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Human Security and Africa-US Relations

By Caroline Thomas; Southampton University, UK

New Patterns of Strategic Encounter: US- Africa Relations in an Era of Globalization UCLA Globalization Research Center- Africa

Friday 30th April 2004
6275 Bunche Hall

African Human Security and US – Africa Relations*

*Working Draft Paper: not for citation


The paper offers a critical account of the place of African human security in US-Africa relations. It argues that, rhetoric aside, human security hardly figures in official US relations with Africa, though it is an important aspect of non-governmental relations. It suggests why this is so and how change might occur.

The paper falls broadly into two parts. It begins at a conceptual level, by exploring what is meant by human security, as this remains very much a contested concept. It stresses the interdependent nature of the two aspects of human security- freedom from want and freedom from fear- and the interdependent nature of security across the globe in this era of globalization. It makes the link with the right to development, and explores the US position on this.

In the second part the paper embeds this understanding of human security within the current African context. An account is offered of the contribution of the US to enhancing and/or undermining African human security. It is suggested that this requires us to go beyond an analysis of specific, recent US initiatives (e.g. AGOA, Millennium Challenge Account, Aids initiative, military training; investment in oil production; counter terrorism) and examine at a more fundamental level the broader US contribution to setting the globalization agenda, to shaping the global development discourse and influencing the nature of global governance. Thus these broad, inter-related challenges to African human security are identified and explored: the current form of globalization, which denies fair opportunities for Africa and African people; the related dominant development discourse, which substitutes neoliberal economics for development policy; and the nature of global governance, which denies Africa a voice in global decision-making. (These can all be seen playing out in relation to the AIDs crisis). Within this broad context we can interpret the particular US stance on the impediments to development in Africa-which the US government identifies as largely internal, rather than structural/external or a combination of both- and thus understand the underlying US position on human security.

Finally the paper outlines how the situation may change. At a global level, solidarity is increasing; civil society rejection of the dominant development discourse is growing. Developing countries are operating together more effectively in the global political arena, as evidenced at Cancun. Looking forward, a change in government in the US could occur, which will offer the potential to shift the US position on broad issues of multilateralism. US foreign policy has always contained elements of geopolitics, economic interest and humanitarianism, and balance between these could shift again in a manner more supportive of human security in Africa. Developments in the broader global environment will have an impact.

Globalization and Human SecurityWhat do we mean by Human Security?

For those of us attending this conference, the meaning of human security probably seems perfectly clear. People matter. However, it is worth pausing to explore the concept, because it continues to cause some controversy both amongst scholars and diplomats, and it is under-theorised to date. We cannot take its significance or usefulness for granted. Not only do various people at very different points on the political and analytical spectrum, reject the concept altogether, albeit for different reasons (e.g. Realists such as Paris, 2001; Marxists such as Chandler, 2002); but also there is disagreement amongst exponents of human security as to what the concept means.

The literature reveals an eclectic range of politicians, diplomats, academics, NGOs and activists, from those such as Jorge Nef (1997) who presents a clear holistic model of human security and insecurity that draws some of its insights from World Systems Analysis, to those such as the Canadian Foreign Minister Lloyd Axworthy (2001) who focuses upon the role that middle-range governments can play in promoting human security primarily as freedom from fear. (MacRae and Hubert, 2001). The parameters of the human security discourse are still being established.

Human Security as Freedom from Want and Freedom from Fear

Currently, most exponents, following Kofi Annan (Annan, 2000), agree that the core concern of human security is protection of the vulnerable, and the core expression of human security encompasses both freedom from want and freedom from fear. Broadly speaking, human security as freedom from want describes a condition of existence in which basic material needs are met, and in which there is a reasonable expectation that protection will be afforded during any crisis or downturn - natural or manmade- so that survival is not threatened. Human security as freedom from fear describes a condition of existence in which human dignity is realized, embracing not only physical safety but going beyond that to include meaningful participation in the life of the community, control over one’s life and so forth.

How are these two strands related?

However, both academics and practitioners have different views about the balance, expression of and relationship between these two freedoms, both of which have a long lineage. (Concern with individuals and communities -not simply states- has been growing on the international agenda since the Second World War). Some, for example, believe that freedom from fear can be pursued as a separate endeavor from freedom from want.

In contrast to many exponents, this author shares with some others the belief that these two core strands of human security are not mutually exclusive; quite the contrary- they represent two integral and interrelated components of the condition of human security and of the emerging human security approach, based on the common value of all human beings. On its own, each aspect represents a necessary but insufficient ingredient for sustainable human security. Thus, fundamental to the human security approach is the idea that both freedoms are inextricably interrelated. The protection of the vulnerable via the reduction of risk is their common core, along with a holistic understanding of the constitution of vulnerability in our world. Hence the term is particularly significant for the people of Africa, where the twin challenges of freedom from want and freedom from fear are most pervasive, and where human security is threatened by factors internal and external to the state, including governments and the impersonal workings of the global economy.

Human Security as Paradigm Shift

The emerging streams of human security thinking share the simple belief that people everywhere matter and they are thus a legitimate focus for our attention; and our actions should be directed towards decreasing their vulnerability and in particular, protecting the most vulnerable. For Kofi Annan, 'No shift in the way we think or act is more crucial than that of putting people at the centre of everything we do. That is the essence of human security'. (Annan, 2001: Foreword). Other institutions- whether local or state governments, international institutions, private corporations, NGOs - are there ultimately to serve people, to contribute to the well-being of society as a whole, not a selective and exclusive strand of it at the expense of the rest and future generations.

But the common ground of the emerging streams of human security go beyond this, since by different degrees these approaches all accept, to paraphrase Mark Duffield (2002: 10), 'a shift from the study of objects to the study of interconnections' . In a similar vein, Kofi Annan comments that the 'pillars of what we now understand as the people-centred concept of "human security" are interrelated and mutually reinforcing'. (Annan, 2001: Foreword).

Following in this vein, human security represents a paradigmatic shift from mechanical to complex analyses of the political world, or, in its most far reaching formulation, 'the difference between seeing the world as a machine and seeing it as a living system or organism' (Duffield: 9-10). What happens in one part affects the condition of other parts. In a globalizing world, understanding these interconnections is essential for understanding human vulnerability and for designing policies to ameliorate it. The two key aspects of human security are not mutually exclusive; indeed, neither aspect is sufficient for the enjoyment of human security, and each depends on the existence of the other for its own full realization. An individual and his/her community must be free from fear to reliably enjoy freedom from want; and without freedom from want there can be no freedom from fear.

