The Human Security unit places the safety and dignity of people at the center of policy analysis. It focuses on threats emanating from nonstate actors, geopolitical vacuums, and authoritarianism. We believe the U.S. national interest is best served by building on the overlap between U.S. strategic priorities and the well-being and security of populations. Our analysis and policy recommendations therefore focus heavily on local context and geopolitics rather than on foreign policy ideology or abstractions.
The Human Security unit analyzes the complex interplay between human security and authoritarianism, including regimes’ treatment of opposition, penal systems, political economy, domestic alliances, and other survival mechanisms.
Non-state actors have a disproportionate importance in Muslim geopolitics, filling a vacuum created by the low legitimacy and poor governance of many regimes. The Human Security unit focuses on a broad spectrum of non-state actors, including militant groups, nonviolent Islamists, political parties, organized crime, and civil society organizations.
Just as weak states leave legitimacy vacuums, they also leave strategic vacuums in which regional powers and armed groups compete. The Human Security unit analyzes geopolitical competition in contested and ungoverned spaces and the implications for U.S. interests and policy options.