This Handbook will serve as a standard reference guide to the subject of human security, which has grown greatly in importance over the past twenty years.

Human security has been part of academic and policy discourses since it was first promoted by the UNDP in its 1994 Human Development Report. Filling a clear gap in the current literature, this volume brings together some of the key scholars and policy-makers who have contributed to its emergence as a mainstream concept, including Nobel prize winner Amartya Sen and Sadako Ogata, who jointly chaired the 2001 Commission on Human Security. Drawing upon a range of theoretical and empirical analyses, the Handbook provides examples of the use of human security in policies as diverse as disaster management, arms control and counter-terrorism, and in different geographic and institutional settings from Asia to Africa, and the UN. It also raises important questions about how the concept might be adapted and operationalised in future.

Over the course of the book, the authors draw on three key aspects of human security thinking:

  1. Theoretical issues to do with defining human security as a specific discourse
  2. Human security from a policy and institutional perspective, and how it is operationalised in different policy and geographic contexts
  3. Case studies and empirical work

Featuring some of the leading scholars in the field, the Routledge Handbook of Human Security will be essential reading for all students of human security, critical security, conflict and development, peace and conflict studies, and of great interest to students of international security and IR in general.


chapter |14 pages


ByMary Martin, Taylor Owen

part |107 pages

Concepts of human security

chapter |11 pages

Birth of a Discourse

ByAmartya Sen

chapter |15 pages

In Defense of the Broad View of Human Security

ByShahrbanou Tadjbakhsh

chapter |7 pages

Human Security Thresholds

ByTaylor Owen

chapter |18 pages

Critical Perspectives on Human Security

ByKeith Krause

chapter |15 pages

The Siren Song of Human Security

ByRyerson Christie

chapter |13 pages

Why Human Security? The Case for Resilience in an Urban Century

ByPeter H. Liotta, Aybüke Bilgin

part |100 pages

Human security applications

chapter |14 pages

Violent Conflict and the Individual Security Dilemma

ByMient Jan Faber, Martijn Dekker

chapter |10 pages

Human Security in the R2P Era

ByLloyd Axworthy

chapter |15 pages

Human Security and War

ByJennifer Leaning

chapter |14 pages

Human Security and Natural Disasters

ByDorothea Hilhorst, Alpaslan Özerdem, Erin Michelle Crocetti

chapter |9 pages

Food and Human Security

ByRobert Bailey

chapter |13 pages

Adjusting the Paradigm: A Human Security Framework for Combating Terrorism

ByCindy R. Jebb, Andrew A. Gallo

part |59 pages

Human security actors

chapter |12 pages

Japan and Networked Human Security

ByYukio Takasu

chapter |12 pages

The Pan-Africanization of Human Security

ByThomas Kwasi Tieku

chapter |10 pages

Human Security and East Asia

ByPaul Evans

part |51 pages

Human security tools

chapter |12 pages

An Economist's Perspective on Human Security

BySyed Mansoob Murshed

chapter |11 pages

From Concept to Method: The Challenge of a Human Security Methodology

ByMary Martin, Denisa Kostovicova

chapter |11 pages

Human Security Mapping

ByTaylor Owen

chapter |12 pages

Human Security: Idea, Policy and Law

ByGerd Oberleitner

chapter |3 pages


ByTaylor Owen, Mary Martin