Politics as Freedom from Exploitation: Human Security and The Right to Development

Both freedoms taken together, suggests a radical account of politics as freedom from domination/exploitation, not simply the freedom to choose as advocated by the liberal tradition. Thus, while material sufficiency lies at the core of human security, in addition the concept encompasses non-material dimensions to form a qualitative whole. In other words, human security embraces the whole gamut of rights, civil and political, economic and social, and cultural. Moreover, it reflects the 1993 Vienna Convention and Programme of Action on Human Rights which recognized the interdependence between democracy, development and human rights, and offered a holistic approach involving actors at all levels in promoting human rights, not just national governments. ( It sits comfortably with the Banjul Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, the preamble to which states 'civil and political rights cannot be dissociated from economic, social and cultural rights in their conception as well as universality and that the satisfaction of economic, social and cultural rights is a guarantee for the enjoyment of civil and political rights'. ( In particular, it fits closely with the notion of the Right to Development (RTD) (1986). This makes it an uncomfortable notion for US governments, which have never felt at ease with the RTD, and which continue to argue that there is no consensus as to the meaning of RTD.

Box 3: Right to Development

Article 1 : 'the right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development t, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realised'.

o The human person is the beneficiary, but the right can be invoked by individuals and peoples.

o The RTD imposes obligations on individual states – to ensure equal and adequate access to essential resources- and on the international community- to promote fair development policies and effective international cooperation.

Currently the work of the independent expert of the UN Human Rights Commission, Dr Sengupta, has suggested a plan of action at two levels for advancing RTD:

1.National solidarity to achieve the right to food, education and health

2. International solidarity around these three rights through a Development Compact between specific countries– an understanding between a country and donors for co-ordinated assistance in exchange for conditionalities

This would be followed further down the line by a focus on how the Bretton Woods system and the WTO affect the RTD. This would prompt international action on issues such as debt, trade, technology transfer etc

The US continues to have difficulty with the RTD, and this by implication means that it will have difficulty with a holistic understanding of human security. (see below). It is opposed to work by the Human Rights Commission on operationalising RTD. It believes that civil and political rights are a necessary precursor for economic and social development to be enjoyed

How has interest in a human security approach arisen?

This question is important not least because the answer may help throw light on whether we can reasonably expect the future of human security to be different from the past or the present. Let's consider this question in relation both to academic study and to the world of diplomacy.

The discipline of International Relations has been marked by the failure of its dominant theories to engage with the global human condition on the basis of anything other than its impact on the G7/8. Thus it has long been fairly silent on the questions of greatest concern to the majority of people on the planet, choosing instead to focus on a state centric, realist approach which prioritized national security issues.

Box 1: International Relations Theory and the Marginalization of Priority Issues for the Third World

o Traditionally, the discipline focused on issues relating to inter‑state conflict, and regarded security and development as separate areas.

o Mainstream Realist and Liberal scholars neglected the challenges presented to human well‑being by the existence of global underdevelopment

o Dependency theorists were interested in persistent and deepening inequality and relations between North and South, but they received little attention in the discipline.

o During the 1990s, debate flourished, and several sub-fields developed or emerged which touched on matters of poverty, development and hunger, albeit tangentially. (eg global environmental politics, gender, international political economy)

o More significant in the 1990s in raising within the discipline the concerns of the majority of humanity and states, were the contributions from post colonial theorists, Marxist theorists (Hardt and Negri), scholars adopting a human security approach (Nef, Thomas, Wilkin) and the few concerned directly with development (Saurin, Weber).

o At the beginning of the twenty‑first century, the discipline is better placed to engage with the interrelated issues of poverty, health, hunger and education which are central concerns for the majority of people on the planet

o And therefore to influence the diplomatic world, where interest in these issues is increasing, spurred on by fears of terrorist threats and recognition of the uneven impact of globalization.

The situation began changing in the 1990s, with the growth of interest in sub fields such as global political economy, critical security studies, global environmental politics and feminism. Also in the 1990s, the discipline engaged a healthy debate about appropriate theories and approaches. The flood gates began to open, and post colonial theory and Marxist theory focused more attention on the South. It was in this academic environment that scholars began to explore the concept of human security, and issues of concern to the majority of humanity began to gain attention.

Box 2: Key Elements of Orthodox Security and Human Security

Orthodox, state-centric security

Human Security

Referent Object

The state


Operating Principle

The state/National security

Global holism, connectivity


Justification and status quo

Military power/defence

Explanation and Transformation - economic and social welfare


Self-help by states

Collective, Integrated, Multifaceted Response at multiple levels


Military expenditure/arms

Redistribution, structural reform


Secure borders

Enjoyment of economic, social, civil and political and cultural human rights


Inter-state stability


Global social justice


Intrastate conflict

International Instability

Unsustainable resource use

Sustainable peace

Simultaneously, in terms of the diplomatic environment, the term 'Human Security' appeared in the context of the political space which opened up post Cold War. It was clear that the passing of East-West competition was leading neither to a peace dividend for development, nor to the absence of conflict (Suhrke, 1999). Significant humanitarian crises, especially the genocide in Bosnia in 1992-95 (200,000 people killed), and in Rwanda in 1994 (500,000 deaths), coupled with growing acknowledgement of the uneven distribution of the benefits of economic globalization, drew attention to human insecurity. The downside associated with particular aspects of globalization, such as rapid liberalization of financial flows, hit the headlines with the East Asian crisis in 1997.

During the 1990s, therefore, protection of the vulnerable - whether physical or material- gained attention from several important constituencies, ranging from middle ranking powers, the G7 states, the International Financial Institutions and the UN. For NGOs, of course, interest in human security issues was not new. The two core strands of interest in human security found different diplomatic champions. The Canadian government, for example, building on long standing Canadian interests, has paid most attention to protection of individuals from acts of violence e.g. humanitarian intervention, the landmines treaty, the International Criminal Court (see below). The Japanese government, on the other hand, heavily influenced by the effects of Asian currency crisis at the end of the 1990s, has paid more attention to the economic aspects of human insecurity and threats to survival, and the need to protect people from sudden economic downturns. The Human Security Commission, which reported in spring 2003, worked on bridging these two streams.

US Position

It is clearly not the case that all US citizens share the same world view. The US has a number of key foreign policy traditions which reflect different interests and groups. However, in general it is fair to say that the notion of human security as mutually interdependent freedom from want and fear represented above sits uncomfortably with the dominant liberal tradition of US foreign policy, especially the current Bush Administration.

The US position is that economic and social rights 'are aspirational; while civil and political are inalienable and immediately enforceable' (Richard Wall, US Delegate to 59th Session of Un Commission on Human Rights, April 7th, 2003: Wall continues: 'the progressive realization of economic, social and cultural rights will not be achieved through justiciability and blame shifting. It will be accomplished when governments look inward and diagnose the effects of their own policies and practices…'. Similarly, speaking a few weeks later, US delegate Joel Danies remarked that: 'The key factor affecting whether or not nations develop is the extent to which they enjoy good governance which permits individuals to develop their talents and their intellects to the maximum effect, which allows them to speak and associate freely with one another, and which allows them to regularly choose their representatives in government- in short- whether governments afford their people basic human rights' (Danies, 25 April 2003, For the US government, it is the protection of civil and political rights that is indispensable to sustainable growth.

