Stephen Emerson
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Hussein Solomon
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Thinking about security
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This foundational chapter explores the evolution and meaning of “security” in the African context. It explores how the meaning has changed from the colonial period through the immediate post-independence period to today. It introduces the reader to the concept of “human security” and explains why it is particularly relevant and useful in understanding and assessing 21st century African security challenges. It questions traditional, state-centric notions of security and shows how the traditional top-down approach to African security is inadequate in addressing modern-day security challenges.

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African security in the twenty-first century

Challenges and opportunities


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