State vs. Human Security, Free Essay from Our Database

Published: 2022-03-22
State vs. Human Security, Free Essay from Our Database
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Homeland security
Pages: 6
Wordcount: 1395 words
12 min read

Q1. Compare And Contrast Traditional Views Of State Security, With Those Of Human Security.

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State security also known as international security is defined as a state's national interest to ensure security within its borders in line with the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia which requires states to have international demarcated boundaries which are recognized by other states. These boundaries are referred to as sovereign because they are inviolable. This understanding has been modified over the years to include security for vulnerable groups such as women, children, and the press. It has also allowed states to deploy their military in cases that lead to unrest or threaten their internal peace. The only contradiction is found in the International Court of Justice charter that claims that the court is not authorized to declare whether the use of nuclear weapons during self-defense is legal.

Human security, on the other hand, refers to the provision of security to individuals by different bodies, for example, the state. The idea of human security goes beyond safety within boundaries, to the safety of individuals in case of attack through various institutions.

Different scholars have proposed that human security should protect individuals from fear and offer them freedom. With state security, human beings are guaranteed of survival, but with human security, they are assured of both survival and a decent life with dignity.

Q2. Describe the Varying Levels of Analysis And Policy Tools Prescribed, As Well As The Different International Relations Theorists Or Schools Of Thought Associated With Each Approach.

State Security Argument

Scholars have argued that state security is the most important because it accords human survival and therefore human security is guaranteed. These scholars believe that the state is only entitled to provide security within its borders, protecting the state from external aggressors (Cottey 2013, 21). The school of thought concerned with state security is the realist school of thought which was propagated by scholars like Hobbes, Rousseau, and Thucydides. These scholars advocate for solid investment and allocation of a state's resources towards improvement and perfection of the international security. When national security has been ensured, the state will not be required to provide human security since it is already covered.

Another realist scholar, Hans Morgenthau have argued that international security can be achieved by balancing of power between states rather than guarding the state's territory and borders. He says that the security of a country is threatened when it becomes more powerful than other states. A balance of power means that a state's security matches that of her neighbors so that none of them feel threatened by the other. It means that states promote each other's interests and therefore security is guaranteed. Jean Jacques Rousseau wrote that conflicts are a result of inequality and power imbalance and therefore states should strive to acquire equality. These realists argue for the state's society, states that are sovereign and whose boundaries are internationally recognized. When all states experience perfect security, it is only then that international relations are possible.

Human Security Argument

Other international relations and security scholars argue that human security should go beyond border protection to improve the dignity of human life. They claim that the state and other international stakeholders should ensure that the needs of individuals are catered for and that they do not face suffering, for example, poverty, in their day-to-day activities. This type of security is therefore centered on the comfort of human life. These scholars have argued that state security is a result of human security. The United Nation's Development Programme (UNDP) was the first agent to define the concept of human security. In their report, they gave seven threats that affect human security. These threats are; food security, personal, health, economic, environmental, political and community security. To wrap up the components of human security, they included the freedom from the wants which means the right to basic needs and freedom from fear which implies removal of threats of human life (United Nations Trust Fund for Human Security 2012, 5).

These liberalist school of thought argues that when humanity in a country is not secure, no peace will prevail. They will cause a disturbance, and the state will be chaotic, and its security will be threatened. These scholars focus on some issues that may cause human chaos and therefore endanger the state security (Quadrennial Defense Rewiew 2014, 12). First, they look at the basic needs of individuals. For them, when people cannot meet their daily basic needs, even though there is security from external threats, there is a likelihood of conflict. They argue that hungry people are not at peace. People who have no shelter and clothing can never be at peace. They, therefore, recommend that the state should prioritize human security which will, in turn, lead to state security. The human security argument is highly supported by international non-governmental and humanitarian organizations which are concerned with people's welfare. The school of thought associated with human security is the liberalist school of thought which was proposed by Immanuel Kant. This school of thought focuses on the freedom and rights of individuals.

State vs. Human Security Debate

State security scholars have criticized human security claiming that it is too much to ask from the state agencies. They have argued that human security is too broad and should be narrowed because the state can only provide freedom from fear and physical attacks, which goes back to state security. They question the idea of human security because its supporters still claim that it is the responsibility of the state to provide the security. They argue that the state cannot handle the dual role of providing security against external threats and also the claimed human security. The state is usually the sole provider of security, and therefore it cannot handle the role of human security.

Q3. Describe Specific Examples Of Instances In Which These Approaches Are At Odds, And Any Examples In Which They Can Work In Tandem.

National and human security should work hand in hand for the good of citizens. This can be accomplished when there are no radicals to either state or human security being the more important. I believe that human security should be looked into because, in the real world, insecurity is caused by human beings who are unable to cater to their needs and therefore rob others to meet their demands. What the presence of immorality leads to is insecurity and can be attributed to some few individuals who were not privileged to get a good education and who engage in immorality like theft, robbery, and prostitution to earn their daily bread and satisfy their needs. From my point of view, states have failed and cannot be relied on to provide human security. In fact, in some cases, the state and the institutions therein are the threats to human security. This is evident in the developing countries faced with intra-state and inter-state wars and intervention of state security agencies only worsen the conditions. They brutalize the civilians especially women and children more than saving them. States should be left to provide the state security while more local humanitarian organizations should be formed to offer human security. The two should be viewed as complementary elements towards the attainment of general security. NGOs should complement government efforts and reinforce it where possible. The two should adopt a structured bargaining agreement whereby NGOs should work to achieve human security while the state towards national security and the efforts lead to total security.

All in all, there has been a collision of ideas in the debate over whether state security matters more than human security and vice versa. Different scholars have presented their arguments together with the evidence as to why they support either. Although the underlying purpose for each of the two approaches is to provide security, the respective scholars still believe that the approach they support works better. When the human scholars claim that the state must provide human security, the two concepts collide, and the state security scholars defend their position that the state cannot handle dual roles. Although the state is right about the importance and provision of national security, it should also recognize the need for human security to avoid internal conflicts that can magnify to destabilize the state. There is need to synthesize the two extreme positions so that they work in harmony as opposed to competing with each other.

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