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KINT 5015 - Human Security

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Spring 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies


Familiarity with Security and/or Development studies preferred.

Course Description

The course will introduce students to a broader, alternative, conception of “security,” one which concerns not only states and the international system, but also people in their everyday lives. As such, it is an inter-disciplinary course that will examine conceptual and practical debates around security, development and human rights. It will examine what the analytical and policy implications would be of looking at contemporary security threats from an individual perspective. The course will cover the applications of the concept by international organizations in debates about interventions and by states as a foreign policy tool; as well as measurements, both qualitative and quantitative, and complex indicators. It will employ concrete examples, case studies, and interactive exercises in order to contextualize the approaches and tools, and highlight linkages between theory and practice.


TADJBAKHSH, Shahrbanou (Chercheur associé)

Pedagogical format

The class is interactive and students are expected to contribute to discussions with their examples from the readings and from their experiences and opinions. Slides will be provided for each session and then put on the share drive for students after the class.

Course validation

This course will be an interactive seminar. Students are expected to do the readings before the sessions in order to participate actively and fully. Requirements include: • 1) A 10-15 page analytical paper that includes on a human security topic of the student's choice (chosen with the instructors), which will discuss how the specific problem can be framed as a Human Security problem and how the Human Security approach can propose a policy solution. • 2) A 15 minute oral presentation of the papers during the final class. • 3) Active participation in debates; and discussions based on readings. Individualized feedback will be given to the students through email and skype throughout the year.


The course will meet 6 times per semester for 4 hours each time, with a break in between after 2 hours. There will be some reading for the sessions that will be posted at the beginning of the semester, aimed at feeding the debates and discussions among students. Skimming through the readings is a requirement. The last class (Session 6) will be devoted to student oral presentations in groups and peer feedback.

Required reading

The main textbook for this course is Tadjbakhsh, Shahrbanou, and Anuradha M. Chenoy. 2007. Human Security: Concepts and implications. London: Routledge. It can be ordered through Amazon. The relevant chapters are copied and put on the class gmail groups with other books

Plans de cours et bibliographies

Session 1: Introduction to Human Security (4 h)

Readings :

  • Tadjbakhsh, Shahrbanou , Human Security Twenty Years On, Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center Paper, Oslo: Norway, 26 June 2014
  • UNDP. Human Development Report 1994 – New Dimensions of Human Security. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994. Chapter 2, pp. 22-40

Session 2: Human Security at the Intersection between Human Development, Human Rights and Traditional Security (4h)

Readings :

  • Commission on Human Security, Human Security Now: Final Report, New York: CHS,  2003. Read chapter 5
  • Moller, Bjorn. “National, Societal and Human Security” in UNESCO, What Agenda for the Human Security in the 21st Century?, 2001, p 41-60
  • Sen, Amartya. 1999. Development as Freedom. New York: Random House. Read Chapter 2
  • Tadjbakhsh S. and A. Chenoy, Human Security Concepts and Implications, London: Routledge, 2007.  Read Chapter 3
  • Tadjbakhsh, Shahrbanou, “Human Security”, Human Development Insights,  Issue Number 17, UNDP HDR Networks February 2008

Session 3: Human Security as tool for policy and programming in international organizations (4 h)

Readings :

  • Carafano James Jay, and Janice A. Smith, 2006. “The Muddled Notion of “Human Security” at the U.N.: A Guide for U.S. Policymakers” Backgrounder, No. 1966, The Heritage Foundation, September, 2006
  • International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty. The Responsibility to Protect. Report of the Commission. International Development Research Center. Canada. 2001.  Read synopsis only
  • Tadjbakhsh, Shahrbanou  “ Human Security In International Organizations: Blessing or Scourge?”, The Human Security Journal, Volume 4, Summer 2007
  • Tadjbakhsh, Shahrbanou, ‘Human Security Beyond Responsibility To Protect”, Revista Española de Desarrollo y Cooperación, No. 26, Vol 2, 2010,  pp. 13-37
  • UN General Assembly Report A/62/695, Human security-related initiatives and activities by United Nations agencies, funds and programmes, 2008

Session 4: Using the HS approach to develop programs and policies  (4 h)

Readings :

  • Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), HSU Unit, Handbook on Human Security, Human Security In Theory And Practice, New York; 2010
  • Tadjbakhsh for the HSU Unit, Report of the Nairobi Regional Training Workshop on Human Security, 2010

Session 5: Measurements and Indicators (4 h)

Readings :

  • Bajpai, Kanti. “Human Security: Concept and Measurement” The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame, Occasional Paper #19 (August 2000) 24 pages
  • Eldering, M, “ Measuring Human (In-)Security”, Human Security Perspectives, Volume 7 Issue 1, 2010
  • Tadjbakhsh, Shahrbanou, “Measuring a Human Security Index? Introductory Thoughts and Literature Review”, Working Paper, 2005, updated 2010

Session 6: Final student presentations of final papers (4 h)

  • No reading

Biographical Information

Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh is a leading expert in human security and has been teaching a specialization on Human Security at Sciences Po since 2003, most lately at the Master’s of Public Affairs (2006-2016) and at the Summer School (since 2015). She is the author of numerous books and articles on human security and is also an expert on radicalization and counter terrorism and human development, with area based knowledge on Afghanistan and Central Asia,. With over two decades of experience with the United Nations, Professor Tadjbakhsh has played an essential role as part of the Human Security Unit of the United Nations, where she has worked to develop a manual for human security practitioners and conducted numerous trainings for UN staff and the government. Since 2010  Dr Tadjbakhsh has worked as an expert for the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia, focusing on implementing the Global UN Counter Terrorism Strategy among the countries of Central Asia.
She has also served since 2010 as a Research Associate with the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and recently published a book on regional security complexes around Afghanistan. She is author of A Rock Between Hard Places : Afghanistan as an Arena of Regional Insecurity (with Kristian P. Harpviken), (Hurst and Oxford University Press, 2016 ) and Human Security: Concepts and Implications (with Anuradha Chenoy) (Routledge, 2007) and editor of the book Rethinking the Liberal Peace: External Models and Local Alternatives (Routledge 2011). She has taught at Columbia University and has been a visiting professor or researcher at universities in Kabul, New Delhi, Pretoria, Moscow and Dushanbe. Between 1993 and 2003, she worked at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).