This seminal work is the first fully to engage human security with power in the international system. It presents global governance not as impartial institutionalism, but as the calculated mismanagement of life, directing biopolitical neoliberal ideology through global networks, undermining the human security of millions. The book responds to recent critiques of the human security concept as incoherent by identifying and prioritizing transnational human populations facing life-ending contingencies en mass. Furthermore, it proposes a realignment of World Bank practices towards mobilizing indigenous provision of water and sanitation in areas with the highest rates of avoidable child mortality.
Roberts demonstrates that mainstream IR's nihilistic domination of security thinking is directly responsible for blocking the realization of greater human security for countless people worldwide, whilst its assumptions and attendant policies perpetuate the dystopia its proponents claim is inevitable. Yet this book presents a viable means of achieving a form of human security so far denied to the most vulnerable people in the world.
David Roberts is Senior Lecturer in International Politics at the University of Ulster. He is the Convenor and Chair of the British International Studies Association Human Security Working Group, external examiner with the Royal University of Phnom Penh and the University of Coventry, and Visiting Research Fellow at the Centre for Governance and International Affairs, University of Bristol. He has published a previous monograph Human Insecurity (Zed 2008) and another on postconflict democratization in Cambodia, and will publish in 2010 a monograph critiquing Liberal peacebuilding in developing societies that proposes an alternative 'everyday lives' approach to the postconflict challenge which invigorates positive peace through structural and institutional reforms to the Liberal Project. He has published more than 30 other chapters and articles in peer reviewed outlets on human security and peacebuilding.
Introduction 1. Humanizing Security? 2. Global Governance or Global Hegemony? 3. A New 'Nebuleuse'? 4. Neoliberalism, Water and Sanitation 5. Social Reconstruction and World Bank Policy 6. Norms and Change Conclusion