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Security for whom?

Anthropologists and repressive state elites

Gustavo Lins Ribeiro

The most important political and ethical issues in North American anthropology today concern anthropologists' relationships with the "security and intelligence communities." The call for anthropological participation in warfare has never been so intense, yet recruitment of anthropologists is not new for hegemonic anthropologies. Their relationships with state power have a long history of contradictory political and professional engagements. After a brief discussion of the notion of national security and its intimate relations to nation-state projects and elites, I consider the importance of culture and anthropological knowledge for politicians and conclude first that anthropologists need to be aware of how the discipline and its uses are part of much larger power relations and constraints, and second that anthropological knowledge is already always political.

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Social security and care after socialism

Reconfigurations of public and private

Rosie Read and Tatjana Thelen

State frameworks for welfare and social security have been subject to processes of privatization, decentralization, and neoliberal reform in many parts of the world. This article explores how these developments might be theorized using anthropological understandings of social security in combination with feminist perspectives on care. In its application to post-1989 socioeconomic transformation in the former socialist region, this perspective overcomes the conceptual inadequacies of the "state withdrawal" model. It also illuminates the nuanced ways in which public and private (as spaces, subjectivities, institutions, moralities, and practices) re-emerge and change in the socialist era as well as today, continually shaping the trajectories and outcomes of reforms to care and social security.

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Oscar A. Gómez

This article analyzes the peripheral role of Latin America in global discussions about human security. The main hypothesis is that proposals for opening security theories and practices to a “human vision” failed to merge with the evolution of security concepts and institutions in the region over the last twenty years. Hence, there is no constructive communication interface between citizen and human security activities that inform security practices in the medium and long term. This article describes two approaches: (a) the slow development of human security concepts that may be somehow useful to the region due to (b) the positioning of citizen security as an alternative security paradigm in Latin America. Following a conceptual and institutional review of these approaches, the article concludes with some proposals to establish a dynamic and effective bridge between these two visions.

Spanish El presente artículo analiza el papel periférico de Latinoamérica en las discusiones mundiales sobre el concepto/enfoque de seguridad humana. La hipótesis de trabajo es que las propuestas para abrir la teoría y práctica de seguridad en la región a la visión humana no han logrado acoplarse a la evolución en las concepciones e instituciones de seguridad durante los últimos veinte años; por tanto, no existe una interface constructiva de comunicación entre lo ciudadano y lo humano que informe el quehacer en seguridad en el mediano y largo plazo. El estudio describe dos hilos conductores: (a) el lento desarrollo de versiones elaboradas del concepto de seguridad humana que resulten útiles a las sociedades de la región, en parte producto de (b) el posicionamiento de la seguridad ciudadana como el paradigma alternativo de seguridad en América Latina. Después de hacer una revisión de estos hilos en lo conceptual e institucional, el artículo cierra con algunas propuestas para establecer un puente más dinámico y efectivo entre las dos visiones.

French Cet article analyse le rôle périphérique de l'Amérique latine dans le débat mondial sur le concept / approche de la sécurité humaine. L'hypothèse de travail est que les propositions visant à ouvrir la théorie et la pratique de la sécurité dans la région à la vision humaine ont échoué à engager l'évolution des concepts et des institutions de sécurité au cours des ces vingt dernières années; par conséquent, il n'existe pas d'interface de communication constructive entre le citoyen et l'activité humaine à informer sur les initiatives de sécurité dans le moyen et long terme. L'étude décrit deux fils conducteurs: (1) la lenteur du développement des versions du concept de sécurité humaine élaborées qui sont utiles aux entreprises dans la région, en partie le produit de (2) la conception de la sécurité « citoyenne » comme un paradigme alternatif de la sécurité en Amérique latine. Après un examen de ces discussions sur le conceptuel et l'institutionnel, l'article se termine par quelques propositions destinées à établir un pont plus dynamique et efficient entre les deux points de vue.

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Des Gasper

“Good governance” may be viewed as governance that effectively promotes human rights, human security and human development. This article discusses human security analysis, which in certain ways offers an integration of these “human” perspectives together with a “social” orientation, by combining a person-focus with systematic investigation of the environing systems of all sorts: physical, cultural, organizational. The importance of such analysis is illustrated through the example of climate change impacts and adaptation. The article presents applications of a human security framework in governance, for policy analysis, planning and evaluation issues in climate change and other fields. The concluding section suggests that human security analysis may provide a way to apply insights from social quality analysis to detailed case investigation and policy analysis, while reducing macro-sociological abstraction and neglect of the natural environment.

