This DU course explores debates, concepts, and issues surrounding the topic of human security. Human security provides an alternative framework to the traditional, state-centric approach of “national” security. National security makes sense to the extent that people who live in safe states will have more opportunities to flourish. But what if the state itself makes its citizens insecure? What if citizens do not feel represented or protected by their state? And what about transnational threats and other dangers that the state is not in the best position to secure against? Human security was designed to be a more inclusive paradigm that incorporates economic, environmental, and social concerns such as poverty, climate change, crime, and disease in addition to the traditional focus on conflict and political violence. Its precise definition and scope remain contested, but it provides a useful lens on many modern threats and security challenges.
Students in this course have worked in small groups to research a human security issue of their choice. The only guidelines were that this issue had to touch on one of the central tenets of human security and have implications at both the local level (Denver, Colorado, and/or USA) as well as at the international level.