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Security Through Development


Anuradha Chenoy

HUMAN DEVELOPMENT IN SOUTH ASIA 2005: HUMAN SECURITY IN SOUTH ASIA
By Mahbub-ul-Haq Human Development Centre, Islamabad
Mahbub-ul-Haq Human Development Centre, Islamabad, 2006, pp. 218, Rs. 450.00

THE NO-NONSENSE GUIDE TO MINORITY RIGHTS IN SOUTH ASIA
Edited by Rita Manchanda
South Asia Forum for Human Rights, Kathmandu, 2006, pp. 132, price not stated.

VOLUME XXXI NUMBER 3 March 2007

The expansion of the definition of human security by the great economist Mahbub ul Haq as ‘security of people, not just territory; security of individuals, not just nations; security through development, not through arms; and security of all people everywhere—in their homes, in their jobs, in their streets, in their communities, in their environments’ appears simple, indisputable and self-evident. Yet, security as understood and executed by most states remains trapped in the traditional paradigm of state security that focuses on the state and trickles down to the citizens. Yet, ask any individual how secure they are and one is likely to get an uneven array of answers on the different kinds of insecurities they suffer. Human security addresses this subjective condition and is concerned with the security of individuals whereever they are. The idea of human security extends from the human development approach evolved by Amartya Sen and Haq that argued that the best strategy to increase national income is not to accumulate capital but to develop people.   The traditional conception of security is being challenged by many people’s movements, some international organizations, NGOs and individuals, and even some states that use the human security approach to provide the alternate conception of security. This task is not easy since it challenges the very nature of state power itself. Yet, it is an urgent and critical task since its success is linked to the very survival of the vast majority of people. It is therefore welcome and logical that the Mahbub ul Haq Human Development Centre has for its annual South Asia Report for 2005 carried forward the message of its founder for the year’s annual reporting.   The report takes up key areas of human security in South Asia namely the issue of conflicts: economic security, health security, environmental security, security of women, children and the issue of democratic governance. This array covers almost all of the seven issues that the UNDP connects with human security, and the report relates these to conflict and militarization in the South Asian region. The increasing militarization of South Asia, evident from the adoption of nuclear weapons and technology by India and Pakistan, as deterrents are effectively challenged by this report. The spiralling military expenditure is related to the cost of social expenditure. This exercise is not new but continues to be relevant. However, the examples that are cited are from the 1997 UNDP ...


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