Critical Human Security Studies Essay

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Critical human security studies EDWARD NEWMAN Abstract. From a critical security studies perspective – and non-traditional security studies more broadly – is the concept of human security something which should be taken seriously? Does human security have anything significant to o ff er security studies? Both human security and critical security studies challenge the state-centric orthodoxy of conventional international security, based upon military defence of territory against ‘external’ threats. Both also challenge neorealist scholarship, and involve broadening and deepening the security agenda. Yet critical security studies have not engaged substantively with human security as a distinct approach to non-traditional security. This article explores the relation- ship between human security and critical security studies and considers why human security arguments – which privilege the individual as the referent of security analysis and seek to directly influence policy in this regard – have not made a significant impact in critical security studies. The article suggests a number of ways in which critical and human security studies might engage. In particular, it suggests that human security scholarship must go beyond its (mostly) uncritical conceptual underpinnings if it is to make a lasting impact upon security studies, and this might be envisioned as Critical Human Security Studies (CHSS). Introduction This article will explore why critical and non-traditional security studies have largely shunned human security ideas. 1 In particular, the contributions of human security may already be subsumed within critical security studies, and thus may be superfluous as a distinct field of study. In addition, the policy orientation of human security – and its adoption as a
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