Some Humans Are More Human than Others: Troubling the ‘Human’ in Human Security from a Critical Feminist Perspective

Citation:

Marhia, N. 2013. "Some Humans Are More Human than Others: Troubling the 'Human' in Human Security from a Critical Feminist Perspective." Security Dialogue 44 (1): 19--35. doi: 10.1177/0967010612470293.

Author: Natasha Marhia

Abstract:

This article develops critical feminist engagement with human security by interrogating the taken-for-granted category of the 'human' therein. Failure to reflectively deconstruct this category has contributed to human security's reproduction of dominant norms and the emptiness of its apparent radical promise. The article shows how the 'human' has historically been constructed as an exclusionary - and fundamentally gendered - category, and examines its construction in human security discourse and the capabilities approach in which the latter is rooted, as well as its discursive effects. The article troubles the model of the autonomous, rational human subject who is the bearer of capabilities, which human security inherits from the liberal humanist tradition of thought, and which obscures the matrices of power through which individuals become socially differentiated. It then considers the implication of human security in demarcating differences as 'morally relevant', including its instrumentalization in the 'war on terror'.

Keywords: gender, human security, feminist theory, capabilities, Subjectivity, critical theory

Topics: Feminisms, Gender, Security, Human Security

Year: 2013

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