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IR 203 Human Security Lecture Notes

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  1. IR 203 Human Security Lecture Notes • Dr. Bezen Coskun,

  2. Human Security • Since the end of the Cold war Human security has been considered as a security issue. Human security deals with the security issues that directly or indirectly endanger human lives and human well-being. For example, human security may be endangering because of states’ unrestrained quest for their own security. (Moller 2003:7)

  3. Human Security • Even though the state was created in order to provide security for its citizens, it can also constitute a threat to their security. However, the main human security problem in today’s developing world is not the excess of state but the weakness of state. Most of the states in the developing world are weak in which there is a gap between authority and power, where ‘society and state boundaries are far from identical, inter alia as a reflection of colonial legacy, and where the state’s administrative capacity is quite inadequate…’ (Moller 2003:7)

  4. The lack of state as well as regime legitimacy and a struggle for control of the state apparatus, for autonomy or for cessation often lead to state failure. In weak states other forms of violent conflict also become a way of life. Ordinary crime and intercommunal strife may become prevalent and jeopardised human lives and welfare.

  5. Human Security • According to Moller direct violence is not the only threat to human security. Human rights violations, structural violence perpetrated by one societal group to another, structural violence which the global order represents, and the natural threats may be exacerbated by political and societal security. (Moller 2003:7-8)

  6. Human Security • UNDP’s 1994 Human Development Report introduces Human Security as a concept. • Freedom from want (income, basic social services [education, health, peace], value [fairness to all peoples]) • Freedom from fear [people-centric vs. personality-centric services] • Beyond material issues – dignity and self-worth, inclusiveness, social harmony & balance. • the UN monitor the human security situation in the world. • (Khun Surin) Pitsuwan (Secretary general of ASEAN) has noted that HS is an old concept – from Locke, Rousseau, etc. and that, indeed, HS is the reason for the State in the first place. • (

  7. Human Security • Humanosphere – where humans live • Economic: People and supportive institutions are capitalized adequately? (with respect to monetary costs, including adequate support for the environment and society). • Environmental: The environment is sustainable or not? (e.g. not un-sustainably impacted by financial interests or society {e.g. population pressures}). • Social: The social fabric of the Humanosphere is positive or negative? Inequalities? positive diversity, rather than negative situations imposed on people • Sustainable and Creative Humanosphere => a synergy of Economic, Environmental, and Social.

  8. Human Security • What indicators to describe human security? • Diversity Index: Gender Gap Index: (best~Sweden~.8146 VN~.6889 JP~.6455 worst~Yemen~.4510) • Peace Index: • Global Peace Index (freedom from “attack” abroad & home) (best~Iceland~1.18/4 JP=1.36/4 VN~1.72/4 US~2.23/4 MY~2.59/4 worst~Iraq~3.51/4) • World Prison Population Index (best~iceland~40/10,000 JP~62/10,000 VN~105/10,000 RU~611/10,000 worst~USA~738/10,000) • Environmental Index: Environmental Sustainability/Performance Indices & greenhouse gas emissions per capita • Corruption Control Index: World Bank – minimum of “illegal” of “legal” corruption. • Information Empowerment Index: • Connection Index (fixed & mobile phones; Internet) • Press Freedom Index

  9. Toward a Human Security Index (B3) • Peace Index: • Global Peace Index (freedom from “attack” abroad & home) (2009 – 144 countries) • World Prison Population List (2009 – 218 countries) • World Pre-trial / Remand Imprisonment List (2008 194 countries) • Other existing indicators • Economic freedom in the world index ( 2009 141 countries) • Failed states index (“fund for peace” & Foreign Policy magazine 2009 177 countries) • Political Terror Scale (Prof. Mark Gibney – UNCA) averages Amnesty International and US State Department indicators (2008 185 countries) • Freedom in the world index (Freedom House) • Other desired indicators • Household peacefulness (lack of domestic violence or intimidation) • Community peacefulness • Peacefulness at national levels

  10. Environmental Aspects of HS

  11. Environmental Aspects of HS

  12. Environmental Aspects of HS

  13. Human Security • Example: Israel-Palestine • Human security in Israeli Palestine case is twofold. On the one hand we have Palestinians who have been suffered from Israeli ‘defensive actions’ and on the other hand Israelis who have been suffering from Palestinian attacks against Israeli civilian targets.

  14. Israeli-Palestinian case • Israeli citizens face personal security is in constant jeopardy because of Palestinian terrorist attacks and suicide bombs. On the other hand, as a result of Israeli defensive actions like separation wall, road blocks, check points, lack of access into Israeli parts of the country Palestinians mainly deprive of providing basic needs for their survival and welfare.

  15. Israeli-Palestinian Case • For instance, in some places separation wall cut Palestinian farmers’ access to their lands, their means of livelihood; most of the Palestinian students do not have access for a descent education, patients do not have access to hospitals because of the restriction on movement. Palestinian civilians also suffer from Israeli reprisals for terrorist attacks.

  16. Israeli-Palestinian case • Economic and environmental security threats also exacerbated the human security both for Israelis and Palestinians. Quasi-independent economy of Palestine, which mainly depends on international aid and tax revenues from Israel, is suffering from low levels of employment and high-levels of foreign debt. According to UN two-thirds of Palestinian people lives below poverty line.1 On the other hand, the economic recession of Israel have negative effects on Israeli society’s faith in the State of Israel. Israeli people are also suffering poverty, which is one of the socio-economic concerns of Israel. A total of 1.32 million people, including 618,000 children in a population of 6.5 million live below poverty line.