The Human Security Approach in Conflict Prevention and Peacebuilding

In an interconnected world, security must be seen as a global public good. The state-centric notion of security, which emphasises the territorial integrity of the state and the role of military force, falls short in addressing the different dimensions of security in the life of individual human beings. State-centric security policies tend to take a top-down approach that fails to address issues that ultimately affect civilians’ perceived sense of safety, peace and justice in the long term. There is a growing consensus about the need for a more holistic approach, based on a better understanding of what individuals and communities need in order to feel safe and secure. By recognising the structural causes of conflicts in terms of social, economic and political exclusion, grievances and inequalities, the human security approach requires analysing root causes, mapping existing local capacities for peace, and designing coordinated strategies for civil society and governmental preventive action as part of a long-term commitment to peace.

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