Security, Governance and Development Nexus

Researcher: Sirkku Hellsten
Project started in 2015

In the recent academic and political discussions on global justice and development, more and more emphasis has been given to the concept of ‘human security’. This is crucial, as there can be no sustainable development without peace and social harmony. However, peace cannot last without individuals, communities and nations agreeing on certain shared principles of justice that set criteria for just external interventions and regionally or nationally guarantee the legitimacy of political authority and fair distribution of resources. Without any such principles, the impact of any aid, interference or cooperation is short lived and the long-term result is political chaos, violence and lasting instability (as we have seen happening in Iraq, Somalia and Afghanistan). However, in order to find such shared impartial principles we need to work with both individual agents of change as well as with institutional structures; local, national and international.

Thus, despite the increased realization of this vital link between human security and development, the literature in this field has not provided a comprehensive approach that brings together the complex theoretical and practical elements of the issues of global justice, development ethics, and security. On the one hand, great deal of philosophical/analytical work has been rather abstract theoretical argumentation on the justifiability and applicability of the methodological framework of ‘social contract’ as the basis of liberal democracy, as well as its alternatives. On the other hand, there have been a high number of very directly practice-oriented peace and conflict as well as development case-studies that often are seen to show that circumstances across the world in relation to poverty, conflict and development are fundamentally different and that looking for any common universally guiding principles of justice may turn out to be a futile exercise. This research attempts to overcome this gap by studying the existing European and African ideologies and philosophies in relation to political practice and analyse their adjustment to the global ideological trends and changing power relations.

To the top