Human Security and Development in Cambodia

Peter Thomas Quinn

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    Human security was promoted in 1994 by the UNDP as a concept embracing not only freedom from war and violence (or personal security), but also embracing individual's basic needs for (and rights to) economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, community security and political security. Following this formulation, the concept has been subject to considerable scrutiny particularly in the context of state centric security studies. Extending the concept of security beyond the state to the individual appeared problematic, especially as the mechanisms designed to maintain and restore world peace are state based. However, the post-cold war environment has required a renewed interest in conflict resolution and in this context, human security as personal security has achieved political and analytical acceptance, particularly in the UN sponsored Human Security Report. What then of the second dimension of human security as freedom from want expressed by the UNDP in terms of basic needs and rights? Debate on this aspect of the UNDP definition foundered on several fronts. As well as being outside the traditional security framework, many argued that it was too broad to be analytically useful; others that it added nothing to human rights and human development which appeared to address precisely the same issues. Thus, while the concept of human security has found acceptance by those advocating with humanitarian approaches to conflict resolution and prevention, few have addressed the actual relationship, if any, between human security and development at the local level where people are most vulnerable to insecurity and where human security or its absence is most felt. This thesis addresses this gap through a study of human security in Cambodia, where people have experienced, at different times, the full range of human insecurities detailed by the UNDP. It shows that the human insecurity of Cambodians has been in large part a consequence of the security policies and military engagements of external powers. Human security and international relations are inextricably linked.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationMainstreaming Human Security: Asian Perspectives
    Editors Chantana Banpasirichote, Philippe Doneys, Mike Hayes and Chandan Sengupta
    Place of PublicationThailand
    PublisherChula Global Network/International Development Studies Program/Chulalongkorn University
    ISBN (Print)9786165514736
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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