Conference Info

The International Development Studies Conference on "Mainstreaming Human Security: The Asian Contributiuon" will be held in Bangkok, October 4-5, 2007.


The concept of Human Security (HS) has led to healthy debates in terms of linkages between freedom from fear and freedom from want. It has also extended the debate over security from State to individuals and communities as actors concerned with, and responding to, new security threats to human welfare and wellbeing. The debate on Human Security also has important implications for international development and development studies. If, as Amartya Sen argues, 'development can be seen as a process of expanding the real freedoms that people enjoy', then Human Security is a critical component in ensuring the foundations of development. It also underlines the interdependencies between human rights and development.

However, the concept is not well understood both conceptually and in terms of effective policies and evidence-based programs in an Asian context. In light of this, the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University is taking an initiative to mobilize extensive academic exchange among development studies programmes and development organisations in Asia in constructing an Asian perspective on development and Human Security.

The conference on Human Security would also provide a five-year follow-up to the International Symposium on Human Security titled “Challenges to Human Security in a Borderless World” jointly organised by the Commission on Human Security and Chulalongkorn University on December 11th, 2002.

The proposed conference has the following objectives:

I. To examine the status of Human Security in Asia and to provide an Asian debate on the theoretical aspects of human security.
II. To look at the practical implications of the concept of human security in terms of issues/problems and policy/program implementation from an Asian regional perspective
III. To establish a regional network on Human Security of international development studies programs in Asia

The conference takes a regional approach to HS, both in terms of problems and policies and in terms of research networks. It is also the aim of the organizers that the conference would help set up a regional network of academics and practitioners that would foster research cooperation and debate on HS after the conference.


The program will be divided into three areas, the first one is concerned with conceptualizing human security in an Asian context, the second with addressing human security issues and challenges in Asia and the third with the response to those challenges in terms of

policies, programmes and impacts. Each area is subdivided into two sub-themes for a total of six panels, as follows:

  1. Placing the concept of Human Security in an Asian context
    1. Conceptual debates
    2. Pedagogical implications: research, knowledge and teaching HS in Asia
  2. Human Security issues and challenges in Asia
    1. Regional level issues
    2. Local and national level issues
  3. Human Security response
    1. Policies and programmes
    2. Changes and impacts

We invite universities and research institutes in Asia to participate as co-organizers, conveners or to submit papers for presentation. Please contact Chulalongkorn University’s International Development Studies Programme for further information.