The official US government position is broadly that Africa's problems are of African governments' making. This is certainly part of the story, but it is not the whole story. The global economic structure presents Africa with some fundamental challenges which, no matter what actions it governments take, and no matter how many liberal freedoms its citizens enjoy, cannot be overcome by African actions alone.

However, civil society groups within the US campaigning on debt, AIDs etc, represent another viewpoint, and are testimony to the complexity of modern developed societies and the possibility of change.

What can a Human Security Approach offer?

Where is the value-added of human security as an analytic tool? The strengths of the human security approach lie in its explanatory and normative power, both of which are crucial in analyzing human security in the African context. A human security approach requires us to explore issues relating to level and scope of analysis, and transformative agendas crucial to Africa's future. It makes us think about the whole picture, and specifically about interconnections. The key question with which exponents of this human security approach are grappling is: how can we best understand and overcome the challenges facing human beings worldwide, individually and collectively, given the momentous global political and economic changes of the 1990s? People, rather than states, are the subject of evidence-based analysis. (Nef, 1999; Thomas, 2000; Hampson, 2002).

The explanatory power of the concept can be seen in the level and scope of analysis which it demands. Firstly, it in terms of level of analysis, it acknowledges that people matter and are an appropriate focus of concern for the international relations community. The state-centric approach which has dominated International Relations academic literature, diplomacy and development policy for so long has failed to acknowledge this, and in so doing it has failed people, served governments and legitimated the staus quo vis a vis existing social relations. In contrast to a state-based analysis, human security requires a disaggregated and therefore richer, more sophisticated, exploration of the very complex and sometimes contradictory impacts of globalization, global development policy and global governance on actual human experience across the globe. Mechanistic state level analyses of security are based on zero-sum games, assumptions of governmental legitimacy and impermeable borders. A human security analysis, in disaggregating the idea of the national which in Africa is not strong in many places, focuses on the perceptions and lived experience of real people and their communities rather than abstract states.

Implicit in a human security approach therefore is the challenge to cast a critical eye on the outcomes of development policy for real people, and the result of this is to raise questions over the appropriateness of those policies. Thus a human security approach invites a consideration of whatever factors affect the security of human beings, ranging from state-sponsored repression, to international hostilities, to the weather, to environmental degradation or resource depletion, to the unregulated activities of multinationals, to fluctuating commodity prices, or to capital market volatility. Human security requires an analysis of the interconnections between these factors, as a necessary step to addressing the security concerns of human beings. For example, if mining companies fail to respect the local environment and render insecure the lives of local people, then an understanding of the vulnerability of those communities requires an analysis not only of the company, but of the national government which has failed to regulate the company in the public interest, and of the complicity of the global institutions which are promoting trade and investment liberalisation via conditional loans without due regard to local impact.

Secondly, in terms of scope: in a world facing enormous, complex, interconnected challenges, not least mutual vulnerability involving not simply weapons but diseases and financial instability, the concept of human security provides us with a starting point to think about global social crises and to construct appropriate policy and political responses. Consider for example the immense threat to millions of people posed by HIV/AIDS, in Africa but increasingly elsewhere. A human security approach encourages a holistic understanding of the problem and its place in cultural, social, economic, military and political structures, local to global. This is necessary to the development of policies to decrease human vulnerability and thereby increase human security. We cannot understand and tackle this crisis simply in terms of freedom from want. Of course we must understand its intimate relationship with poverty and access to medicines, in terms of the global rules governing development policy and access to medicine, and their national transmission. But we must also understand the role of conflict and armies in promoting its transmission, gender relations, governments' attitudes, spending priorities, and prejudices, cultural practices and so forth. A holistic understanding of the problem and its place in cultural, social, economic, military and political structures, local to global, is necessary to the development of policies to decrease human vulnerability and thereby increase human security.

In terms of normative power, the human security approach requires transformation of the current order. A consideration of the values underpinning human security suggests that policies devised in support of its achievement must be geared towards social transformation, not in the sense proposed by the neo-liberal agenda, but rather the radical politics of equality, solidarity, sustainability and so forth.

Evaluating the US Impact on African Human Security

In general the Bush Administration has shown little interest in Africa, despite the contrary impression which might be drawn from his 2003 whistle stop tour which supported the 'compassionate conservative agenda' pushed by President Bush. (Booker and Colgan, 2004). In the President's State of the Union Address 2004, Africa did not warrant a mention. President Bush's main preoccupation is Iraq, and the war on terror. However, Africa does have some growing economic and strategic interest for the current Administration: African oil reserves can offset Middle East oil (currently 18% of US oil imports come from SSA, and it is predicted that by 2015 W. Africa will supply 25% of US oil imports) , and the potential of military bases is of value (Dijbouti is the main base for US counter terrorism in the region, but the US expects to expand its presenc e in Africa). To that end the US is pursuing a largely unilateral approach to the continent based on a narrow perception of national self- interest, rather than being motivated by Africa's evaluation of its own needs or working multilaterally for maximum impact.

President Bush has tried to present a positive image of his approach to Africa focusing on number of unilateral initiatives: AIDS (Emergency Plan for AIDS relief); trade (the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act 2000), finance (the Millennium Challenge Account); and military capacity building (ACRI then ACOTA).

These have all come under critical scrutiny by groups such as Africa Action and even arms of the UN, who see that these initiatives give with one hand while taking away with another. Their significance needs to be understood within the wider US national policy context. For example, when in May 2002 US President Bush introduced a six year, $51.7 billion farm law, designed to boost crop and dairy subsidies for US farmers by 67%, this sounded a death knell for many farmers in the developing world who will be unable to compete on the world market against these heavily subsidized US exports. With the AIDS initiative, the channeling of the new funding through bilateral means undermines the multilateral effort of the Global Fund for Aids, which is starved of finance but well placed to carry out work. Re the MCA, only three countries out of maybe fifteen beneficiaries will be African.

However, in evaluating the impact of the US on human security in Africa, it is imperative that we go beyond an analysis of these recent initiatives, and the national US context, and focus our attention on the major challenges to human security in Africa and the US contribution to their alleviation or aggravation.

What are the major challenges to human security in Africa?

