State Security, Societal Security, and Human Security

Date01 June 2017
Published date01 June 2017
DOI10.1177/0973598417706591
Subject MatterArticles
Article
1
Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Sulaimani, Kurdistan of
Iraq, Sulaymaniyah city, Iraq.
Corresponding author:
Hawre Hasan Hama, Department of Politics and International Relations, University of
Sulaimani, Kurdistan of Iraq, Sulaymaniyah city 46001, Iraq.
E-mail: hawrehasan87@gmail.com
State Security,
Societal Security,
and Human Security
Hawre Hasan Hama1
Abstract
Generally speaking, the traditional approach of security mainly regards
states as a sole referent object of security and refutes any attempt
to broaden the concept of security. This understanding is known as
a realist approach. This approach, however, has been recently chal-
lenged by the Copenhagen School, the Welsh School, and the human
security approach. The Copenhagen School assumes that there is now
a duality of security: state security and societal security. However, both
the Welsh School and the human security school look at individuals
as a sole referent object of security. This article critically reviews the
traditional approaches of security, the Copenhagen School, the Welsh
School, and the human security approach. This article finally argues
that the Copenhagen School could successfully broaden the concept
of security, and therefore, it is more convincing when compared to
other schools.
Keywords
Security, state security, societal security, human security
Article
Jadavpur Journal of
International Relations
21(1) 1–19
2017 Jadavpur University
SAGE Publications
sagepub.in/home.nav
DOI: 10.1177/0973598417706591
http://jnr.sagepub.com
2 Jadavpur Journal of International Relations 21(1)
Introduction
Traditionally, security has been thought of in terms of security of states
from military attacks by other states. This is a realistic approach which
views states as the sole referent object of security and rejects any
broader concepts of security. This approach, however, has been strongly
challenged by more recent schools of thought, namely The Copen-
hagen School, the Welsh School, and the human security approach.
The Copenhagen School assumes duality of security: state security and
societal security. The Welsh School and the human security approach,
on the other hand, regard individuals as the referent objects of security,
with states being viewed as the means to serve such ends. This study
will argue the case for the Copenhagen School. First, realism is unable
to draw a comprehensive picture of current security issues; in many
parts of the world today threats against states are internal rather than
external, and state security is not the only consideration. Meanwhile,
the Welsh School is a normative theory of security that lacks a realistic
basis. Finally, the human security approach is flawed because its adher-
ents disagree about what constitutes human rights, whilst humanitarian
intervention is not an appropriate mechanism to protect human rights.
The Copenhagen School, however, could contribute significantly to
security studies by considering both the state and societal security, and
thereby explaining recent internal conflicts around the world.
This article consists of four sections. The first section discusses the
traditional approach to security. The second section looks at the main
concepts of the Copenhagen School. The third section deals with the
Welsh School, and the final section concentrates on the human security
approach.
Traditional Approach (Realism)
The Realist School had been making a great contribution in security
studies from the beginning of the World War II to the end of the Cold
War. This school, however, has been challenged by many schools of
thoughts after the end of the Cold War on the ground that realism has no
place for security studies any longer because it does not fit in the contem-
porary changes and challenges. Despite these arguments, the adherents
of the realism claim that the school is still relevant in dealing with the
security issues because realists believe that globalization does not change

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