Edited by Michael R. Redclift and Marco Grasso
Chapter 2: Elements and value-added of a human security approach in the study of climate change
To present climate change as an issue of human security means to focus on the impacts and implications in the lives of ordinary people, not only in the agendas of armies, states or national economies. It means, for example, looking at life expectancies and patterns of nutrition, morbidity and mortality, not only at whether stressed populations might explode into armed conflict—the extreme ‘Darfur’ scenario. That sort of scenario and such preoccupations often reflect traditional state-centred and military-focused concerns more than person-focused ones. That poor people in most cases seem to lack the organization, cohesion or resources to initiate armed conflict does not mean that their plight is not an issue of—human—security. As part of a humanist perspective, the human security approach means looking at more also than aggregates of monetized economic variables, but rather at the contents, objective and subjective, of the lives of all of the people—at their ‘doings’ and ‘beings’, the constraints that they face, the real opportunities that they have, or lack, and the meanings that they experience—not only at the parts and the persons that are counted in money terms.
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