Review Essay - The New Politics of Human Security

The Ultimate Weapon is No Weapon: Human Security and the New Rules of War and Peace by Shannon Beebe and Mary Kaldor. New York: Public Affairs, 2010. 256 pp., £15.99 paperback, 978 1586488239

The concept of human security was first proposed in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Report 1994. The person behind this idea, Dr Mahbub-ul-Haq, wanted to initiate a change in the thinking about security within the UN system. The UN Security Council (UNSC) focused on inter-state security while the lower-profile Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) debated economic and social issues. Dr Mahbub-ul-Haq wanted the notion of security to cover all of those areas that Human Development was concerned with as well as military security – a concept that has since developed as human security, and which is at the core of this new book by Shannon Beebe and Mary Kaldor.

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