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The missing link in human security research: dialogue and insecurity in Kosovo

Kostovicova, Denisa ORCID: 0000-0002-6243-4379, Martin, Mary and Bojicic-Dzelilovic, Vesna (2012) The missing link in human security research: dialogue and insecurity in Kosovo. Security Dialogue, 43 (6). pp. 569-585. ISSN 0967-0106

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0967010612463489


The concept of human security continues to defy definitional clarity at the same time as it is being embraced by policymakers. This article proposes a practice-grounded approach that focuses on investigative method as a way of linking conceptual understanding of human security to the research process. Probing the 'actorness' of individuals in volatile contexts, a study of insecurity in Kosovo shows how dialogue can be applied as a research tool to access and assess human security in the field. Dialogue permits recognition of the power of the researched in the construction of knowledge of security, and accordingly reflects the conceptual shift represented by human security from states to communities and individuals. In the Kosovo study, dialogic research captured individual agency in the face of pervasive insecurity and revealed contradictory effects of such agency. This led to the formulation of the idea of the multidirectional security marker as a means of understanding experiences of insecurity in relation to strategies to combat it. Three such markers - self-reliance, informality and community solidarity - emerged and are analysed in the case of Kosovo. Simultaneously denoting restrictions on people's security and possibilities for overcoming those very same limitations, the markers express the agential dimension of human security and show how agency and security interact.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 The Authors
Divisions: International Development
European Institute
Conflict and Civil Society
Justice and Security Research Programme
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Date Deposited: 23 Nov 2012 14:13
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2021 00:52

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