The term “global security” refers to the collective effort of various nations and non-governmental organizations to deal with problems that are threatening collectively to all countries. While there are some international problems that are specific to certain countries, other problems impact and influence all nations. These are things like nuclear proliferation, terrorism, and even climate change. Global security tends to deal with broader, larger problems instead of dealing with smaller, more specific problems. This is because, for the most part, global security deals with non-specific items that are not limited to the regional or even cultural conflicts.
The field of human security looks to shift the focus of protection from states to people. While global security deals with the decisions made by countries and organizations to keep individual nations safe, human security proposes that the primary object to be protected should be the individual rather than the safe. While this may not necessarily change the decisions that governments make, it could alter the object of their policies. Human security proposes that the needs of the individual must always be put above the needs of the state, and it purports that the state’s primary purpose in putting together a security approach should be protecting people.
Under a standard global security approach, one might view individuals as agents of the state, working to come up with solutions to provide for the collective good. Under a human security approach, states are seen as agents of human beings, and the state is expected to make decisions that ensure the sanctity of human safety. While this distinction may seem like a small one, it is very important and can ultimately alter the course that a government or non-governmental organization takes in dealing with various threats that might come about.