Non-Governmental Organizations in Human Security in the Context of (Neo)Liberal Order

  • Nik Hynek
Keywords: Human security, humanitarian disarmament, Foucault, neo-liberalism


The presented analysis critically investigates the role of non-governmental rganizations (NGOs) in the area of human security, specifically in humanitarian disarmament. he objective of the first half is to map the existing discourse on NGOs in this area. After an utline of the characteristics of the field, what follows is an empirical analysis of the discourse n the campaign to ban landmines in its much celebrated role of a model of humanitarian isarmament. The second half has a rebuttal of the belief in the emancipatory role of NGOs in his issue area as its main aim. Foucault's theorization and conceptualization of the development f liberalism and neo-liberalism serve as the basis for this task. The provided interpretation rests n three arguments. First, the notion of newness and lack of precedents regarding the role of GOs in this area is flawed. Empirical material that deals with 19th Century liberally-based ampaigns for humanitarian disarmament will be used to support this claim. Second, the image f soft power as allegedly characterizing the relationship between NGOs and governments in this rea is challenged. In order to correct such a portrayal, characteristics of the recent neo-liberal, isciplinary regime in which NGOs have had to operate are provided. Finally, the commonly eld idea that one needs to study the accompanying processes at the global level is rectified. As a esult, it is argued that microprocesses within domestic institutional settings and the move from he domestic transformations of the non-profit sector in Canada to the global desecuritization of uman security also need to be examined.

Author Biography

Nik Hynek



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