The Failure of the Security Paradigm in Syria:
The human security perspective
The Finnish Institute of International Affairs
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Few would dispute the assertion that human security has
failed in Syria. Authoritarian regimes in the Arab world have had
well-documented deficits in human security emerging from coercive internal
politics, a lack of respect for human rights such as freedom of expression, and
limited freedom from fear and want.
of human security has developed mainly within the domain of UN development
policy, but it has also made headway in security policy, being advocated as one
approach in international crisis management and peacekeeping. Less
attention has been paid to its adaptability in forming the basis for the
internal security policy of any given state.
argument of this paper is that human security principles can be the
cornerstones of state security, potentially preventing, mitigating, and
remedying security issues within a state that could lead to societal upheaval.
argument is presented by outlining some major developments in the history of
modern Syria up to its present state of civil war. The paper shows that
the security paradigm exercised in Syria has led to a double failure in which
human insecurity has resulted in turmoil for ordinary people and has shattered
the authoritarian governance. The
paper suggests that the rebuilding of security sectors must be based on the
principles of human security, not only in Syria but also in the Arab world at