What is the Impact of Inequality on Human Security

The resultant vacuum was and continues to be, filled by a variety of new theoretical approaches. The most important break from the past has been the expansion of the idea of security from its traditional military understanding to more human and critical directions. For advocates of human security, a concept canonically elaborated in the 1994 Human Development Report (UNDP 1994) the state is no longer the primary referent object. Instead, it is the individual who is taken as the basic referent of security:Human security…encourage[s] policymakers and scholars to think about international security as something more than the military defense of state interests and territory. Although definitions of human security vary, most formulations emphasize the welfare of ordinary people. (Paris 2001: 87)Human insecurities may arise due to a variety of factors, ranging from societal insecurity, migration, environmental degradation and climate change, water and resource scarcity, energy security, organized crime (trafficking in humans, narcotics, and arms), health insecurity and various inequalities within society, including political persecution or denial of basic human rights by a repressive regime, to lack of access to critical services such as education and healthcare (Burgess 2007). The purpose of this paper is to explore this last factor: the implications of societal inequality, conceived primarily in economic terms, on the agenda of human security.In recent years, Richard Wilkinson has produced some of the seminal work on the area relating inequality and security (1996. 2005). his main argument remains that various kinds of social inequalities detract from social cohesion, leading to conditions of human insecurity. Specifically, Wilkinson – and epidemiologist by profession – deals with the subject of health and retains that the structure of social relations determinespeoples’ health.In essence, Wilkinson maintains that higher the income inequality within a society, the poorer is its overall health.