This book examines the idea of human security and its influence in global politics since the end of the Cold War. The essence of the human security idea is a normative plea for international policy to prioritize the safety of people and their communities, as opposed to focusing only on the security of states and the stability of regions. Specifically, human security proponents argue that new international measures should be put in place to reduce the human costs of war. The book assesses the idea's influence by analyzing the extent to which this set of priorities have been acted upon by international public policymakers, and the degree to which these initiatives have actually enhanced the safety of people living in war-affected regions. The core of the book focuses on three specific campaigns: the international ban on anti-personnel landmines, the prohibition on the use of child soldiers and international efforts to address the problem of conflict diamonds.
These three cases are emblematic of the human security approach since they involve a critique of traditional security policy, prioritize the safety and security of individuals, are pursued through multilateral processes aimed at creating new international norms and mechanisms, and seek to alter the behaviour of both states and non-state actors.
1. Origins of the International Humanitarian System 2. Mercy and Manipulation in the Cold War 3. The Globalization of Humanitarianism: From the End of the Cold War to the Global War on Terror 4. States as Responders and Donors 5. International Organizations 6. NGOs and Private Action 7. Our Brave New World, a Better Future?