Securing the human: A critique of human security and The Responsibility to Protect




Wilson, Rhéa Nadine

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This thesis examines the discourse on human security, in particular the 2001 report by the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, The Responsibility to Protect. I contend that the human of human security is deeply indebted to an account of the modern subject that is also responsible for producing the model of the citizen/state relationship to which human security is conceived of as a response. Human security reaffirms the appropriateness of the sovereign state while at the same time re-conceiving sovereignty as responsibility and empowering certain international actors to intervene in sovereign states should they fail to act responsibly. Like the citizen, the ostensibly universal category of the human is produced through the exclusion or dehumanization of some ways of being human and some human beings. However, I also consider the ways in which human security works to humanize its subjects, producing the kinds of humans that can be secured.



human security, humanitarian intervention, The Responsibility to Protect