e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

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Towards a Modified Approach to Human Security in Southeast Asia - A Perspective from Bangi

Rashila Ramli, Zarina Othman, Nor Azizan Idris and Sity Daud

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 20, Issue 3, September 2012

Keywords: BAGHUS, human security, Southeast Asia, realist, neo-liberal

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The concept of "security" has spurred the imagination of people for as long as there has been a need to overcome fear. Traditionally in the field of International Relations, the issue of security has been discussed from the "realist" perspective. With the end of the Cold War, security has been recast to include issues such obvious threats as organized criminal activities, (including trafficking in humans, drugs, and weapons), plus threats to human rights, health and safety, and opportunities for education and economic well-being. Concurrently, this shifting paradigm has signalled an increasing interdependence and the importance of non-military issues; it also demonstrates the influence of a "neo-liberal" approach, in which security concerns are increasingly focused on human well-being and less on the state. Human security literature can be traced way back at least to 1994, when the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) published the "Human Security Framework." It had seven dimensions, namely, environmental, economic, health, personal, community, political and food. Three years later, the dimension of "cultural security" was added in a refined version created by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). In this article, the authors provide a critique of that resulting model. The models emanating from the UN agencies are useful and comprehensive, but since they are intended to be universally applicable to all countries, they need to be modified when applied to specific regions or countries by taking into account the specificities of the region. Thus, we offer the rationale for a modified and extended model based on UNDP and UNESCO models, which we call, "The Bangi Approach to Human Security," or "BAGHUS." We analyzed that human security issues fell into two major categories, namely, "man-made issues" and "natural disasters." In this article, the focus is on the former. Preliminary findings suggest that BAGHUS provides a complementary platform that is useful for analyzing the security needs of a country. It involves two new dimensions, social security, other than it recognizes the link between personal security and community security. It is hoped that, as a new approach, BAGHUS will contribute to a better understanding of human security issues in the SE Asian region and elsewhere.

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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