DV434      Half Unit
Human Security

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Mary Kaldor

Dr Iavor Rangelov


This course is available on the MSc in African Development, MSc in Conflict Studies, MSc in Development Management, MSc in Development Studies, MSc in Global Politics, MSc in International Development and Humanitarian Emergencies and MSc in International Migration and Public Policy. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

No more than 5 students, per academic year, can be accepted from programmes other than the listed programmes. Capped at 30 students, first come, first served in order of priority.

Course content

This inter-disciplinary course will introduce students to the concept of human security. Human security refers to the security of individuals and communities as opposed to the security of the state. It combines physical security and material security; freedom from fear and freedom from want. The course will introduce students to the debates about the concept and its relevance in the contemporary era. It will combine political, military, legal and economic approaches to human security implementation. The course will cover topics including:; intellectual foundations and debates over the concept of human security; new and old wars; persistent conflict; just war thinking and whether it can be applied to human security; international humanitarian law and human rights law; humanitarian intervention and the Responsibility to Protect; international capabilities for human security; counterinsurgency, stabilisation, and statebuilding; transitional justice.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures in the ST.

One Day Conference where group projects will be presented to peers and invited external experts

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to undertake class essays, class presentations, and a case study based group project. Students will receive feedback on all of these.

Indicative reading

Mary Kaldor, New and Old Wars: Organised Violence in a Global Era, Polity Press, 3rd edition 200612; Shannon Beebe and Mary Kaldor, The Ultimate Weapon is no Weapon: Human Security and the New Rules of War and Peace, Public Affairs, 2010; Christine Chinkin and Mary Kaldor,  New Wars and International Law, Cambridge University Press 2017; Ruti Teitel, Humanity's Law, Oxford University Press, 2011; Marlies Glasius and Mary Kaldor, eds, A Human Security Doctrine for Europe, Routledge, 2005; World Development Report 2011: Conflict, Security, and Development, World Bank, 2011; Human Security Report 2005, University of British Columbia, 2005; Human Security Now: Report of the Commission on Human Security, Co-Chairs S Ogata and A Sen, United Nations, 2003; A Human Security Doctrine for Europe: From Hybrid Peace to Human Security: Rethinking EU Startagey Towards Connflicct The Berlin Report of the Human Security Group 2016; G. Evans, M. Sahnoun, et al., The Responsibility to Protect: Final Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty, Ottawa, 2001; Independent International Commission on Kosovo, The Kosovo Report, Oxford University Press, 2001.

Assigned reading will be given for each session.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2012/13 - 2014/15 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 11.5
Merit 78.7
Pass 8.2
Fail 1.6

Key facts

Department: International Development

Total students 2015/16: Unavailable

Average class size 2015/16: Unavailable

Controlled access 2015/16: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information