Transnational Terrorism, Organized Crime and Peace-Building


The human security approach, which will be described briefly below, can be usefully applied to the fight against terrorism and organized crime in post- conflict situations. The concept’s focus is on the security needs of the individual, who is the main victim of terrorism and organized crime, although terrorism also threatens the security of the state. Therefore, in addressing these threats not only state security but the security of citizens in particular needs to be given attention. The basic message of the human security approach is that people matter and that the focus has to be on their vulnerabilities, which can also mean that state structures, like the police and the judiciary, need to be strengthened – albeit with a view to securing human rights and ensuring dem- ocratic governance. The state has the primary function of protection, but the protection needs to be provided in such a way that the security of the citizens is in the foreground. Post-conflict situations are often characterized by weak states, which still need to consolidate themselves and to reform the police and the judiciary in order to make sure that these are operating in the interest of the citizens. The distinction between the two main pillars of human security – freedom from fear and freedom from want – provides a useful methodologi- cal approach in order to analyse the vulnerabilities of citizens and the threats against them in post-conflict situations. For example, security sector reform is of crucial importance, because in post-war situations the security sector is often linked with organized crime and therefore rather a threat to citizens than a provider of protection. Generally, the state, by not providing adequate pro- tection or by repressing (some) of its citizens, like critical civil society groups or media, violates its basic functions of providing human security for its people.

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Human Security in the Western Balkan CH1&2