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Human Insecurity

Human Insecurity

David Roberts


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Book Details


Human Insecurity is concerned with our refusal to confront the millions of avoidable deaths of women and children each year. Those missing millions are rarely the subject of conventional security studies, yet such avoidable deaths are a vital part of the notion of 'security' more broadly understood. The book argues that such deaths are caused by the man-made structures of neoliberalism and 'andrarchy' and argues that the debate on human security can be reinvigorated by looking at the unarmed, civilian role in causing the deaths of millions of innocent people; from child deaths from preventable disease to honour killings. David Roberts claims that by facing up to this relationship between social structures and massive avoidable human suffering we can create another system less prone to global violence. This book is a powerful intervention in the debate on human security and an urgent call to face up to our responsibilities to the millions killed needlessly each year.
'David Roberts makes a powerful plea for rethinking the notion of security. In the process, he not only lays siege to the intellectual structure of 'realism' but makes the compelling empirical case that until and when the world deals with the increasingly large gap between the few haves and the many have nots, it will remain a deeply disturbed place. A book that will hopefully provoke others - possibly even policy-makers - to reassess their views on the key questions facing the international system in the early part of the 21st century.' Michael Cox, London School of Economics and Political Science 'Roberts' work offers a careful and comprehensive re-reading of the contemporary security literature and offers us tragic, shocking, and ultimately avoidable, examples of the threats, fear and violence which affect humanity on a daily basis. As Roberts states more attention needs to be paid to 'why' such acts of violence occur on such a vast scale. This book makes an invaluable contribution to helping us answer that question.' Pauline Eadie, University of Nottingham 'Roberts has brought organized scholarship to a field of study in global politics, which deserves much attention. The principle contribution of this book comes from the detailed and wonderful explanation of the underlying causes of human security both in the developing as well as underdeveloped nations' 'This project entails a ray of hope for change, reconstruction, and above all, for peace.' Journal of Global Change and Governance
David Roberts is a lecturer in the School of History and International Affairs at the University of Ulster. He has previously published Power, Elitism and Democracy: Political Transition in Cambodia 1991-1999 (2000) and over thirty articles on human security; statebuilding; democratisation and Cambodia.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Contents v
Tables and figures vi
Acknowledgements viii
Abbreviations ix
ONE | Introduction 1
TWO | Thinking about security and violence 12
The beginning of the academic debate in the West 13
Early alternative thinking 13
Human security 14
What is violence? 17
Structural violence and structures of violence 18
The UN Development Programme (UNDP) and human security 23
Making a good idea work? 25
Conclusion 30
THREE | Global human insecurity 31
Infanticide 32
Avoidable deaths in children under five (U5MR) 38
Maternal mortality 43
Intimate murder 46
‘Honour’ killings 49
Dowry murder 57
Fatal female genital mutilation (FGM) 61
Structural femicide? 65
Conclusion 66
FOUR | Institutions, the U5MR, infanticide and maternal mortality 69
Neoliberal financial institutions and global inequality 70
Institutions, social welfare and human insecurity 73
IFIs, the market and international social policy 74
Institutions, maternal and under-five mortality 77
Infanticide 79
Institutions and infanticide 81
Sexing institutions, gendering infanticide 82
Conclusion 85
FIVE | Institutions and intimate murder 88
Intimate murder: changeable social or permanent biological origins? 88
Relationships as possession and control environments 92
Domestic murder 96
Belief/‘honour’ killings 97
Dowry murders 99
Linking intimate murder, institutions and human insecurity 101
Conclusion 102
SIX | Human and realist security 105
Human insecurity and anti-state violence 105
Neoliberal adjustment and violent public responses 108
Relative deprivation and direct violence 111
State failure and direct violence 112
Conclusion 115
SEVEN | International institutions 117
International Financial Institutions and human insecurity 117
Contemporary external challenges to IFIs 119
Institutional challenge from within 122
Recognizing dogma and challenging intellectual legitimacy 125
Intellectual challenge 127
Direct Control Violence and institutional reform 129
Institutions and change 130
‘Are women less than men?’ 131
Conclusion 134
EIGHT | Andrarchy and neoliberalism 136
Realism and structure 136
Alternative structures 138
Andrarchy and neoliberalism 139
Binary global structures: the symbiosis of andrarchy and neoliberalism 151
Andrarchy, neoliberalism and human insecurity 152
Conclusion 157
NINE | Global structures 159
Critical feminist challenges 159
Male superiority, female inferiority? Some origins of gender inequality 163
The continuing asymmetry of gender and its meaning for human security 166
Social constructivism as a critique of realism 169
Conclusion 177
TEN | Conclusion 179
Bibliography 186
Index 202