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By M. Glasius

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Extra resources for A Human Security Doctrine for Europe: Project, Principles, Practicalities (Routledge Advances in International Relations and Global Politics)

Example text

A quintessential characteristic of a functioning system is the absence of asymmetric zones of security. As long as privatized zones of security and public zones of insecurity exist, societies cannot be expected to be politically stable or economically viable. The experience of recent centuries teaches that security must be guaranteed by a public monopoly of force and that the commercialization of security creates zones of relative security and insecurity, with a privileged minority enjoying privately provided protection.

On the positive side, women are also often the civil society actors most likely to get organized, either against the violence or simply to get certain basic services running again. In development, it is now commonly accepted that policies targeting women are a good idea not just because women are a marginalized and victimized group but also because they are likely to be effective agents of change. At the same time it has become commonly accepted that they cannot be considered in isolation; the roles of both men and women in particular situations should be considered.

But nation-state structures in some regions have been weak or non-existent for centuries. The Western concepts of nation-building, democratization, and provision of the public goods of ‘security’ and ‘welfare’, are often lacking in crisis-prone societies (Hippler 2003). The process of nation-building is seen as a short-cut to overcoming violent structures. Experience shows that such short-cuts usually fail and that the emphasis on nation-building is too narrow and overlooks cultural and societal structures.

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