Human security is a key element in the measure of well-being, and a hot topic in anthropology and development studies. A World of Insecurity outlines a new approach to the subject. The contributors expose a contradiction at the heart of conventional accounts of what constitutes human security, namely that without taking non-material considerations such as religion, ethnicity and gender into account, discussions of human security, academically and in practical terms, are incomplete, inconclusive and deeply flawed. A variety of compelling case studies indicate that, in fact, material security alone cannot adequately explain or fully account for human activity in a range of different settings, and exposed to a variety of different threats. This forceful book will expand and deepen the entire concept of human security, in the process endowing it with political relevance. It is an essential read for students of development studies and anthropology.
Thomas Hylland Eriksen is Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Oslo and currently President of the European Association of Social Anthropologists (EASA). He is the author of numerous books, including Ethnicity and Nationalism, A History of Anthropology, Small Places, Large Issues, Tyranny of the Moment, What is Anthropology? and Fredrik Barth, all available from Pluto Press. Ellen Bal is a Lecturer in Anthropology at Free University of Amsterdam and the author of They Ask if we Eat Frogs: Garo Ethnicity in Bangladesh (2007). Oscar Salemink is Professor of Anthropology and Head of Department in the Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology, Free University of Amsterdam, and is the author of The Ethnography of Vietnam's Central Highlanders: A Historical Contextualization, 1850-1990 (2003).