The identification of the major challenges to human security in Africa depends entirely on our perspective and level of analysis. For the Bush administration, for example, the major challenge is African governments and states; but for others, such as Nef or Wilkin, the challenge is arguably the structure of the global economy and Africa's unenviable place within it. For people on the ground, the immediate challenges will be diverse, incorporating a range of issues to do with social relations such as gender, entitlement etc. There are immediate, local challenges, but when we peel back the layers, we see that these problems are often part of a global context and that they are heavily influenced by a global agenda. But who is setting that agenda, and in whose interests?

Routine Poverty: Global- Local Linkages

We are all well aware of the extreme poverty faced by so many African people on a daily basis, and the fact that this is mounting. This vulnerability is ROUTINE: there is nothing exceptional about it, rather it defines peoples' daily lives.

The number of African people living on less than a dollar a day grew in the 1990s despite global improvements. (see Tables 1 and 2).

Table 1: Extreme Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa

Million people < $1 a day

Share of people on < $1 a day







SS Africa







Global Total







Excluding China







Adapted from World Bank, 2003: chapter 1, p.5

Table 2: Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa

Million people < $2 a day

Share of people on < $2 a day







SS Africa







Global Total







Excluding China







Thirty three African countries ended the 1990s more heavily indebted than two decades earlier. (Easterly, 2002). Looking forward, SSA is not on course to meet the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Sahn and Stifel (2003: 23) note that 'the problem of faltering social progress is especially acute in Africa… (where) realizing the MDG…will be a particularly challenging task'. Projections suggest that the required annual growth of at least 7% which SSA needs to meet poverty alleviation targets will not be achieved. (World Bank 2000: 2). The UNDP report 2003 made grave reading; if Sub Saharan Africa continues on its current course, it will take another 150 years to reach the MDG target of halving poverty, and the hunger situation continues to worsen. (UNDP 2003).

Let's consider two inter-related global challenges which are contributing to these outcomes on the ground in Africa: the first is the specific form which globalization is taking, and the dominant development discourse which is legitimizing it; and second, the global governance structures which further underpin it.

Contemporary Globalization and the Dominant Development Discourse

A key challenge to human security in Africa is the particular nature of corporate-led global economic integration, which is resulting in highly uneven distribution of benefits within and between countries and regions. The disparities between the world's richest and poorest nations are wider than ever. Nearly three billion people who are trying to survive on less than $2 a day; they deserve the chance for a better future. The benefits of globalization have bypassed Africa.

Who is driving this agenda, continuing to promote the assumption that corporate-led economic globalization through free trade isthe best route to deliver economic growth and employment opportunities for all, even though human experience suggest otherwise and even though economic evidence to undermine this argument continues to grow? (e.g. World Bank researcher Milanovic's findings, 2002, that in countries with a low per capita income, such as Sub Saharan Africa, it is the rich who benefit from trade openness; ILO, 2004).

Over the past two decades, a liberal governance network (see below) under US hegemony has promoted a neo-liberal blueprint for global economic integration which it claims offers the greatest hope to humanity. This network drives development discourse and thereby legitimatizes the current globalization agenda which is in fact a substitute for national development policies. The network includes the key G7 states, the IFIs, private actors such as corporations, banks etc. It identifies the causes of underdevelopment as lying squarely within countries, rather than resulting mainly or at least in part from the structure of the global economy. Hence the remedy lies not in large-scale redistribution of wealth or structural transformation of trade and finance, but rather in domestic reform and full integration into the global economy.

Since the early 1990s, with the demise of the eastern bloc, the IMF and World Bank have been portrayed globally as the exclusive holders of legitimate knowledge about development; and they have held a monopoly on policy advice. They, in turn, are dominated by the G7, especially the US which has the greatest voting power within them. Under their direction, globalization through neoliberal macroeconomic policies has become synonymous with development policy. This means that the role of external/structural factors in the development challenge is downplayed, and for Africa, which suffers from the declining terms of trade, this is a travesty.

During the 1990s the G7 increasingly used its summits to frame development policy politically. Under its direction, since the mid 1990s, the World Bank has pushed forward the harmonization of donor policies and coherence between the policies of the IMF, the World Bank and the WTO in support of free trade. This has further strengthened the already overwhelming influence of the North on development policy for the South, as bilateral donors line up behind IFI policies. Against this formidable line-up, the political space for African voice and leverage is virtually non-existent.

Thus the US plays the major role in the global discourse of development, and through that it is intimately affecting the experience of human security in Africa. The US's and hence the IFIs fundamental understanding of the African development challenge is significant: impediments to development are understood primarily in terms of domestic shortcomings, rather than external/structural factors associated with Africa's place in the global economy, or indeed a balanced combination of both. Africa needs to remove domestic impediments to free trade, and that will result in growth and development which will trickle down throughout society.

The evidence to date suggests that trade liberalization is not delivering freedom from want in Africa. Unctad's Trade and Development Report (2002a), points out that developing countries, despite a massive increase in their openness to trade over the last twenty years, are earning less, and this will have an obvious impact on human security. This result is attributed to a number of reasons, such as their continued concentration on production of primary commodities that (with the exception of oil) have been characterized by stagnant markets and declining prices over the last two decades. A secular decline in the terms of trade of primary commodity producers has occurred, costing SSA for example 50 cents for every US $1 received in aid since the late 1970s. (Watkins, 2002, p.10; see Figure 1 and Graph 1).

Figure 1: Commodity Price Decreases, Real terms, 1980-2000

Decrease 0-25%

Decrease 25-50%

Decrease over 50%

Banana* -4.4

Fertliser -23.1

Iron Ore* -19.5

Phosphate rock -21.6

Tea -7.5

Aluminium -27.2

Coconut oil -44.3

Copper -30.9

Cotton -47.6

Fishmeal -31.9

Groundnut oil -30.9

Maize -41.6

Soybean -39.0

Wheat -45.2

Cocoa -71.2

Coffee -64.5

Lead -58.3

Palm Oil -55.8

Rice -60.9

Rubber -59.6

Sugar -76.6

Tin -73.0

Source: Adapted from Oxfam 2002, p.151, based on IMF Financial Statistics Yearbook, various issues

*note: 1980-1999

The subsidies which northern governments give to their farmers impact directly on livelihoods of farmers in the South, who are unable to export their products. In West Africa, for example, the livelihoods of 11 million cotton farmers and their families have been undermined, due to US subsidies of up to $4billion annually, and there is no prospect of shifting into alternative export production quickly.

Also significant is the failure of most developing countries, including those of SSA, to shift their production into technology-intensive products. They lack the necessary finance and technological expertise, as well as human capacity, and they are unable to attract foreign direct investment to remedy this. Where they have moved from primary commodities into manufactured exports, the latter have been resource- based and labour intensive, thus adding little value. Moreover, the export drives undertaken simultaneously by so many developing countries undergoing SAPs itself contributes to price decreases. (See the coffee example, below).