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Israeli High Court Rulings on the Security Wall

National and International Effects

Udi Sommer

With the ever-growing significance of international law both domestically and internationally, courts mediate much of the give and take between the international system and the national political arenas, thus acting in settings where global and local are mixed. Such a pivotal position, I argue, lends courts the ability to maximize a twofold utility, which is inextricably linked. First, on the international level, judicial institutions play an increasingly important role and form what is essentially a transnational epistemic community. Second, on the domestic level, courts capitalize on this pivotal position to become increasingly central in the decision-making process, forming alliances with other domestic players and thereby securing the implementation of judicial rulings. A case study of decisions of the Israeli Supreme Court concerning the security fence Israel built around the Occupied Territories is offered as an empirical test for the Court-Pivot Dual Utility Model that I present in this article.

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Fatuma Chege, Lucy Maina, Claudia Mitchell and Margot Rothman

According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (article 27) every child has the right to a standard of living adequate for the realization of her or his physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development. Adequate housing, food and clothing underpin the adequacy of a child’s standard of living. UNICEF estimated nearly ten years ago that one out of every three children, or 640 million children around the world, live in inadequate housing (Bellamy: 2005). Despite this commitment to child rights, little appears to be documented on the safety and security of children with regard to housing generally, and, more specifically, housing in slums or informal settlements: urban growth in the Global South is set to be virtually synonymous with the expansion of slums and informal settlements, and, seven years ago, there were 199 million slum dwellers in Africa alone (Tibajuka 2007). It is impossible, then, to address violence against children and the related issues of child protection, without taking into account the importance of adequate housing, and the significance of what goes on inside houses: the inclusion of the voices of children themselves, currently woefully unheard, is critical.

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Gabriela Kütting

This article reviews the contributions of the two main discourses that study the environment and development in global politics: the human/environmental security discourse and the critical globalization discourse. Both sub-disciplines deal with what is substantively the same subject matter from different perspectives. However, there is hardly any cross-reference between these two dialogues. This article explores the contributions of these two bodies of literature and evaluates their common ground. It argues that with the exception of the traditional environmental security school of thought there is substantial overlap in terms of research concerns. However, it also finds that the language of the critical human/ecological security school of thought hinders rather than helps its research concern.

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Marc Brightman and Vanessa Grotti

Focusing on the region surrounding the Maroni River, which forms the border between Suriname and French Guiana, we examine how relations between different state and non-state social groups are articulated in terms of security. The region is characterised by multiple “borders” and frontiers of various kinds, the state boundary having the features of an interface or contact zone. Several key collectivities meet in this border zone: native Amazonians, tribal Maroon peoples, migrant Brazilian gold prospectors, and metropolitan French state functionaries. We explore the relationships between these different sets of actors and describe how their mutual encounters center on discourses of human and state security, thus challenging the commonly held view of the region as a stateless zone and showing that the “human security” of citizens from the perspective of the state may compete with locally salient ideas or ex- periences of well-being.

Spanish El artículo examina cómo se articulan las relaciones en términos de seguridad entre grupos estatales y no estatales en la región que rodea el Río Maroni (frontera entre la Guyana francesa y Surinam). La región se caracteriza por múltiples “límites” y tipos de fronteras, teniendo así la frontera Estatal características de una zona de contacto o de una interfaz. Importantes comunidades se encuentran en esta zona de frontera: Nativos del Amazonas, comunidades tribales del Maroni, buscadores de oro brasileños y funcionarios estatales franceses. Los autores exploran las relaciones entre estas diferentes redes de actores, y describen la manera en que sus mutuos encuentros se centran en discursos de seguridad humana y del Estado, desafiando así, el tradicional enfoque que sostiene la región como una zona sin Estado y mostrando que la “seguridad humana” desde la perspectiva del Estado puede competir con importantes ideas locales o con experiencias de bienestar.

