Human Security and International Law
The Role of the United Nations
By Emma McClean
Routledge – 2015 – 208 pages
This book evaluates how far the UN has embraced human security as a policy agenda and explores its relevance for international law.
The extent to which the UN has embraced human security as a viable policy agenda has implications and consequences for international law, such as the challenge to basal precepts including the principle of non-intervention. Equally, determining the relevance of human security for international law speaks to the extent to which the UN operates as a norm giver and, ultimately, a law-giver in the international landscape. Thus, the study is situated within a broader assessment of the interaction between the UN and international law. Drawing on International Relations theories, especially critical security studies, and on trends in international law and constitutionalism, amongst others, the book addresses the following questions:
There is a clear dissonance between the rhetoric and reality of human security as seen by the fact that as the UN endorsed human security at the 2005 World Summit, the African Union was convening the sixth round of peace talks on the crisis in Darfur. The disjuncture between word and deed exposes a fundamental question as to the role of the UN and law in the international landscape. In short, the book resides at the intersection between idealism and realism and ultimately offers a prognosis of the capacity of the UN – normative, including international law, operational and institutional – to pursue a human security policy agenda.
This interdisciplinary book will be of much interest to students of human security, international law, critical security, human rights and IR in general.
Introduction 1. Mapping Human Security 2. We the Peoples: Human Security in Historical Perspective 3. Towards a Life in Larger Freedom: Human Security and the UN 4. Securing Humanity: A Role for UN Human Rights Law 5. Human Security, Intervention and the Responsibility to Protect 6. Human Security, the Rule of Law and the UN Institutional Architecture. Conclusion: Towards a UN Human Security Framework? Bibliography
Emma McClean is a lecturer at the Law School of the University of Westminster, and has a PhD from the University of Hull.