The twin conceptions of Human Security.


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(a)Freedom from want

Original proponents.

Development economists,Mahbub ul Haq, Amartya Sen.

Main stimulus.

Dissatisfaction over orthodox growth-oriented development models; guns versus butter concerns.

Types of threats addressed.

Non-military and non-traditional security concerns:poverty, environmental degradation,disease etc.

Main policy goal.

Promoting human development, defined as ‘building human capabilities- the range of things that people can do, and what they can be… The most basic capabilities for human development are leading a long and healthy life, being educated and having adequate resources for a decent standard of leaving…[and] social and political participation in society’. These capabilities are undermined by poverty, disease and ill-health,illiteracy, discrimination, threat of violent conflict, and denial of political and civil liberties.

(b)Freedom from fear.

Original proponents.

Western governments (Canada,Norway).

Main stimulus.

End of the cold war; rise of complex emergencies;ethnic strife, state failure, humanitarian intervention.

Types of threats addressed.

Armed conflicts, violence against individuals.

Main policy goal.

Protecting people in conflict zones; reducing the human costs of conflict through a ban on landmines and child soldiers etc;protecting human rights; developing peace building mechanisms.

(Amitav Acharya;Chapter 29 in Globalization of World Politics)


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