The securitization of happiness

  • Ahmed Almadloum

    Student thesis: Master's Thesis


    To date, happiness has not been mentioned as a main or even a minor factor in national security, or into restoring order and building virtues to the country. Some countries have recently prioritized happiness as a national objective, such as Bhutan which incorporated it into its constitution. However, beside the isolated examples, there appears to be little interest to building happiness as a key national priority. One way that policy makers and interest groups raise the importance of an issue as a national priority is to claim that that issue is strongly linked to national security. Having this link gives that issue a much greater status and with it, greater leadership attention and financial support. This thesis examines if happiness will be claimed a national security issue at the near future. After searching and implementing the main elements that contributes into shaping a securitizing matter the results shows that happiness is not a valid issue which cannot be securitized to its psychological mechanism and some conceptual difficulties. Thus by trying to apply Buzan units of security analysis in the structure of happiness it appears that securitizing it may cause more problems than solving it because happiness security approach must be accepted by the audience through declaring that happiness is suddenly a matter of security thus lowering the confidence of the government among the society and eventually that will lead into a decrease of the public happiness which contradicts with the main purpose of securitizing it and that is to preserve if not increase happiness. Happiness was never a matter of security in the UAE and it will not be in the future.
    Date of Award2017
    Original languageAmerican English
    SupervisorAthol Yates (Supervisor)


    • Happiness
    • Securitization
    • National Security.

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