The Institute for Human Security

The Institute for Human Security was created in 2000. It promotes cutting-edge research and education at the intersection between humanitarianism, development, human rights, and conflict resolution.

Throughout the world, people seek to promote social change. They do so through thousands of local and international non-governmental organizations as well as bilateral and international agencies which are active in the fields of humanitarianism, development, human rights, and conflict resolution. Traditionally, practitioners and researchers have tended to specialize in only one of these fields; funding streams also usually are separate.

Yet progress made in one field without attention to the others is sub-optimal at best and often unsustainable, since people who live in situations of deprivation and social exclusion often face all these conditions simultaneously. Practitioners and researchers everywhere now urgently seek to gain insights about the overlaps and interactions between these fields, train staff who are able to collaborate with people from other areas of expertise, and develop strategies that cut across traditional professional borders.

The notion of "human security” brings together the concerns and practices that deal with the many faces of, and close relations between, freedom from fear and freedom from want. Under this rubric fall a broad variety of issues and trends, but they all share a desire to cross boundaries between fields of social change until now usually treated separately, and a strong ultimate focus on the inclusive well-being of all human beings.

The Institute is resolutely interdisciplinary and operational. It integrates economics, politics, law, nutrition and health, and all other perspectives it needs. All of its activities make a fundamental choice in favor of crossing academic and professional barriers in order to promote sustainable social change.

The Institute collaborates closely with the Feinstein International Center at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.