These findings are reinforced by the UNCTAD study (2002) on the 49 least developed countries, which shows that action is urgently needed at the international level to deal with excessive price instability which threatens the human security of millions of poor people. Coffee provides an excellent illustration. Worldwide, 25 million peasant smallholder coffee farmers in countries as diverse as Viet Nam and Ethiopia produce 70% of global coffee exports. The price has plummeted, and their lives, plus those of their extended families, are in ruin. Yet the major coffee companies, such as Nestle, continue to make a significant profit from coffee. In the absence of a solution from the public global governance institutions most intimately involved with either trade or development, it has been left to NGOs to suggest a Coffee Rescue Plan. (Oxfam, 2003).

It has been calculated that a 1% increase in Africa's share of world trade would generate US $70 billion – which as Oxfam notes (2003, p.8) is five times the amount received through aid and debt relief.

Figure : SSA: Aid and Debt Relief Versus Foreign Exchange Gains from a 1% Increase in World Market Shares ($bn) (Oxfam, 2003, p.50)

Global Governance: Another Story of Democratic Deficits

A related challenge is governance- both national, and global. No doubt Africans themselves would point to their own governments and their elites as challenges to the enjoyment of human security for the majority, for their failure to consult and to listen and their corruption. It is also the case that the lack of voice for Africa in the key global economic decision making bodies for development policy is a challenge.

In recent years the public antagonism between certain African governments and the IFIs – for example, Mozambique over the cashew nut trade liberalization question- has been bitter, and has lent weight to long standing concerns that their neoliberal development model was being externally imposed on needy, vulnerable client states in violation of national sovereignty and expressed policy preferences not only of governments but of local people. (Hanlon, 2000). The reform of global governance is imperative, as currently it represents the interests of the few, not the majority. The US dominates decision making in the IMF, World Bank, WHO, WTO etc. But whose interests is the US championing? And will the PRS really deliver more effective voice for people and greater autonomy for governments and citizens in economic policy? Some authors see them as a legitimatization of even more extensive control of entire national development plans.

The debate about reform of the governance of the IFIs is ongoing, and has seen new international commitments to increase the voice of developing countries in the IFIs. The international community agreed at Monterrey for example there that the IMF and World Bank should "continue to enhance the participation of all developing countries …in their decision-making".(Monterrey Report, 2002: point 63). Yet so far for Africa there has been little change other than investments in enhancing the capacity of the two existing Executive Directors who represent all SSA countries in the IMF. 

The democratic deficit in global governance is just as stark in relation to trade. Despite the formal appearance of one state one vote, the WTO operates in a highly undemocratic manner. All too often corporate actors have had a hand in setting the global trade agenda, in drafting WTO agreements, and generally exercising a role which is not open to most developing countries due to their low level of financial and human resources.

Looking back to 1994, the conclusion of the GATT Uruguay Round reflected the economic interest and political influence of the US and the Europeans for whom trade in services, intellectual property and investment issues were becoming increasingly important (Winham, p.169; UNDP 2003a, p.11). The special needs of the South or Africa in these issues were ignored. e.g in the TRIMS (UNDP et al 2003, p.11). Also, for Africa, agriculture rather than services was the most pressing issue, yet this was of less interest to the North and was left unresolved. Later, when agriculture was addressed, it was not with the interests of Africa in mind. Most recently, at Cancun, multilateral trade negotiations failed, as the US and the EU failed to take seriously the requests of the South. But we can be more specific, naming Foundations, lobby groups, companies and institutes that influence government policy. Companies are heavily involved in the drafting of international trade agreements e.g. drafting the Agreement on Agriculture. Whose interests do they serve? To what extent are they socially responsible?

Taking the interrelated issues outlined above, it is possible to illustrate them all with reference to understanding the HIV/AIDs crisis. I am sure we would all put HIV/Aids on the list of the most pressing challenges to human security in Africa. Africa is the content which is the epicenter of the Aids pandemic. This illustrates sharply the growing inequalities between different world regions under current conditions of globalization, and the problem of exclusion from benefits. Most of the world's cases of HIV/AIDS are in Africa. Yet in Africa, only 2% of African people have access to antiretrovirals (compared even with 84% in Latin America). (AfricaAction, 5 April 2004). This outcome is the result of the model of development promoted in Africa over the last twenty years at the behest of the IMF and World Bank, which has eroded the health infrastructure, and also the global rules governing access to medicines.

Who or what is driving these policies and making these rules? Who is shaping global economic governance and global health governance? Who is making the rules? In the case of the IMF and World Bank, it is the G7 states, particularly the US. In the case of trade policy, the US pushes for ever greater liberalization, while operating double standards itself. Corporations make key inputs into WTO policy. They influenced the drafting of the WTO's Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights agreement for example. What voice did African countries have on this? The US has pursued an aggressive bilateral trade policy, which has made it difficult for the states of Africa to act in a manner legitimate even under the WTO's TRIPs and access generic drugs. Even though over the past two years through discount deals etc, the price of patented drugs has fallen, the US government is still dragging its feet on funding single-dose generic treatment, hiding behind the issue of quality and safety, but risking giving the impression of protecting brand-name pharma companies.

How can Human Security be mainstreamed?

The challenge of raising the profile of human security - even if this is short of mainstreaming it - within US- Africa relations and within global politics more generally is formidable, but achievable. The pressure for change will come from a number of directions- indeed this is already happening.

Within the context of US national politics, the most significant push will come with a change of government. Just as President Clinton's take was different to that of President Bush, it is likely that a new President will adopt a different approach. And the very fact that this conference is taking place indicates that there is rich diversity of viewpoints within the US, which will at various times impact on policy.

However, there are many other elements to the changing story. At a global level, the specific type of globalization which has been pushed for the last two decades is increasingly coming under pressure from within as well as without; the credibility of the one size fits all neoliberal model of development is being eroded; and the elitist nature of global governance is being exposed and attacked. The concessions which have been made in terms of softening the harsh edges of globalization by focusing growth and poverty reduction have been inadequate, and the uneven distribution of the benefits of globalization is further embedded.

Ever more concerned voices are heard emanating from the institutions of global governance themselves. A new word is entering the vocabulary of the leaders of the IMF, World Bank etc: FAIR. They are realizing that the current face of globalization falls short when measured against this value, and who fear a link between perceptions of injustice and violence. President Wolfensohn of the World Bank has been arguing for a number of years that poverty is greatest threat to security. At the spring meetings of the IMF/WB in April 2004, he remarked that: 'We spend $900bn on defence globally…and we spend between $50bn and $60bn on development…if we spent $900bn on development, we probably wouldn't need to spend more than $50bn on defence'. (Financial Times, 26 April 2004). In a similar vein, Hans Kohler of the IMF, has pointed to the "unconscionable" behaviour of the US (and others), spending $2bn per annum on price supports for cotton, while undermining agricultural sectors that are central to peace and development in poor countries such as Benin, Chad, Mail and Togo.

