Global Governance and Human Security


Author: Mary Kaldor

In the 1990s, optimism surrounded global governance as the UN and regional bodies like the EU and AU expanded their roles, contributing to peace agreements and multilateral peacekeeping, reducing violence. However, the UN’s failures in Rwanda and Bosnia eroded trust. Unilateral actions and geopolitical tensions further limited multilateralism.

For international organizations to wield real authority, they need political, not just formal legitimacy, with a focus on human security. Human security, encompassing economic, environmental, and traditional security dimensions, is foundational. Shifting military roles from warfighting to people protection, community policing, and upholding human rights is crucial. This transition could transform states into components of a global governance system. With ongoing crises worldwide, exploring human security’s potential in navigating dangers is imperative.

This chapter traces human security’s evolution, critiques, and its resurgence, including in national militaries and NATO.

This chapter will be available in February 2024 in the book, ‘Global Governance and International Cooperation: Managing Global Catastrophic Risks in the 21st Century’.