent years. Second. so it makes intuitive sense to use this terminology. These alternative approaches actually fall into broad groupings and have become sufªciently important to merit their own classiªcation scheme.Human Security 101 Using the term “human security” to describe this type of scholarship has several advantages. however. Vol. 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. Steven J. p. . for example. state-centric.49 Fourth. although many scholars in this branch of security studies may be interested in normative questions as well as empirical ones. Del Rosso. 2 (Spring 1995).” Dædalus. Environmental degradation. First. “The Insecure State: Reºections on ‘The State’ and ‘Security’ in a Changing World. may simultaneously pose a threat to the survival of states and substate actors. and could thus full into either cell 2 or cell 4. the boundaries between these four quadrants are not absolute. and to one another. for example. Jr. I have argued. No.50 The permeability of these boundaries. that certain socioeconomic conditions are not associated with any particular threats to human survival. Mapping the ªeld in new ways can help us to understand how these approaches relate to more traditional approaches to security studies. Of course. Consequently. Scholars may conclude. offers little analytical leverage because it is so sprawling and ambiguous. 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. it is no longer helpful or reasonable to deªne the ªeld in dualistic terms: with the realist. 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. and relatedly..

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