Handbook of International Security and Development
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Handbook of International Security and Development

Edited by Paul Jackson

The Handbook of International Security and Development provides a survey of current thinking within the field of security and development. With a wide range of chapters that offer a guide to the core approaches, methods and issues, this book explores the links between the two and includes contributions from both practitioners and academics. With topics ranging from the politics of aid by remote control through to intervention and the re-establishment of security and demobilisation of combatants, this Handbook provides a comprehensive introduction to the literature and approaches used in the field of security and development.
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Chapter 3: The securitization of development

Cai Wilkinson


In his foreword to the High-level Panel Report on Threats, Challenges and Change, A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility, then-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan observed that ‘development and security are inextricably linked’ (UN 2004: viii). At first glance, the not inconsiderable body of literature and policy documents that has amassed over the last two decades and especially post-9/11 referring to a so-called security-development nexus would appear to lend weight to Annan’s claim, yet as Chandler (2007: 366) points out, in actual fact research suggests that ‘assumptions about the links between development and security are based on very little empirical evidence of causation’. Furthermore, as Stern and …jendal (2010: 7) note, ‘beyond a recognition of the meshing of processes and domains commonly understood as “security” and “development”’, there is no common definition of what exactly the ‘security-development nexus’ is. In addition to being problematic for policy making and practice, this lack of a common definition also means, as Chandler (2007: 368) argues, that the notion of a security-development nexus ‘sets up a framework where any external regulatory or interventionist initiative can be talked up by the proposing government or institution as being of vital importance’. In other words, the ‘nexus’ has the potential to facilitate the securitization of development, whereby ‘security’ is invoked as a justification for the pursuit of particular development initiatives or approaches even at the cost of other considerations such as good governance, the protection of human rights, and sustainability.

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