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Governance of Human Security



This seminar aims to critically examine relevant actors and institutional arrangements as well as complex structures that deal with “human security” concerns on the global agenda; together with security discourses and policies. Human security governance in this course denotes the humanitarian rules, regimes, mechanisms and processes to govern a number of human security issues by a variety of actors. We will first explore the contending definitions of human security and discuss insights provided by different theoretical approaches. We will then discuss the roots of human rights and evolution of humanitarian norms, and analyze the role of several actors such as states, international and regional arrangements, and NGOs in the governance of human security. We will finally examine the processes of the human security governance such as setting standards, monitoring and enforcing humanitarian norms.

Course objectives

After successful completion of this course, students are expected to:

  • understand the major concepts of and theoretical approaches to the governance of human security;

  • grasp the ways in which humanitarian issues are securitized

  • think analytically and critically on the topic of human security

  • have a good understanding of human security governance practices

  • analyze/examine/critically review the different roles played by a variety of actors in human security

  • understand and engage in the complex debates about human insecurity

  • reflect on the challenges and prospects of governance of human security;

  • find, evaluate and critically analyse relevant academic literature and other documents relating to governance and human security;

  • develop skills of presentation and group communication techniques.

Mode of instruction

Interactive seminars build around specific ‘session questions’, input by the lecturer, small group exercises, and case studies presented by the students.

Assessment method

Student assessments will be based on in-class participation, presentation of a case study and two essays.
Each student’s work in the course will be assessed on the basis of four components:

  • Participation (15%: 7.5% class participation and 7.5% class discussant)

  • A group presentation (15%);

  • A response paper (30%);

  • An essay (40%).

Reading list

Readings will be a mixture of book chapters and journal articles. A syllabus with the reading list will be made available through Brightspace in time.


See 'Practical Information'

This seminar is earmarked for the specializations NECD and IP


See 'MyTimetable'