Development, Security and the Contested Usefulness of Human Security: A Human (In-)Security Index
For more than a decade human security conceptualisations have been presented and discussed in international academic and political fora. The analytical usefulness of the notion of human security and its political appropriateness are frequently criticized, however. Our paper explores both aspects. In the first part, we critically discuss main features of the idea of human security and introduce the reader to the main critique regarding the conceptual usefulness of the idea. In the second part, we reflect on the contested development-security-nexus and present a helpful conceptual framework based on ideas of Pauline Kerr. Thus, having provided the basis for our conceptual thinking we go one step further. In the third part we introduce a way of measuring human (in-)security and present data for 2006. In sum, we argue that human security as a political idea and as a concept remains highly relevant. As political leitmotif, human security is significantly and constructively used and applied in political processes despite or because of its analytical ambiguity. Furthermore, we argue that the notion of human security can be operationalized and used notably through a multidimensional human (in-)security index.
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