chapter  8
18 Pages

Human security, governmentality, and sovereignty: A critical examination of contemporary discourses on universalizing humanity


Is human security progressing or is it in retreat? In 1994, the concept of human security shot through the international relations (IR) discipline like a comet. This concept emerged on the international scene for the fi rst time in the Human Development Report published by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) that year, and it has been frequently mentioned in various texts ever since. Since then, human security has been referred to as an antithesis to the realist approach to world politics that, among other things, advocates the use of legitimate violence by states. Thus, IR scholars have often situated human security in the context of a liberal discursive tradition by arguing that the concept reveals a disposition toward liberal ideals, particularly through its focus on individuals rather than on states or other collective bodies.