Human rights, human development and human security form increasingly important, partly interconnected, partly competitive and misunderstood ethical and policy discourses. Each tries to humanize a pre-existing and unavoidable major discourse of everyday life, policy and politics; each has emerged within the United Nations world; each relies implicitly on a conceptualisation of human need; each has specific strengths. Yet mutual communication, understanding and co-operation are deficient, especially between human rights and the other discourses. The paper tries to identify respective strengths, weaknesses, and potential complementarity. It suggests that human security discourse may offer a working alliance between humanized discourses of rights, development and need.

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Keywords human development, human needs, human rights, human security
Publisher Erasmus University Rotterdam
Persistent URL
Gasper, D.R.. (2007). Human rights, human needs, human development, human security: relationships between four international 'human' discourses.. ISS Working Paper Series / General Series. Erasmus University Rotterdam. Retrieved from