Beyond these institutions, we are witnessing an exciting new phase in global politics, in which transnational alliances are springing up, aided by the communications and information technology revolution, and new solidarities are forming which are mounting a political challenge the status quo. This is not a coordinated movement or campaign; rather it a pluralized context of complex alliances, cooperation and multiple publics involving NGOs of North and South, social movements and individual states and groups of states.

Cutting across North and South, the World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization, chaired by the presidents of Tanzania and Finland, offered concrete proposals in March 2004 for a FAIR globalization. ( Globally, there is a campaign for treatment access re HIV/AIDS and other diseases such as malaria.

All of this activity is a clear sign of lack of confidence in the current order. Individual Southern states, plus groups of Southern states such as the G22 which operated effectively at the WTO's Cancun trade talks in September 2003 , are beginning to have an impact. The failure to reach agreement in Cancun in September 2003 reflected the South's level of frustration with the North, and consequent unwillingness to go along with new issues while their existing trade problems were sidelined by the North. There, the G22, a powerful new bloc of developing countries, was united by clearly articulated economic interests on which it negotiated forcefully with the EU and the US. The alliance includes the world's most populous countries and most of its fastest growing economies, for example India, China, Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Africa and Nigeria.

The most recent example is that of Brazil challenging the US on the cotton issue at the WTO. Previously, the West African states were unsuccessful in their efforts to get the US to change its policy on subsidizing cotton production. Yet on 26th April 2004, Brazil won a preliminary hearing at the WTO. The credibility of the WTO is at stake on this issue.

There are examples of Northern and Southern states coming together. For example, we can identify an embryonic development compact based on collective responsibility. This is evident in the development challenge articulated in terms of the UN's Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Governments of rich and poor states have accepted – at least in theory- their collective responsibility for human development in a world where the benefits of globalization are spread unevenly and where the gap between rhetoric and performance in development policy is stark.

Broadly, the groups which are challenging the current order have an interest in a more egalitarian politics than that which currently dominates. They are interested in markets as a means to an end, not as an end in themselves; and they prioritize social justice. They are interested in voice for the voiceless- whether that be inside national polities, or inside institutions of global governance. The Global Social Forum is an expression of this. Through them we can detect the emergence of an alternative agenda for human security not just in Africa, but globally. This is being articulated gradually and embedded through a network of NGOs, UN meetings and activity in Africa and beyond.

Key elements of the new agenda are:

o Redress the democratic deficit; enhance voice and participation nationally and in global governance

o Pursue growth with equity

o Debt write off

o Trade for development

o Acceptance diversity

o Value multilateralism

o Adopt a comprehensive approach

The world does not stand still. The theories which have dominated the last 25 years are loosing credibility, and like the ideas that they replaced, they too will have their day. There is growing recognition that people everywhere matter, and that we are all interconnected. The pendulum is beginning to swing back in the direction of social justice. The first indications may be small, but they are significant nonetheless.

Educations matters. In awareness lies hope for changed behaviour, whether it be in an African township or rural village, or on the UCLA campus. As a concerned academic I see my role in this education process as one of working for change by promoting the language and therefore the value of human security, and the idea that people matter and everything is interconnected. The choices we make are part of long chain of interconnections that cross cut the globe. Our responsibilities do not stop at the border. Currently we are still at an early stage in the embedding of the human security approach in global discourse. The precise manner in which the discourse evolves, the ideas that gain legitimacy, will be crucial in determining the potential of the approach to help deliver transformation in the lives of the majority of humanity. There is a sense in which the future of globalization as a political project ultimately rests on the extent to which it can be made commensurate with human security, broadly understood. Therein lies our opportunity to make a difference.

The chapter explores some of the impacts of globalization through a human security lens. The adoption of this perspective is based on two premises. The first is that a state-centric analysis masks important social consequences of globalization below and above the level of the state, and that an analysis undertaken at the level of individual human beings can offset some of these shortcomings and offer new insights. The second premise is that people matter and are an appropriate focus of concern by the International Relations community. Importantly, linking back to the first premise, globalization is affecting security not only at the state level, but at the level of individuals’ day to day lived experience. While this is true across the globe, in specific ways it may be particularly significant for the people of the South, where the twin challenges of freedom from want and freedom from fear are the most pervasive. Hence a human security analysis has the potential to capture some of the important consequences of globalization for global citizens. The knowledge generated can help inform policy debates about how to make globalization work better for everyone, and in so doing enhance security from the local to the global.

The chapter is divided into three parts. The first part explores in some detail what is meant by human security, as this is a relatively new term in the International Relations literature and diplomatic parlance. It explains the two main strands of human security thinking, in terms of freedom from want and freedom from fear, and suggests the common values which underpin them. Protection of the vulnerable via the reduction of risk is identified as the common core, along with a holistic understanding of the constitution of vulnerability in a globalizing world..

The second part focuses on why the human security approach is useful for furthering our understanding of the outcomes of globalization, especially for the non-Western world which is the focus of this collection. In particular it suggests that the disaggregation of data required by a human security approach, both in terms of level and scope of analysis, offers the opportunity for a deep understanding of the complex results of globalization. Such information is crucial for the development of transformative policies to decrease the risks borne by the vulnerable.

The third part illustrates how a human security approach can expand our understanding of the impact of globalization on the South. It suggests that while globalization is multifaceted, and driven by a range of different factors, it is corporate-led economic globalization through free trade which is of most obvious and immediate concern because of the vulnerabilities associated with it thus far for billions of people. This type of globalization, by prioritizing the market as the vehicle to meet human needs, is undermining human security as freedom from want at various levels: marginalizing entire world regions, creating or reinforcing differences between sub state regions and social groupings, and at community and household level. In particular it is failing to enhance human security due to deteriorating terms of trade and the failure to provide appropriate employment opportunities on the necessary global scale, whilst simultaneously eroding the opportunity for regional, state or household self-sufficiency. There is a sense in which its effects amount to privatization of risk for the majority of humanity, whilst offering public subsidies for a small number of corporate actors. Thus, a human security lens allows important insights regarding the impact of global economic integration, insights that would be lost by an exclusive focus on the state. These insights are important for an evaluation of globalization as currently constituted.

Human Security

What does it mean?

