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Globalization, Human Security, and the African Experience

Caroline Thomas and Peter Wilkin, editors
ISBN: 978-1-55587-699-9
1999/216 pages/LC: 98-35595
Critical Security Studies
“Addresses the interplay of complex forces that affect human security and presents a pioneering effort to understand factors of growing importance to students of international relations.”—William G. Thom, African Studies Review

“[A] readable and a timely contribution on human security, and democracy, both globally and in Africa.”—Seyoum Hameso, African Studies Quarterly

“A remarkably interesting collection of essays.... The book hosts some brilliant and thought-provoking articles that conclude that globalization is not nearly the threat to human security that governments in developing countries are.”—Doug Brooks, South African Journal of International Affairs

“The stark message from this persuasive collection of essays is that human security in all its manifestations is actually endangered in Africa by a globalizing economic system that only exacerbates latent inequalities.”—Edward Moxon-Browne, Political Studies

“A coherent and worthwhile volume, which brings together a wide variety of critical views about the current crisis  in so many parts of Africa.... Vigorous and lively, it will make an important contribution to the debate.”—James Mayall


The globalization of world politics affects issues rarely considered in traditional security studies. This book explores the interrelationships of those issues in critical security terms, drawing on the African experience.

The authors provide a mixture of theory and case studies distinguished by thorough cross-referencing. The introduction to the book establishes the context of the security debate; it sets out the relationship between globalization and security and explores the challenges posed to the realization of security, defined holistically, by the processes of globalization. Subsequent chapters focus on class, community, gender, justice, and race—concepts central to the elaboration of the new security, but too often neglected. The case studies in Part 2 empirically explore these same conceptual issues, and the final chapter presents an overview of the African experience.


The late Caroline Thomas was professor of global politics at Southampton University. Her numerous publications include In Search of Security: The Third World in International Relations (Rienner). Peter Wilkin is reader in media communication at Brunel University. He is coeditor, with Caroline Thomas, of Globalisation and the South.


  • Introduction—C. Thomas.
  • Human Security and Class in a Global Economy—P. Wilkin.
  • Feminist Perspectives on Security in a Global Economy—J.A. Tickner.
  • Security and Community in a Globalizing World—J.A. Scholte.
  • Justice and Security—A. Ray.
  • Security in the Senegal River Basin—A. Guest.
  • Human Security and Economic Genocide in Rwanda—M. Chossudovsky.
  • The Horn of Africa: Security in the New World Order—M. Salih.
  • Security and State-Society Crises in Sierra Leone and Liberia—M. Sessay.
  • African Security: The Erosion of the State and Decline of Race as a Basis for Human Relations—A. Mazrui.