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Publication Date

1-1-2021

Abstract

Since the end of the Cold War, a significant number of aid workers have been assaulted and killed, projecting humanitarian assistance as a precarious discourse. Given that humanitarian workers find themselves in dangerous environments and the threats they are exposed to, the need for security has become an exigent concern for most aid agencies and workers (Barnett, 2011 and VanBrabant, 2001). In view of this, security has now been implanted in the conceptualization, planning and delivery of aid. Though the Copenhagen School is associated with the theory of securitization which provides a framework for defining security as securitizingobjectsandreferentobjects(Watson,2011), differentschoolshaveconstruedsecuritizationin different spheres. Waever, (2014) identifies that it is by labelling something as a security issue that it becomes one (Waever, 2014:13) while Murphy (2007) underscores that securitization is a public process that encompasses social security. Nevertheless, other scholars like Taureck (2006) have maintained that security to be an adaptable concept that is redefined constantly with Vaughn (2009) and Watson (2011) identifying that securitization discourse is promoted with humanitarianism itself. Due to the threats and perilous situations humanitarians are exposed to, governments and humanitarians aid agencies have revised their aid strategies to encompass security concerns often citing the adage “there is no security without development and no development without security”(Duffield, 2007:1). This paper therefore argues that donor state securitization is a threat for humanitarianism.

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