Human Security as a Strategic Narrative: Some Excellent Audio Files

February 11, 2009

One of the great challenges of our course (and for the field of human security) is to figure out how to effectively conceptualize human security.   In the course readings, you will read a variety of perspectives on how best to do that (including my own), but at the end of the day you will have to come to your own conclusions on how to best define human security (in fact this is a large part of your final assignment) based on your reactions to these works and your judgment on the success of human security practice.

To help you with that task, I would strongly recommend listening to this audio link from a 2006 Lecture at Brown University on “Human Security as a New Strategic Narrative” given by Prof. Mary Kaldor (38 minutes). Kaldor has been a prolific defender of human security and is one of the primary authors behind the push for the European Union to embrace human security as its primary strategic doctrine.

By the way, NPR’s “Fresh Air” has a recent podcast interviewing Washington Post military correspondent Tom Ricks (Feb 10, 2009) (30+ minutes), where Ricks attributes much of the recent tactical success in Iraq to the embracing of a counterinsurgency approach by the US military that focused on protecting civilians even at the expense of military casualties.  For me, this was an excellent example of why employing “human security as a strategic narrative” makes sense from a military as well as a humanitarian perspective.  I wonder if US General Petraeus calls himself a human security advocate?

Cheers for now.

— LMC

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