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Über dieses Buch

This book reveals how the idea of human security, combined with other human-centric norms, has been embraced, criticized, modified and diffused in East Asia (ASEAN Plus Three). Once we zoom in to the regional space of East Asia, we can see a kaleidoscopic diversity of human security stakeholders and their values. Asian stakeholders are willing to engage in the cultural interpretation and contextualization of human security, underlining the importance of human dignity in addition to freedom from fear and from want. This dignity element, together with national ownership, may be the most important values added in the Asian version of human security.



Chapter 1. Human Security in East Asia: Assembling a Puzzle

This chapter describes the motivation of the research project, provides the theoretical framework of the entire book, and gives a summary of the findings of the case study chapters. In the process of diffusion of human security norms in East Asia, several features have emerged. First, East Asians have accepted a comprehensive definition of human security regarding the perception of threats. Second, East Asians tend to think that human security and state security are complementary. Third, the constituent elements of the human security norms such as freedom from fear and from want, freedom to live in dignity, protection, and empowerment are already accepted by East Asian nations. We need an extra effort to elevate human security to a full-fledged norm in the region.
Yoichi Mine, Oscar A. Gómez, Ako Muto

Chapter 2. Human Security Problems in Cambodia: Far from Over

This chapter aims to explore how the notion of human security is perceived and interpreted by Cambodians, and what suggestions can be offered for mitigating the human insecurities faced by the people. The authors conducted extensive interview surveys and focus group discussions targeting key stakeholders as well as ordinary villagers. Guided by the framework of the seven dimensions of human security proposed in the Human Development Report 1994, the authors try to identify threats in Cambodia. According to interviewees, human security in Cambodia will only be ensured through “cooperative” communication and collaboration among multiple layers of the government, political parties, and other stakeholders. Those who are in power should listen to the voices of the people.
Pou Sovachana, Alice Beban

Chapter 3. Human Security in Practice: The Chinese Experience

This chapter elaborates on how the idea of human security is defined and understood by the government and various actors in China. As one of the permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, China, has been supportive of international norms advocated by the UN, and even though the term human security has not been frequently used, in effect it has been vigorously practiced. For both the government and the academic community in China, human security and national security are not necessarily in confrontation but rather can complement and strengthen one another. The purpose is to improve the quality of people’s everyday life and the government is expected to contribute to this end. Chinese people expect the government to extend a parental roof over the people.
Ren Xiao

Chapter 4. Perceptions on Human Security: An Indonesian View

This chapter is based on thorough interviews with stakeholders including policymakers, ex-military officers, academics, and non-governmental organization activists. Interviewees mentioned such issues as poverty and religious intolerance as major threats to human security. The chapter examines the Constitution of Indonesia as well as various laws that contain elements related to human security. While many legal documents refer to the freedoms from want and fear and the freedom to live in dignity, none of them specifically uses the term “human security.” This may reflect a level of hesitancy among policymakers to fully embrace the concept. In Indonesia, human security is sometimes regarded as a sub-category of national security. Strong political will on the part of the government seems to be required in order to mainstream human security.
Lina A. Alexandra

Chapter 5. An Analysis of Japanese Stakeholder Perceptions

This chapter focuses on the case of Japan, often acknowledged as being one of the most committed advocates of human security as a component of foreign policy. This chapter presents the rich narratives on human security given by Japanese stakeholders in the government, academia, civil society, and private sector, revealing the essential added value of the human security concept, which includes greater emphasis on “onsite needs and people-related needs.” Many of the interviewees also pointed to the utility of human security for addressing human insecurities inside Japan. The author concludes the discussion with a caution against possible “politicization” of the concept and suggests areas for future human security research such as the cross-sectoral, “comprehensive” approach, to challenges that cross the borders of sovereign states.
Kaoru Kurusu

Chapter 6. Perceptions and Practice of Human Security in Malaysia

This chapter discusses the perceptions and understanding of human security in Malaysia. Putting a premium on the role of civil society, the authors examine threats to human security and the policies of the Malaysian government in areas such as lingering poverty, minority issues, human trafficking, suppression of the freedom of expression, and the plight of the Rohingya refugees. While civil society actors place greater emphasis on the discourse of human rights rather than human security, the government focuses more on the notion of non-traditional security and considers it as part of its comprehensive security. The authors recommend that the government should take the lead in mainstreaming human security by prioritizing policies that empower communities and further opening up spaces for civil society movements through genuine cooperation in order to better address peoples’ insecurities.
Benny Cheng Guan Teh, Ik Tien Ngu

Chapter 7. Human Security and Development in Myanmar: Issues and Implications

This chapter addresses the situation in Myanmar, a country now facing acute human security challenges in the course of historical reform. The stakeholders mentioned such pressing issues as environment and climate change, urbanization, migration, peacebuilding, and poverty reduction. The author argues that the “Japanese approach” to human security will work well in the Myanmar context where building a culture of trust among different interest groups is at stake. The ASEAN and its development partners can leverage ASEAN’s constructive engagement mechanisms in pursuing human security in Myanmar, as demonstrated by the relief operations during Cyclone Nargis in 2008. The model of consultation developed during that crisis may be applicable to ending the Rakhine communal clashes and the resultant exodus of Rohingya refugees.
Moe Thuzar

