Essay: Human Security

By | May 28, 2011

Sample Essay

Political theorist, Roland Paris, has defined human security as a category of security studies research, reserved for studies of non military threats to the protection of people and entities, community[1].  Arguing that there is a lack of evidence to support the theory of a paradigm shift in security studies towards human security, Paris has compartmentalized ever existing issues to better navigate the complexities of analyzing security threats.

This contrasts with the widening discourse, led by Buzan and the Copenhagen school, which includes individuals and communities as potential subjects of threats.[2] A Constructivist understanding is one that further involves non state actors as responders to security threats rather than just victims[3].

Paris’ cells do not offer no categories for complex emergencies or the interdependence of threats, nor does it explain the role of various actors. Regardless of whether or not academia or policy-makers in the West have decided that there has been a paradigm shift towards individual security in the developing world this is moot point. Security issues for the majority of the world’s population are indeed more inclusive than survival of inter-state warfare or avoiding super-power conflict; they include power, vulnerability, accessibility and disconnection in an increasingly globalized world.

[1] Paris, Roland. “Human Security: Paradigm Shift or Hot Air?” International Security, 2007: 87-102.

[2] Frerks, Georg, and Berma Klein Goldewijk. Human security and international insecurity. Wageningen Academic Publishers, 2007.

[3] As in 17

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