Download PDF by S. Neil MacFarlane: Human Security And the UN: A Critical History (United

By S. Neil MacFarlane

How did the person individual turn into the focal point of the modern discourse on protection? What used to be the function of the United international locations in "securing" the person? What are the payoffs and prices of this extension of the idea that? Neil MacFarlane and Yuen Foong Khong take on those questions by way of examining old and modern debates approximately what's to be secured. From Westphalia in the course of the nineteenth century, the state’s declare to be the item of safety was once sustainable since it provided its topics a few degree of safety. The state’s skill to supply safeguard for its electorate got here lower than heavy pressure within the twentieth century because of technological, strategic, and ideological ideas. by way of the top of global struggle II, efforts to reclaim the safety rights of people amassed speed, as visible within the common announcement of Human Rights and a bunch of United international locations covenants and conventions. MacFarlane and Khong spotlight the UN’s paintings in selling human safety rules because the Nineteen Forties, giving specified emphasis to its position in extending the suggestion of safety to incorporate improvement, financial, environmental, and different matters within the 1990s.

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Yet it is not immediately clear why that should be so, and much of the more recent literature on security contests this focus. Alternative candidates include the individual, the group (class or ethnic), the region, the international system (as in “threats to international peace and security”), and the globe. 42 Beyond this, there was, and is, considerable dispute over the substantive content of security. Most would agree that military affairs are intrinsically linked to the notion of security. However, there is good reason to argue that economics are central to security even as traditionally conceived, since the ability to generate and sustain military power depends on the economic capacity of the unit attempting to do so.

Like their Christian counterparts, Islamic writers held that political leadership enjoyed divine sanction. In this respect, rule did not need to be justified in terms of benefits (such as protection) enjoyed by subjects of the polity. ”37 This did not mean that the caliph was unconstrained. The role of the caliph was recognized to be protecting (and expanding) the Islamic state, maintaining the peace within it, and securing the welfare of Muslims. Moreover, as just noted, he could not require a subject to disobey God.

The Structure of the Book The analysis that follows is divided into seven chapters. In the first part of the book, Chapter 1 examines the historical roots of the concept of security Introduction 15 and the increasing focus of security discourse on the state and nation at the expense of the individual. It highlights the fact that the tension between the security of the individual and that of the state has been a long-standing artifact of international relations and domestic politics and stresses that the Westphalian privileging of the state is a product of a particular historical context (the consolidation of the nation-state and the ideological hegemony of nationalism) rather than a natural state of affairs.

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