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Democratic Security

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Chapter Summary

In recent years, the story of contemporary political philosophy, as well as a fair measure of the practice of international development politics, has involved the convergence of liberal and democratic values. This chapter first discusses the important conceptual shift from a discourse centered on national security to one centered on human security a shift that transforms the locus of normative concern from state to subject, and opens the field of legitimacy from a sovereignty-based conception to a rights-based conception. It then discusses the constitutive and instrumental contributions of democracy to human security. Next, the chapter challenges the yoking of democracy to security, looking at the ways in which themes and values associated with democracy can present obstacles to human security. Finally, it explains the need to see democracy, and democratic institutions, as values with a significant but nonetheless delimited role to play in a broader conception of legitimacy.

Keywords: democratic institutions; human security; legitimacy; national security



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