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International Law and the Concept of Human Security

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Chapter Summary

In the years following the cold war there have been many attempts to reconceptualise security. One product of these attempts is the concept of 'human security'. This chapter shares some of the findings of research undertaken to fill this gap and specifically explores the ways in which this new way of thinking about security might relate to the norms and principles of international law. It examines some of the implications of rethinking security for international law, with a particular focus on international law's response to conflict. A human security approach to small arms and light weapons entails giving primacy to the impact of these weapons on affected individuals. Examining international law through the lens of human security should not be understood as an alternative intended to displace other established approaches, such as human rights or humanitarian approaches to conflict and other issues.

Keywords: cold war; human security; international law



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