Human Security and Humanitarian Affairs

The Human Security field focuses on the protection and promotion of well-being of civilians, as individuals and communities. Human security research and practice rests at the intersection of human rights, conflict analysis and resolution, development studies, and humanitarian studies. It especially identifies people at risk of either physical or emotional harm/exploitation, and seeks to understand how such risks can be prevented or mitigated by empowerment of civilians as well as by encouraging responsible and accountable governance.  

This focus differentiates it from traditional security studies, which is more concerned about domestic and foreign policy use of force by the state.  Human security is intended as a complement to, rather than a replacement of, traditional security studies. To best study human security, an explicitly multi-disciplinary lens is required. It therefore draws upon multiple analytic frameworks, including those from history, anthropology, gender studies, sociology, and psychology as well as the fields listed above.  

Field Advisor(s)

Eileen Babbitt

Eileen F. Babbitt

Karen Jacobsen

Karen Jacobsen

Daniel G. Maxwell

Daniel G. Maxwell

Research Centers

Feinstein Center

Henry J. Leir Institute 

World Peace Foundation 

Gender Analysis and Women’s Leadership Program 

Field Requirements

MALD and MIB: 4 courses in field of study 

MGA: 5 courses in field of study 

Total Credits Required  

MALD and MIB: 12.00 credits 

MGA: 15.00 credits

  • DHP P295 Introduction to Human Security 

    DHP P297 Engaging Human Security

  • DHP D202 Contemporary Critical Theory on International Issues

    DHP D207 Religion and Conflict in International Relations: Policymaking Assumptions, Analysis and Design 

    DHP D213 International Humanitarian Response 

    DHP D223 Theories of Conflict and Conflict Resolution 

    DHP D231 Gender and Human Security in Transitional States and Societies 

    DHP D232 Gender, Culture and Conflict in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies 

    DHP D234 Humanitarian Leadership: The Political and Policy Challenges of Being in Charge 

    DHP D235M Overview of Research Methods 

    DHP D237 Nutrition in Complex Emergencies: Policies, Practice and Decision-making 

    DHP D238 Current Issues in Global Immigration Policy 

    DHP D239 Forced Migration 

    DHP D240 Children, Violence, Protection and Resilience DHP D241Climate and Migration 

    DHP D242 Famine, Livelihoods, and Resilience: Food Security Analysis and Response in Crisis 

    DHP P202M Security Sector Reform: Conceptual and Contextual Debates in Peacebuilding

    DHP P207 GIS for International Application 

    DHP P221 Memory Politics: Truth, Justice, and Redress 

    DHP P222 Development Aid in Policy and Practice 

    DHP P225 Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Peacebuilding and Development Programming 

    DHP P228M Advanced Evaluation and Learning in International Organizations 

    DHP P246M Civil Resistance  

    DHP P252 Global Water Security Perspectives

    DHP P293 Democracy and State Reform in Latin America 

    DHP P295 Introduction to Human Security  

    DHP P297 Engaging Human Security

    EIB B230 Managing NGOs and Social Enterprises 

    EIB E241 Development Economics: Policy Analysis 

    ILO L210 International Human Rights Law 

    ILO L213 International Criminal Justice 

    ILO L214M Transitional Justice 

    ILO L216 International Humanitarian Law 

    ILO 217 International Law and Migration 

    ILO L224 Peace Operations

  • Choose one skills course from the following list: 

    DHP D235M Overview of Research Methods 

    DHP D240 Children, Violence, Protection and Resilience  

    DHP P225 Design, Monitoring, and Evaluation of Peacebuilding and Development Programming

  • A practicum is required for MGA students. 

  • Track options:  

    1. Humanitarian 

    1. Migration 

    1. Conflict and Political Violence 

    Humanitarian

    Required: DHP D230 Humanitarian Action in Complex Emergencies 

    Plus two additional from this list: 

    DHP D213 International Humanitarian Response 

    DHP D232 Gender, Culture and Conflict in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies 

    DHP D234 Humanitarian Leadership: The Political and Policy Challenges of Being in Charge 

    DHP D237 Nutrition in Complex Emergencies: Policies, Practice and Decision-Making 

    DHP D239M Forced Migration 

    DHP D240 Children, Violence, Protection and Resilience  

    DHP D242 Famine, Livelihoods, and Resilience: Food Security Analysis and Response in Crisis 

    DHP P207 GIS for International Application 

    ILO L216 International Humanitarian Law 

    Migration 

    Three electives from the list below, plus a core course for the field: 

    DHP D238 Current Issues in Global Immigration Policy 

    DHP D239 Forced Migration 

    DHP D241 Climate and Migration 

    DHP D232 Gender, Culture and Conflict in Complex Humanitarian Emergencies 

    DHP D290 Migration and Transnationalism in Latin America 

    ILO 217 International Law and Migration 

    Conflict and Political Violence 

    Three electives from the list below, plus a core course for the field: 

    DHP D207 Religion and Conflict in International Relations: Policymaking Assumptions, Analysis and Design 

    DHP D240 Children, Violence, Protection and Resilience  

    DHP P220 Understanding Mass Atrocities 

    DHP P221 Memory Politics: Truth, Justice, and Redress 

    DHP P246M Civil Resistance: Global Implications of Nonviolent Struggles for Rights and Accountability  

    ILO L214M Transitional Justice 

    ILO L216 International Humanitarian Law

Faculty with expertise in the field:

Eileen Babbitt

Eileen F. Babbitt

Diana Chigas

Diana Chigas

Karen Jacobsen

Karen Jacobsen

Daniel G. Maxwell

Daniel G. Maxwell

Dyan Mazurana

Dyan Mazurana

Kimberly Theidon

Kimberly Theidon

Alex DeWaal

Alex de Waal