NGOs as Security Actors in the Fight against HIV/AIDS?

  • Carrie Sheehan


In the post-Cold War era there is increasing attention by scholars and policy makers to changing definitions of security, and explorations of the linkages between health and security. It is argued that security no longer only involves the defense of the state from outside military attacks; security is greater than that. Within the concept of human security,1 individual human life is deemed more important than merely maintaining the viability of a given state and ensuring the absence of armed conflict; it is the freedom from want and freedom from fear for individuals. It is with this backdrop of contested notions of security that a health issue like HIV/AIDS can be understood as a security issue. Furthermore, the increasing attention toward the nonmilitary aspects of security has brought new actors into the security realm. One such actor, the nongovernmental organization (NGO), in general, and the development or health NGO specifically, can be understood as a security actor when and if HIV/AIDS is understood as a security threat.


National Security Security Council Security Threat World Vision Human Security 
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Copyright information

© Elke Krahmann 2005

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  • Carrie Sheehan

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