Human security as a critique of international law

McClean, E. 2008. Human security as a critique of international law. Annual Conference of the British International Studies Association. Exeter University 15 - 17 Dec 2008

TitleHuman security as a critique of international law
AuthorsMcClean, E.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Human security has been propelled onto the international stage in recent times having been championed by the United Nations (UN), other international and regional organisations such as the European Union and the African Union, along with states as a viable policy agenda by which to address issues as disparate as child soldiers, HIV/AIDS, ethnic conflict and poverty. The UN has been a particularly strong advocate of human security and indeed endorsed the entitlement of all individuals to freedom from fear and want at the 2005 World Summit. Academics, hailing from diverse disciplines, have also joined in the cacophony of voices clamouring around human security. Yet, while commentary in other disciplines, notably international relations and critical security studies in particular, has burgeoned, human security has largely failed to ignite the interest of international legal scholars and indeed remains outside international law. This paper directly engages with the silence of international law in respect of human security – in doctrine and discourse – in an attempt to situate human security in relation to international law. In particular, by drawing an analogy with autopoiesis, the paper argues that human security is best placed outside international law as it operates best as a critique of the boundaries and assumptions of international law.

KeywordsHuman security, international law, autopoiesis
Year2008
ConferenceAnnual Conference of the British International Studies Association
Publication dates
Completed2008

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