Human Security: Humanitarian Perspectives and Responses

Istanbul – 24-27 Oct 2013

Under the umbrella of the Käte Hamburger Kolleg / Centre for Global Cooperation Research, Prof. Tobias Debiel, Prof. David Chandler, and Prof. Lothar Brock organised two panels at the upcoming conference 'Human Security: Humanitarian Perspectives and Responses' in Istanbul, Turkey. The conference brought together two annual events, the Istanbul Human Security Conference and the World Conference on Humanitarian Studies.

The concept of human security places people at the centre of global security, recognising that lasting peace and social justice cannot be achieved unless people are protected from threats to their rights and basic needs. The conference aimed at itdentifying recent human security risks, threats and crises that have been affecting different parts of the world. Both, the academic and practitioner communities, discussed how humanitarian perspectives and approaches can be applied to new complex and challenging environments.

In their panels on Saturday, 26th October, the convenors Prof. Tobias Debiel, Prof. David Chandler, and Prof. Lothar Brock combined reflective and critical approaches of human security, and linked them up to empirical research. 

Panel 1 "Human Security Reconsidered: Is there a Shift to the Local" explored the new relationship between developmental, humanitarian and security issues within the framework of human security. The panel focused on theoretical reflections and analysis, but also took case studies such as Libya or Syria into account in order to discuss how attributions of responsibility work with regard to Human Security. Is there a shift of responsibilities (from the nation state to the global level and maybe back to substate and local actors)? This question has been discussed on the basis of the papers by David Chandler, Morgan Brigg and Abou Jeng, both currently Fellows at the Centre.

Human Security, R2P (Responsibility to Protect) and the PoC have increasingly been interconnected over the last few years – blurring conceptual borders and re-constituting our understandings of humanitarianism. Panel 2 "Human Security and Humanitarian Practices" critically examined the consequences of this new politics of protection. On the empirical level, a focus has been on the interactions between international and local agencies in the fields of humanitarian and externally driven state-building practices.
Besides contributions of the panel convenors Tobias Debiel and Lothar Brock, Sascha Werthes (University Duisburg-Essen), Dennis Dijkzeul (Ruhr University Bochum), Katharina Behmer (Ruhr University Bochum), Zeynep Sezgin (University of Vienna) and Olivia U. Rutazibwa (University of Portsmouth) have been at this panel to further the discussion with their papers.

Venue: Kadir Has University, Istanbul, Turkey

More information on the conference can be found here