Currently, most analysts, following Kofi Annan (Annan, 2000), agree that human security encompasses both freedom from want and freedom from fear. Broadly speaking, human security as freedom from want describes a condition of existence in which basic material needs are met, and in which there is a reasonable expectation that protection will be afforded during any downturn - natural or manmade- so that survival is not threatened. Human security as freedom from fear describes a condition of existence in which human dignity is realized, embracing not only physical safety but going beyond that to include meaningful participation in the life of the community, control over one’s life and so forth. Thus, while material sufficiency lies at the core of human security, in addition the concept encompasses non-material dimensions to form a qualitative whole. In other words, human security embraces the whole gamut of rights, civil and political, economic and social, and cultural [1] .

By contrast, human insecurity refers to a condition of vulnerability, in which human beings' physical or material wellbeing is threatened. Such threats may due to natural disasters, such as cyclones, mud slides etc; conflict (within or between states); the fundamental structure of the global economy; or particular events arising within the global economy (e.g. financial crises due to poor management, at levels from the global to the national).

A more comprehensive understanding of human security can be achieved by a brief examination of what human security is not. The differences between human security, and the orthodox state-centric security which has long dominated international relations, are illuminating. (For a full exploration, see Wilkin 2002). These are illustrated in sharp relief in Box 1, and their significance becomes clear below..

Box 1: Key Elements of Orthodox Security and Human Security

Orthodox, state-centric security

Human Security

Referent Object

The state


Operating Principle

National security

Global holism, connectivity


Justification and status quo

Explanation and Transformation

Bibliography and References

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[1] Thomas and Wilkin, Globalization, Human Security and the African Experience..

[2] Nef, Human Security; Astri Suhrke, ‘Human Security and the Interests of the State’, Security Dialogue, 30:3 (1999), September, pp. 265-276; Thomas and Wilkin, Human Security; Lloyd Axworthy, ‘Human Security and Global Governance: Putting People First’, Global Governance, 7:1 (2001), Jan/March, pp.19-23; Rob McRae and Don Hubert , Human Security and the New Diplomacy; Fen Osler Hampson, Madness in the Multitude: Human Security and World Disorder (Ontario: Oxford University Press, 2002).

[3] See for example the UNDP Human Development Report (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1994) which focused specifically on human security.

[4] Hampson, Madness in the Multitude, pp. 80-97; Mark Gwozdecky and Jill Sinclair, ‘Case Study: Landmines and Human Security’, in McRae and Hubert (eds.), Human Security, pp. 28-40.

[5] On the Human Security network, see Rob McRae and Don Hubert (eds.), Human Security and the New Diplomacy (McGill: Queens University Press, 2001).

[6] Hampson, Madness in the Multitude, pp. 62-79; Darryl Robinson, ‘Case Study: The International Criminal Court’, in McRae and Hubert (eds), Human Security, pp. 170-177.

[7] Duffield, Global Governance and the New Wars, p. 10.

[8] Duffield, Global Governance and the New Wars, pp. 9-10.

[9] Peter Piot, UNAIDS Executive Director, 'Aids and Human Security', speech at the United Nations University, 2 October 2001, Japan, accessed at:

[10] For details of the background to and current work of the Commission, see:

[11] Roland Paris, ‘Human Security: Paradigm Shift or Hot Air?’, International Security, 26:2 (2001).

[12] Duffield, Global Governance and the New Wars, p. 22.

[13] Robert Cox, ‘Civil Society at the Turn of the Millennium: Prospects for an Alternative World Order’, Review of International Studies, 25:1 (1999).

[14] Wade and Wolf, 'Are global poverty and inequality getting worse…'.

[15] B. Buzan, O. Waever, and J. de Wilde (eds.), Security: A New Framework for Analysis (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Reinner, 1998).

[16] Wilkin, 'Thinking about Human Security'

[17] Jorge Nef, Human Security.

[18] Wilkin, 'Thinking about Human security'.

[19] P.W.Singer, ‘AIDS and International Security’, Survival, 44:1, Spring (2002), pp. 145-158.

[20] For details on how globalisation is impacting on security from the local to the global and across a range of non-traditional issue areas, such as finance, labour and environment, see Barbara Harriss-White (ed) Globalization and Insecurity: Political, Economic and Physical Challenges (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2002).

[21] Nef, Human Security.

[22] Nef, Human Security, p. 23.

[23] Wilkin, personal communication.

[24] Robert Wade and Martin Wolf, ‘Are global poverty and inequality getting worse? Prospect debate’, Prospect, March (2002), pp. 16-20.

[25] This refers to a set of internationally agreed quantitative targets across a range of areas such as health and education. See:

[26] World Bank, ‘World Bank estimates costs of Millennium Development Goals’, 21 February 2002; available online at

[27] Mark Duffield, Global Governance and the New Wars (London: Zed Books, 2001) pp. 22.

[28] Peter Wilkin, ‘Thinking About Human Security’, personal communication, 2 March 2002.

[29] Duffield, Global Governance and the New Wars, p. 28.

[30] On the PRSP policy and practice, see the papers submitted to the January 2002 PRSP review conference held by the World Bank at:

[31] Wilkin, ‘Thinking About Human Security’.

[32] See UN Population Information Network,

[33] James Wolfensohn, 'President's Revised Note to the Development Committee of the IMF and World Bank' DC2002-0007/Rev1, Washington DC, World Bank, 12 April 2002, annex on Multilateral Development Bank Collaboration and Reform.

[34] Caroline Thomas, Global Governance, Development and Human Security, London, Pluto, 2000, p.42

[35] N. Adams, Worlds Apart, London, Zed, 1993.

[36] Caroline Thomas and Martin Weber, 'The Politics of Global Health Governance', article under consideration by the journal Global Governance.

[37] Marc Williams, International Economic Organisations and the Third World, Sussex, Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1994, p.47.

[38] See for example D.Banerji, 'A Fundamental Shift in the Approach to International Health by the WHO, UNICEF and the World Bank', International Journal of Health Services, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp.227-259.

[39] Susan George, 'A Short History of Neoliberalism',

[40] This termed has been used by Robert O'Brien et al, Contesting Global Governance, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000.

[41] This assumed link and the way it is used by the liberal global governance network is explored by Mark Duffield in his book Global Governance and the New Wars, London, Zed, 2001. On the need to avoid simplistic assumptions about an underdevelopment/conflict link, see Frances Stewart 'The root causes of conflict: some conclusions' in E. Wayne Nafziger, Frances Stewart and Raimo Vayrynen, The Origins of Humanitarian Emergencies, Volume 1, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2000.

[42] Consider for example Michel Camdessus's speech at UNCTAD X meeting in Bangkok, February 2000, when he identified poverty as 'the ultimate systemic threat facing humanity', World Bank Development News 14 February.

[43] The World Bank, for example, has a Conflict Prevention and Reconstruction Unit, and Operational Policy 2.30 on Development Cooperation and Conflict.

[44] James Wolfensohn, 12 April 2002.

