The Effect of Security Threats on Human Development

Document Type : Original Article


1 MSc Student, Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran. (Corresponding Author)

2 Faculty of Economics and Politics, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran


Do security threats increase or decrease a country’s pace of improving human development? If security threats increase the military budget, lead to capital outflow, and destroy infrastructures, the decrease of human development’s growth should be more likely. If, however, security threats increase state centralization and national cohesion, the country will likely experience more growth in human development. Focusing on competing views of why security threats might increase or decrease the growth of human development, this article offers an empirical examination of the effect that security threats have on human development. Utilizing panel data for the period of 1990 to 2010, the findings suggest that states’ security threats, in general, have a harmful effect on the growth of human development. The results also show that domestic security threats have a greater negative influence on human development than external security threats. Finally, we find that the effect of security threats on human development is dependent on the level of development of countries. As the level of development increases, the negative effect of security threats on human development diminishes and becomes negligible.