chapter  15
14 Pages

Human security

ByGunhild Hoogensen Gjørv

In this chapter, students will learn about human security and the status of this concept in policy and research today. The popularization of human security through the UN Development Programme’s 1994 Human Development Report promised a revolutionary move in security studies, reorienting the focus to individuals rather than states. The hope that this concept would significantly change the course of security studies thinking did not come to fruition, at least not as some had hoped. States and international institutions adopted the concept but often for their own purposes, losing sight of individual, contextualized experiences of insecurity that were often brought about by these same states and institutions. Some critics of human security saw this development as the demise of an ineffective, non-state-based security concept. However, other critics argue that it still has potential, and they continue to provide empirical evidence that recognizes the work non-state actors do in providing security and to influence the policy of states and international institutions. As such, the human security concept continues to be relevant to state and non-state actors alike.