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International Conference

First Asian Conference on Human Security (HSC 2016)

5 - 6 May 2016

Taichung, Taiwan

The Asian Political and International Studies Association (APISA), the Institute of Development and Human Security (Ewha Womans University, Korea) and the Osaka School of International Public Policy will hold the first Asian conference on human security in order to meet the growing demand of the Asian scientific community.





In the beginning of the twenty-first century, global attention has shifted to Northeast and Southeast Asia. With the rise of China and the impending formation of the ASEAN economic community in 2015, most observers have labeled this century to be the Asian one. At the same time, the region is experiencing a shift from concerns about traditional security threats to human security.


Human security represents an emerging paradigm that seeks to shift the meaning of security from its traditionally military-oriented and state-centric focus to a "people-oriented" approach that comprehensively addresses both "freedom from fear" -  protective human security advocated by Canada that stresses the international "responsibility to protect" (R2P) individuals from physical threats beyond the capability of their governments - and "freedom from want" - the "soft" version of human security that favors a long-term development approach to the promotion of human security. This broad definition of human security is advocated by Japan and draws largely on the work of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), which identifies seven possible types of human security threats: economic security, food security, health security, environmental security, personal security, community security, and political security. In order to achieve the goal of human security, that is, "to protect the vital core of all human lives in ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfillment," it requires systematic and comprehensive protection and the empowerment of people to develop their capabilities and resilience to difficult situations. Despite the normative appeal of human security, however, the concept remains vague and contested. It is often criticized because of its broad definition, excessive idealism, inoperability, and tendency to be exploited by actors seeking to enhance their legitimacy and international prestige. Protecting individuals from all sorts of threats, whether economic or political or personal, is always the right thing to do, but for human security to provide guidance to policy-makers and academics, and for the norm to be successfully operationalized in a region characterized by diversity and complexity, it needs to be "demystified" and continuously clarified.


In light of the continuing debate on human security and the pervasiveness of threats to peace and human security in the region, it is therefore necessary to further analyze the concept and evaluate regional responses to human security threats.




Conference themes

Despite conceptual differences in the literature, the fundamental assumptions which unify all approaches to human security are that [1] the individual rather than the state (or the individual situated within a group or community) is, or should be, the most important referent point for security; [2] that the sources of threats to the security of the individual within a state encompass far more than just external military threats; [3] that there is a possible tension between the security of the individual and that of the nation, the state and the regime, but also potential spillover between these realms; and [4] security, development, and human rights are all important for the provision of human security, may be mutually supportive, but there is also a possible tension between these policy prioritizations.

In this respect, approved panels and paper presentations shall focus on the following themes, each corresponding to different dimensions of human security as identified by global academic discourse and policy formulation:

  • the responsibility to protect (R2P);
  • humanitarian intervention;
  • peacekeeping and peacebuilding;
  • the protection of civilians during armed conflict (POC);
  • post-conflict development and reconstruction;
  • disaster relief management.



Submission of abstracts and panel proposals

The working language of the conference is English. As to encourage an informed dialogue, we welcome papers (5000-9000 words) by scholars and professionals from any discipline including but not limited to international relations, conflict studies, economics, law, political science, sociology, philosophy and cultural studies. PhD students are also encouraged to take part. Paper presenters and panel organizers are requested to submit the theme of their panel or the title of their paper along with an abstract (approx. 300 words) and a short curriculum online through a dedicated conference website. Proposals will be peer-reviewed by an international review committee.



Final Call: Submission of Abstracts: 2 February 2016 - 1 March 2016

Notification of acceptance: 5 March 2016

Final papers due: 15 April 2016

Conference registration: 1 January 2016 - 1 May 2016

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