[45] The Reality of Aid Committee, The Reality of Aid Check January 2001, Norway, Reality of Aid Project, 2001, p.23.

[46] Tony McGrew, 'From Global Governance to Good Governance' chapter in M.Ougaard and R.Higgott (eds) The Global Polity, London, Routledge, 2002 forthcoming; and the Commission on Global Governance, Our Global Neighbourhood, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1995.

[47] Jim George, Discourses of Global Politics, Boulder, Lynne Reinner, 1994, p.179.

[48] See UN, OECD, IMF, World Bank, A Better World for All , UN, New York, 2000, p2-3; for an analysis, see M. Duffield, Global Governance, pp.22-43.

[49] On the origins of the term, see Paul Krugman, 'Dutch Tulips and Emerging Markets' Foreign Affairs, No. 74, 1995, pp.28-9.

[50] Thomas, Global Governance, chapter 4.

[51] See J. Rapley, Understanding Development, Boulder, Lynne Reinner, 1996.

[52] A.Cornia, R.Jolly and F.Stewart, Adjustment with a Human Face, Oxford, Oxford university Press, 1987.

[53] Walden Bello, Dark Victory, London. Pluto, 1994.

[54] Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalisation of Poverty, London, Zed, 1997.

[55] Nancy Birdsall, 'Gold for Debt: From Debt to a New Development Architecture', from on 27 February 2002.

[56] Joseph Stiglitz More Instruments and Broader Goals: Moving Towards the Post Washington Consensus United Nations University, 1998.

[57] World Bank Background and Overview to the Comprehensive Development Framework 2001,

[58] World Bank Comprehensive Development Framework: Questions and Answers, 2001,

[59] For more on this, see the EURODAD website:

[60] For example, see John Pender, 'From Structural Adjustment to Comprehensive Development Framework: Conditionality Transformed? Third World Quarterly, Vol. 22, No. 3, pp. 397-411.

[61] W. Nyamugasira and R. Rowden, 'New strategies, Old Loans: the case of Uganda', paper by the Uganda National NGO Forum and RESULTS Education, Washington DC, from rowden@actionorg.

[62] See for example David Dollar and Aart Kraay Growth is Good for the Poor, World Bank, Washington DC, March 2000,

[63] Paul Collier and David Dollar, Globalisation, Growth and Poverty, Washington DC, World Bank 2002, p. xi.

[64] UNCTAD, Trade and Development Report 2002, Geneva, 2002.

[65] Collier and Dollar, Globalisation, Growth and Poverty, p.ix.

[66] UNCTAD, The Least Developed Countries Report, 2002, www.unctad/org/en/pubs/ps1ldc02.en.htm.

[67] For example, see Mark Weisbrot and Dean Baker, 'The Relative Impact of Trade Liberalization on Developing Countries' 11 June 2002, view at:

[68] Kevin Watkins, Economic Growth with Equity: Lessons from East Asia,, Oxford, Oxfam, 1998.

[69] Dani Rodrik, 'Is the World Bank starting to understand growth?' The Straits Times, 12 February 2002.

[70] See the debate between Robert Wade and Martin Wolf, 'Are Global poverty and Inequality getting worse?', Prospect, March 2002, pp.16-20.

[71] Collier and Dollar, Globalisation, Growth and Poverty, p.ix.

[72] The transition to market economies in the eastern bloc has been extremely painful: in the former Soviet Union, the number of people living below the poverty line rose from 2 to 60 million within the space of the 1990s. See James Wolfensohn, speaking at a press conference at the beginning of the spring summit of the IMF and World Bank, 22 April 1999. For details and analysis of SE Asia, see N.Bullard, W.Bello and K. Mallhorta, ‘Taming the Tigers: the IMF and the Asian Crisis’, Third World Quarterly, Vol. 19, No.3, 1998, especially pp.528-538.

[73] See W.Bello, N.Bullard and K. Malhorta (eds) Global Finance, London, Zed, 2000.

[74] See for example Nestle's behaviour , Cornerhouse Briefing, No.

[75] Excerpted from the IMF/World Bank Development Committee Communique, September 27, 1999.

[76] World Bank Daily News, 16 April 2002, at

[77] EU Commission, PRSP Review: Key Issues 2001, view on EURODAD website:


[79] For country details see

[80] Oxfam International, 'Are the PRSPs Working?' 21 December 2001, p.3, view at:

[81] For case studies and contributions to the PRSP review from NGOs and international institutions, see the EURODAD website:

[82] See

[83] See News and Notices 'Who Governs Low Income Countries? An Interview with Charles Abugre on the PRS Initiative', News and Notices for IMF and World Bank Watchers, Vol. 2, No. 3, Fall, 2000, view at:

[84] Jubliee South, Focus on the Global South-Bangkok, AWEPON (Kampala) and Centro de Estudos Internacionales (Managua) The World Bank and the PRSP: Flawed Thinking and Failed Experience January 2002,

[85] Jubilee South et al, The World. Bank and the PRSP, paragraph 5.

[86] For example, Rosemary McGee and Alexandra Hughes, 'Assessing Participation in PRSPs: a desk-based synthesis of experience in SSA', an IDS study sponsored by Dfid, February 2002, available on EURODAD website.

[87] McGee and Hughes, 'Assessing Participation in PRSPs' para 3.3.5.

[88] World Bank, Participation in PRSPs: A Retrospective Study January 2002,

[89] See for example the Catholic Relief Services report Review of the PRSP December 2001, that suggests that in Zambia, members of Parliament were marginalized: .

[90] W. Sachs The Development Dictionary, London, Zed Press 1997

[91] For these goals and quantitative targets, see:

[92] World Bank, 'World Bank Estimates Cost of Millennium Development Goals', 21 February 2002,

[93] Oxfam International 'Last Chance in Monterrey: Meeting the Challenge of Poverty Reduction' Oxfam Briefing Paper, April 2002,

[94] Collier and Dollar, Globalisation, Growth and Poverty, p.x.

[95] See World Development Movement, States of Unrest, April 2002,

[96] Tim France, Gorik Ooms and Bernard Rivers, 'The Global Fund: Which Countries Owe How Much?', 21 April 2002,; Medecins sand Frontieres, 'Open letter to the Board of Directors and technical review panel of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria', 18 April 2002,

[97] See critical commentaries on the account at

[98] Martin Khor, 'Manipulation by tactics and conquest by drafts: How the WTO produced and Anti-development Agenda at Doha', Third World Resurgence, Issue No. 135-136, November/December 2001, pp.11-14.

[99] Joint Statement by NGOs, 'International Civil Society Rejects WTO Doha Outcome and Manipulative Process', December 2001, reprinted in Third World Resurgence, November/December 2001, No.135-136, pp.15-

Globalization Research Center - Africa