Programme agenda


The programme 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. We decided not to structure the programme according to topical issues (development, human rights, etc.) to prevent from confining the debate and research to preset categories. We welcome suggestion or change to the programme from participating institutions.

1.Placing the concept of human security in an Asian context

The first programme area is concerned with providing Asian perspective(s) to the debate on the concept of Human Security. It offers a general theoretical sub-theme and a sub-theme concerned with a pedagogical approach to HS in Asia.

a.Theoretical debates:

Human security has been the subject of much debate. Some countries like Canada and Norway focus on Freedom from Fear, or a narrower definition of human security centered on protection from abuse, violence and war, while others like Japan focus on Freedom from Want, or a broader definition of human security which encompasses general development issues such as health, food and economic security.

This program area proposes to locate the debate on human security in an Asian context. Issues raised in this programme area could include

  • State vs People?
  • Sovereignty vs Responsibility
  • Extent of freedoms in human security
  • The changing face of security
  • Human security as a development issue
  • Etc.

b.Pedagogical implications of Human Security: Teaching, knowledge and research on HS in Asia

This subprogram is concerned with introducing Human Security as a subject in education and research institutions. The discussion is encouraged both in terms of a pedagogical approach to teaching human security and on the relevance of human security in different fields such as security, development, environment, health and social issues.

2.Human Security Issues and Challenges in Asia

This programme area is concerned with discussing Human Security issues and challenges in Asia, at a regional, national, or local level.

a.Regional issues

Focus on Human Security issues that affect many Asian countries or that are cross-border related, including issues related to globalization. The papers should clearly discuss the link between an issue (i.e migration) and its relevance as a broader human security concern.

b.National and local issues

Focus on national level or local level Human Security issues and challenges. The purpose of this sub-theme is to discuss issues that are specific to local or national realities in Asia. We also encourage a comparative perspective to examine whether those issues are specific to an Asian context although they may not be a cross-border issue.

3.Human Security response

This programme area is concerned with the practical and political response to security issues in Asia. It will look at the policies and programmes that have been set up to respond to Human Security challenges, and more specifically at evidence of changes and impacts resulting from existing response to human security challenges in Asia.

a.Policies, programmes

This programme area will look into policies and programmes that are implemented, that have been proposed or should be developed, to respond to human security needs in Asia.

b.Human Security: Changes and Impacts

This program area is concerned with finding and discussing evidence from interventions designed to tackle human security issues. The evidence can focus on the sectors listed above, on process, especially cooperation and coordination, and on actors and institutions (strengths and weaknesses of State vs Non-State actors).


Possible HS topics in Asia: These categories are offered for discussion, and are not meant to be comprehensive.

1.Freedom from fear

Human trafficking

  • Forced labour
  • Sex industry
  • Forced marriage/bride selling

Cross-border threats

  • WMD
  • Conflict and war
  • Terrorism
  • Piracy
  • Drug and people smuggling

Population movements and Forced Migration

  • Famine Refugees
  • Economic migrants
  • Environmental refugees

Conflicts and political insecurities

  • Violence
  • Corruption
  • Weak States
  • Ethnic and religious conflicts

Human rights, Domestic and International Law

  • Civil rights
  • Political rights
  • Women’s rights
  • Children’s rights
  • Freedoms
  • Discrimination and stigma (HIV/AIDS, women, minorities)
  • Social justice

Levels of intervention (in two sub-themes)

  • Community security
  • National security
  • Regional security

2.Freedom from want

Health security

  • SARS
  • Bird Flu

Environmental security

  • Land, water scarcity/depletion
  • Deforestation, desertification
  • Pollution (cross-border impacts, i.e acid rain, marine pollution, etc)
  • Climate change
  • Natural disasters (Tsunami, earthquakes, landslides, floods, etc)
  • Land/water disputes

Economic and Food security

  • Famine and hunger
  • Poverty
  • Economic inequalities
  • Exploitation
  • Food security

Levels of intervention

  • Community security
  • National security
  • Regional security