French En se concentrant sur la région entourant le fleuve Maroni, qui forme la frontière entre le Suriname et la Guyane française, nous examinons comment les relations entre les différents groupes sociaux étatiques et non-étatiques sont articulées en termes de sécurité. La région est caractérisée par de multiples «frontières» et les frontières de toutes sortes, la frontière de l'État ayant les caractéristiques d'une interface ou zone de contact. De nombreuses et importantes collectivités se rencontrent dans cette zone frontalière: Indigènes d'Amazonie, la communauté tribale Maroon, les migrants brésiliens à la recherche de l'or et les fonctionnaires d'Etat de la France métropolitaine. Nous explorons les relations entre ces différents groupes d'acteurs, et décrivons la manière dont leurs rencontres mutuelles sont centrées sur les discours relatifs à la sécurité humaine et l'État, remettant ainsi en cause l'idée communément admise de la région en tant zone apatride et montrant par la même que la «sécurité humaine» des citoyens perçue du point de vue de l'État peut rivaliser avec des idées saillantes au niveau local ou des expériences relatives au bien-être.

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Lauri Siitonen

There is a possible conflict between two current policy guidelines in post-conflict countries, human security, and state rebuilding. This article analyzes how weak statehood and low human security are mutually interlinked in complex ways in the case of post-conflict Nepal. The analysis is based on economic, political, and social data, recent reports by international organizations and NGOs, as well as on statements by major politicians and political parties. A dilemma can be identified in post-conflict Nepal: in order to remedy weak statehood and decrease the level of crime, the presence of the state in the rural areas needs to be enhanced. Yet people feel mistrust toward the police and state administration, which keep many people marginalized. Therefore external actors, particularly the EU, should strengthen their support for democratization of the state while at the same time keeping an eye on the peace process.

Spanish Existe un posible conflicto entre dos orientaciones de las políticas actuales en los países post-conflicto: la seguridad humana y la reconstrucción del Estado. Este artículo analiza cómo la debilidad estatal y la seguridad humana están mutuamente relacionadas entre sí de manera compleja en el caso del post-conflicto en Nepal. El análisis se basa en los datos económicos, políticos y sociales, en los últimos informes de las organizaciones internacionales y no-gubernamentales, así como en las declaraciones de los más importantes políticos y partidos políticos. Es posible identificar un dilema en el Nepal post-conflicto: con el fin de fortalecer al Estado débil y disminuir el nivel de la criminalidad, es preciso mejorar la presencia del Estado en las zonas rurales. Sin embargo, la gente siente desconfianza hacia la policía y la administración estatal, que mantienen a un gran número de personas en la marginalidad. Por lo tanto los actores externos, especialmente la UE, deben fortalecer su apoyo a la democratización del Estado a la vez que deben estar atentos al proceso de paz.

French Il existe une possibilité de conflit entre les deux actuelles lignes directrices en matière de politiques dans les pays en sortie de guerre, à savoir entre la sécurité humaine et la reconstruction de l'État. Cet article analyse comment un état défaillant et une faible sécurité humaine sont reliés mutuellement de façon complexe dans le contexte d'après-guerre au Népal. L'analyse est basée sur des données économiques, politiques et sociales, des rapports récents d'organisations internationales et d'ONG, ainsi que sur les discours des plus importants politiciens et partis politiques. Un dilemme apparaît dans le cas du Népal : afin de renforcer le pouvoir de l'État et de diminuer les taux de criminalité, la présence de l'État doit être accrue dans les milieux ruraux. Or, la population montre une certaine méfiance envers la police et l'administration publique, instances considérées comme responsables de la marginalisation d'une grande partie de la société. C'est pourquoi des acteurs externes, telle l'Union Européenne, devraient renforcer leur aide à la démocratisation de l'État et surveiller en même temps le processus de paix.

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Colette Mazzucelli

The 2011 Libya campaign highlighted the divergence of interests between France and Germany within the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in matters of Middle East and global security. This divergence calls for a reassessment of the meaning of their bilateral cooperation, as defined in the Treaty of Friendship between France and Germany, otherwise known as the Élysée Treaty, signed on 22 January 1963 by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer and President Charles de Gaulle. This article focuses on France, which engaged militarily in Libya cooperating with the United Kingdom as its principal European partner. Germany, for reasons explained by its history, political culture, and the nature of its federal system, chose to abstain in the United Nations vote to authorize the campaign. These differences between France and Germany suggest a contrast in their respective security and, particularly defense, policy objectives on the fiftieth anniversary of the Élysée Treaty.