Of the many developments in international relations since the end of the Cold War, perhaps none has received so much official attention, energy and rhetorical appreciation as the idea of human security. The foreign ministries of countries as diverse as Japan, Norway and South Africa have all adopted the concept as a guiding principle of foreign policy. It is the defining concept of some of the most significant United Nations (UN) documents, including the recent UN reform proposal, A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility (2004), and the 1994 Human Development Report. Leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as the International Red Cross and Oxfam, have sought to promote the idea that ‘achieving human security – focused on the protection of the lives and livelihoods of people – is a key to achieving global security’.1 Many International Relations (IR) scholars have also promoted the idea that security needs to be transformed from a ‘state-centred’ to a ‘human-centred’ concept. In short, human security has been heralded as nothing less than a ‘tool for solving the problems confronting the majority of humanity’.2