2/2006 Content

81 (2006) 2: Debate: The Human Security Report and its Critics

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Mapping UN Presence. A Follow-Up to the Human Security Report
Manuel Fröhlich / Maria Bütof / Jan Lemanski

One of the most prominent findings of the 2005 Human Security Report (HSR) was the sharp decline in the number of intrastate conflicts since the beginning of the 1990s that the HSR associated with an ‘upsurge of international activism’. The article wants to elaborate further on this interrelation by introducing the concept of ‘UN presence’ and linking it to conflict prevalence. This perspective reveals two observations: While the increase in peacekeeping operations surely represents the most obvious form of UN engagement, it can not easily explain the decrease in intrastate conflicts. In addition to the Blue Helmets, the Special Representatives of the Secretary-General emerge as a relevant form of UN presence not only engaged in peacekeeping but also in prevention, mediation, peacemaking and peacebuilding.

Conflict Suppression instead of Conflict Resolution?
Michael Brzoska

The recent reduction in the incidence of warfare is impressive. However, it will not necessarily prove a lasting success. While the international community of troop contributors and development donors has become better in preventing and stopping armed conflicts, this has not been repeated in the area of post-conflict peace-maintenance. A number of factors are responsible for these disappointing results, including the behaviour of external actors in post-conflict societies. Most importantly, however, creating lasting peace following conflicts has proven time and again to be difficult and costly. So far, the international community has shown only limited willingness to address the discrepancy between its success in ending wars and its failure in building lasting peace.

Freedom from Fear, not Freedom from Violent Death
Oliver Jütersonke / Rolf Stephan Schwarz

This short critique outlines some of the main points of contention arising from the recently published Human Security Report 2005. It is argued that the optimistic picture painted by the report is misleading, as the notion of “freedom from fear” goes beyond a measurement of conflict-related deaths as the prime indicator for levels of human (in)security. Instead, the value-added of human security lies in furthering our understanding of post-conflict peacebuilding, of the link between security and (human) development, and of the requirements for responsible collective action by the international community.

The Human Security Report: New facts, new myths?
Hans J. Gießmann

While the Human Security Report aims to rectify „conventional myths“ of the course of global war occurrences, this essay criticizes that especially the statistically founded judgments of the HSR add not only a number of correct insights, but also new myths. Unfortunately, the world has not become more peaceful. Rather the appearance of force during war has changed. Neither has the number of fatalities from war decreased, but rather the number of killed combatants within a war’s defined time frame. Sociological case studies as well as the analysis of currently dominating war types lead to the conclusion that, partly due to more diffuse borders between a state of peace and that of war, linear comparisons within a long time-line are faulty and traditional statistical
methods of evaluating war and victims of war are to be rethought.

Fewer Wars? Doubting the Optimism of the Human Security Report
Lotta Mayer

The Human Security Report 2005 notes a significant decrease in the number of wars since 1992. However, the data compiled by the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research contradict this claim; they do not display such a clear trend. These discrepancies are due to different methodologies: The quantitative definition of war used by the HSR tends to underestimate the actual number of wars. Nor can one draw conclusions from the number of wars alone, as such figures say nothing about conflicts which may soon develop into wars in the near future.


International Law and Asymmetric Warfare. Responses to Christian Tomuschat and Michael Wolffsohn

Asymmetry and the Law of Armed Conflict. Lessons of the Summer War of 2006
Herfried Münkler

In the Background: the Aporia of Modern International Law
Sibylle Tönnies

Challenges to International and Constitutional Law in response to 9 / 11
Dieter Wiefelspütz

Self-Defense, Laws of War, and Human Rights
Jordan J. Paust

„Land for Peace“ – why it failed
Berthold Meyer

Critiques of The Summer War in the Middle East
Martin Beck

Can Law Regulate Asymmetric Warfare?
Daniel Kramer


Eighty Years Ago: Locarno Conference and Locarno Treaties Revisited
Norman Weiß

The author describes the aftermath of the Versailles Peace Treaty and its legal implications which led to Franco-German approach encouraged by the British government and to the Locarno conference later on. The present article sketches the political interests of the main powers. Germany was not yet a member to the League of Nations and could not benefit from the system of collective security established under the League. Thus, such a regional system was established in Locarno, which was linked to the Geneva system, especially after Germany joined the League in 1926. The Locarno system eventually failed in 1935 during the Abessinian crisis.