Publisher: University of Calabar

Global Poverty: A Threat To International Peace and Security

Dodeye Uduak Williams
KEYWORDS: Global Poverty, Peace, Security, International System, Stability


   In recent years, the concept of security has become progressively stretched and expanded in its referent object, core values and types of threats (Hadinwinata, 2004). Conventionally, security as a concept in international relations is concerned with the nation state and inter-state relations. The emphasis has been on military threats and the need for strong counter measures; it has also been status quo-oriented and focused on states (Booth, 1991:318). Traditional realist scholars like Walt (1991:212), insist that security should be limited to deliberate threats, rivalries between states and narrowly studied as ‘the threat, use and control of military force’ given that many issues outside this scope do not pose a direct threat to the security of the state, much less the international system that gives the state its nature. However, many scholars agree that the pursuit of human security must have at its core the satisfaction  of basic material needs of all humankind. At its most basic level, food, shelter, education and health care are essential for the survival of human beings; the absence of these essentials is what characterizes poverty (Thomas, 2001:162). Poverty is a highly contested concept and based on its multi-dimensional nature it is usually perceived using  various criteria.  This paper argues that, global poverty, when perceived from the nature of its  impact, rather than its source, has significant implications for international peace and security in a world that is increasingly interconnected. It argues that global poverty has significant Environmental, Economic and Political implications for the stability of the international system.

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