Thursday, August 02, 2007

UNESCO Human Security Report

J. Peter Burgess, in collaboration with an international research team, has published UNESCO’s most recent report from its series on human security in a global setting: Promoting Human Security: Ethical, Normative and Educational Frameworks in Western Europe. The report seeks to identify the various domains of ordinary life in Western Europe are made vulnerable to threat in our time.

Fear, threat and insecurity, the fundamental categories of the human security complex are based on experience, perceptions, memory, emotions. They do not obey a logic of material well-being or physical threat. The scope of human insecurity in Western Europe must therefore include both the most materially determined insecurities and proceed to the most imaginary. It begins with the most basic economic issues: income, spending and wealth, inquiring into the vulnerabilities to which these expose us. It then turns to the insecurities provoked by the effects of immigration and cultural alienation. It focuses on the insecurities caused by imminent health threats, before turning to the visible and invisible threats to the environment. Finally, it addresses the challenges of liberty, both physical and political, the original domain of the state, supplanted by the European Union.

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