Human security: A global responsibility to protect and provide

Ian Holliday, Brendan Howe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


For the past 15 years, the concept of human security has been promoted as a significant extension of traditional security studies. However, while human security has been present and visible in academic and practitioner discourse, it is yet truly to capture the imagination of specialists. Partly this is a result of the belligerent direction global politics has taken in the new millennium. Partly, however, it results from conceptual inadequacies internal to the notion itself. This article confronts the latter problem. It first examines the emergence of human security within the wider security studies literature, homes in on debates about human security, and draws important parallels between development and human security. It then builds on this to restate human security as freedom from fear and freedom from want, and to demonstrate how this conceptualization can be understood as a dual responsibility initially to protect and subsequently to provide. It finally considers whether a responsibility to intervene is generated by this approach. The brief conclusion summarizes the argument that this conceptualization generates a fresh way forward for human security studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-91
Number of pages19
JournalKorean Journal of Defense Analysis
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2011


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