Abstract: Because the concept encompasses both physical security and more general notions of economic and social well-being, it is impractical to talk about certain socioeconomic factors ‘causing’ an increase or decline inhuman security, given that these factors are themselves part of the definition of human security. The study of causal relationships requires a degree of analytical separation that the notion of human security lacks.
Abstract: Human security is the latest in a long line of neologisms—including common security, global security, cooperative security, 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. Although definitions of human security vary, most formulations emphasize the welfare of ordinary people. Among the most vocal promoters of human security are the governments of Canada and Norway, which have taken the lead in establishing a “human security network” of states and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) that endorse the concept. The term has also begun to appear in academic works, and is the subject of new research projects at several major universities.
Reprinted in Christopher W. Hughes and Lai Yew Meng, eds., Security Studies: A Reader (Routledge, 2011)