- Understand that human security is informed by a plurality of ideas; some of them contradict each other to various extents. Particular situations call for particular compromises.
- Acknowledge that around the world, diverse philosophical perspectives on security developed over time. Globalisation has brought them into contact with each other, which often causes conflict.
- Recognise the relationship between human security and human rights is contested; many authors argue convincingly that the latter is necessary, but not sufficient, for the former.
- Realise that while the security needs popularised by Abraham Maslow may bear universal significance across cultures, the hierarchy in which they are commonly presented does not.
- Understand that a considerable portion of the values underlying human security are culturally contingent, question how far can this relativism be extended before it becomes unjust.
- Discern between freedom of religion and freedom from religion, when they are practised in tandem, enhance human security. When either is practiced in isolation from the other, it threatens human security.
Malcolm Brown and Richard Gehrmann
Many conflicting perspectives in the study of human security are derived from a dichotomy of ‘the West’ and ‘the rest’, which is expressed in many ways: Western and Eastern cultures; the developed world and the developing world; the North and the South; modern and traditional values; secularisation and religiosity; egalitarian and hierarchical polities. This chapter explores the strengths and weaknesses of these dichotomies in the light of human security concerns and paradigms. It focuses on the global contributions of religion to both human security and human insecurity, and on the relationship between human security and human rights.