What is the difference between state security and human security? Essay Example

  • Category:
    Performing Arts
  • Document type:
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:

6State and Human Security


Difference between State and Human Security

(Israel and Palestine case study)

It is evident that the central question behind both state and human security is that of how safe individuals within a country are. It is from this question that most political scientist and analysts are trying to understand the difference between state security and human security. Not only is this difference causes causing alarm to political researchers and analyst but also international bodies, governments, ordinary citizens and non-governmental institution as pert to enlarge safety living to all people. Today, it is evident that most studies in relation to both local and international are skeptical on the differences in state and human security (Suhrke 1999, p.33). This is why it is very essential to provide a broad argument either by using practical and analytical point of view to differentiate on these two types of security. This study will focus on defining the differences existing between state and human security.

Freed from the constraints of cold war there is an entire need of exploring details in relation to differences existing between state and human security. Cold war is widely linked to state security whereby military is expected to protect citizen from outside attacks. A good example of this is that between the cold war between Israel and Palestinians. Here, the two countries had to provide adequate security to the state as part of maintaining their sovereignty (Suhrke 1999, p.30). During the cold war between these two countries, there was entire need to incorporate human security as there was intense air pollution, mass movement of people in search of safety ground and economic deprivation. In both instances human rights plays major role in ensuring that all people are safe from war and other factors that may affect their basic needs.

Firstly, In order to clearly understand the differences between state and human security, it is essential to first use a substantial case study to relate both human and state security. It is essential to define what security is especially in reference to whom it is meant for, its values and by what mean it is effective. Security is defined as the nonexistence of threat to developed values or a low possibility of damaged caused when acquiring values (Suhrke 1999, p45). Unlike in a human security setting, more individual are more verse with the traditional meaning of security which is also state security which is mainly focused towards military in achieving territorial integrity. To begin with, it is evident that most policies, rules and regulation defined in state security are mainly designed as a way to stimulate demands ascribe to a nation as been experienced in the case between Palestine and Israel. Other interests in relation to this security are in subordinate to those of a nation (United Nations Development Program (UNDP) 1994, p.1). It main focus is that of protecting citizens enclosed in a defined territory, its institutions and certain values. Based on human security, it is mainly centered towards people welfare. It focus mainly tends to shift from territorial boundaries to protecting individual at an individual level. The most fundamental element linked to this security is that of well-being of people in response to how this threat affects people basic needs.

Concurrently, another difference that can be discussed between these two securities is based on actors, on state security the nation is the solely actor to ensure it is carried out effectively. Decision making is centralized in government for wide execution of strategies and it rarely involves the general public. It furthers gives an assumption that a sovereign nation in an environment that is anarchical where there is no intention of world to enforce rules (Thomas 2000, p.15). Based on human security, security does not only entail effort given by governments but also non-governmental institution and general public. As the state relies on military action to provide security, human security has incorporated community action to curb threats linked to it. This development and involvement of community created an opportunity that widely captures substantial interest that incorporates military personnel (Watson 1996, p.32). While those in community are reaching to conquer threats linked to humanities, state security is widely involved in ensuring that human toll in war is reduced. Using the case study the difference is that when reflecting on human security, it comprises of many organizations especially those which distribute humanitarian aid. Normally state security is comprises of the specified state security governance where by both the Palestinians and Israeli government protects its citizens from harm.

Practically, the differences existing between state and humanity as portrayed by the Palestinian and Israel case study is mainly exhibited in their scope, actors, means and referent. Based on the scope exhibited by these two securities, state security widely seeks out to guard a nation from external aggressions either from intruders or any countries. Further, it scope explain it as the ability of a nation to deter or avoid a threat on its territorial features thus protecting national integrity (Van Evera 1999, p.13). This can be made more practical by involvement of Israel in ensuring that its territories are safeguarded from Palestinians intrusion. It utilizes deterrence strategies as part to uphold state veracity by way of ensuring that countries territorial boundaries are protected from external threats. Human security expand the main scope through offering protection in broad ranges of threats which includes pollution, diseases , economic deprivation, increased unemployment and urban migration. Here, the differences is portrayed that during this fight aid and food was transported to Palestinian s so as to protect them from hunger and starvation thus provision of human security. It is due to this problem suffered by most people across the globe that human security was required to offer solution to these problems. Human security tends to create a global equilibrium designed to ensure that each and every individual is able to have basic necessities.

Periodically, based on means, state security widely relies on establishing a strong work force between military defense and the nation at large. The common means aligned by this security takes the form of alliances, strategic boundaries and armament of races. On human security, it does not only focus at protecting individual but also it maximally empowers individuals and society as a mean of educating what is entailed in security (Rachel 2000, p.14). People through human security are able to contribute towards implementation of solution based on insecurity. Security here is in term of proper use of environment, promoting economic activities in rural areas to minimize urban migration and coming up with activities that will increase employment especially to youths.

Scholars and policy makers across the globe have come into terms that state security is not enough when protecting individual well fare. Territorial security does not fully ensure that people are safe; there are other threats such as natural disasters, environmental degradation that cannot be address by the military alone (Miller 2001, p.11). In such situation human security take charge so as to define security in a more individual perceptive rather that global one which mainly focus on territorial threat. This argument gives the study of security to shift from one connected to state to that of individual which not only encompasses military action but also the nonmilitary ones.

In conclusion, it is obvious that these two types of securities require each other so as to ensure that people are protected. Although state security is one which is commonly known, today many individual have also realized the importance to engage in human security for their own good. Due to constant threat especially those in relation to terrorism; many governments have realized the need to include their citizen in state security. Involvement is by way of providing information to the state when there is suspicion of external threats. It is therefore very important to differentiate between the two securities so as to define ones participation.


Suhrke, A. 1999. “Human Security and the Interests of States.” Security Dialogue,

vol. 30, no. 3, pp. 265-276.

United Nations Development Program (UNDP). 1994. “Redefining Security: The

Human Dimension.” Current History, vol. 94, pp. 229-236.

Van Evera, S. 1999. Causes of War: Power and the Roots of Conflict. Ithaca: Cornell

Watson, D. 1996. “On Human Security.” Current History, vol. 95, no. 604,

November 1996, pp. 392-394.

Thomas, C. 2000. Global governance, development and human security the challenge of poverty and inequality. London and Sterling, VA: Pluto Press.

Rachel S. 2000. “The Evolving Role of Military Forces in Human Security.”Http:/www.cdi.org/issues/failedstates/april2000.html

Miller, E. 2001. “International Security at Twenty-Five: From One World to Another.” International Security. 26:1. 5-38.

Axworthy, L. 2001. “Human Security and Global Governance: Putting People First.” Global Governance. 7:1. 19-23.