Chapter 8. Human Security in Practice: The Philippine Experience from the Perspective of Different Stakeholders

This chapter explores the way human security is viewed in the Philippines. Based on comprehensive review of literature, key informant interviews, and focus groups, the author maps out perspectives and interpretations of human security among key stakeholders in the Philippines. They acknowledge the importance of the human security concept in dealing with various threats; civil society organizations and universities have already incorporated the human security approach into their advocacy, curricula, and programs, though the concept itself has not been extensively discussed since the enactment of the controversial Human Security Act of 2007. It is suggested that the concept needs further clarification and contextualization in light of local cultural settings and people’s day-to-day experiences. Elaboration on human dignity may take the human security discourse to a higher level.
Maria Ela L. Atienza

Chapter 9. Human Security in Singapore: Where Entitlement Feeds Insecurity

This chapter describes the paradoxical development of human security in Singapore. Despite achieving a high level of human security nationwide, the heavy top-down approach has not sufficiently empowered the Singaporean people. The authors enumerate the insecurities faced in Singapore, such as growing social inequality, increased risks for local enterprises, minority issues, and the unintended consequences of a highly active online community through social media. Given Singapore’s small size and its proximity to other states, the city state is aware of its vulnerability and hence needs to take steps to mitigate transnational risks, such as human trafficking, migrant worker issues, trans-border pollution, pandemics, and natural disasters, which could have a spill-over effect into Singapore. This chapter shows that the human security approach can be appropriate in developed as well as developing nations.
Belinda Chng, Sofiah Jamil

Chapter 10. Human Security in Practice: The Case of South Korea

This chapter discusses the acceptance of human security by the “ODA community” in South Korea. The authors examine official documents, academic publications, and interviews with stakeholders, to see whether the term “human security” was explicitly or implicitly used. The result shows that even though the South Korean government does not use the term very often, it has embraced the three freedoms, protection, and empowerment in its official development assistance (ODA) policies. While it is not clear whether the idea of human security has been fully implemented in ODA activities, it is noteworthy that the term has been explicitly used by the South Korean government. The chapter concludes by mentioning the possible utility of the concept with regard to future situations around North Korea.
Eun Mee Kim, Seon Young Bae, Ji Hyun Shin

Chapter 11. Human Security in Practice in Thailand

This chapter traces the process of acceptance of human security in Thailand in terms of both concept and operationalization by reviewing literature and interviewing key stakeholders. The position of the Thai government on human security is Janus-faced. The Thai government capitalized on the concept of human security in 1994 at the time it was propounded by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). After establishing the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS) in 2002, however, the focus has shifted from foreign policy for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to domestic “Thai-style” social welfare policy. While “Thai-style” human security is supposed to be one way of localizing the alien concept, the author argues that its “depoliticization”, that is, the omission of the “freedom from fear” aspect, tends to narrow the concept’s scope of application.
Surangrut Jumnianpol, Nithi Nuangjamnong

Chapter 12. The Concept of Human Security in Vietnam

This chapter reviews the law and policies relating to human security in Vietnam and demonstrates that the seven elements of human security listed in the Human Development Report 1994 can be implicitly found in the Vietnamese legislation. In responding to the question of how to address human security issues, most interviewees indicated that the government should take the lead in protecting people against threats to human security. Although not familiar with the idea of human security, the interviewees were generally able to quickly link the three freedoms, as well as various threats to human security, to specific examples from their own lives. In Vietnam, human security is “a jigsaw puzzle, in which the pieces are identified and well grasped, but have not been put together.”
Lan Dung Pham, Ngoc Lan Nguyen, Bich Thao Bui, Thi Trang Ngo, Thu Giang Nguyen

Chapter 13. What Is at Stake in Localizing Human Security Norms in the ASEAN+3?: A Comparative Analysis of 11 Qualitative Regional Review Surveys

This chapter provides a comparative analysis of the 11 case studies in the book. Overall, the most conspicuous finding is a peculiar interaction between the people and the state, in which generalized paternalism and expectations that the state will take care of the needs of the people are often embraced. While this could be viewed as a feature of Eastern political culture, as several authors suggest, the chapter proposes different explanations that can be extracted from the survey. From the perspective of the study of human security theory and practice, it is somewhat surprising to find scarce and conflicting elaborations of empowerment and its relationship with protection; that being said, overall it is comforting to find support for pragmatism over conceptual distinctions.
Oscar A. Gómez

Chapter 14. The Way Forward: The Power of Diversity

This chapter wraps up the discussion of all chapters by incorporating perspectives of JICA practitioners. We can advance the human security practice in the three dimensions: national, regional, and global. In the national dimension, capacity development and empowerment will play a key role. In the regional dimension, the diversity of “ASEAN Plus Three” can be the source of dynamic community formation in East Asia. In the global dimension, human security can effectively supplement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by means of its emphasis on risks and vulnerability. Finally, the entanglement of human security and responsibility to protest (R2P) is discussed. Making much of national ownership and dignity, human security is expected to reinforce its influence in East Asia and worldwide.
Ako Muto, Yoichi Mine


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