Human security in Southeast Asia: A perspective from Bangi

December 5, 2012
Credit: Trey Ratcliff C.C

Rashila Ramli and colleagues from Universiti Kebangsaan in Malaysia have developed a model to improve human security in Southeast Asia. The so-called "Bangi approach to Human Security (BAGHUS)" is outlined in the latest edition of the Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Human security as promoted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in 1994, has seven dimensions; economic, environmental, political, food, personal, health and community with the eighth dimension of cultural security added more recently by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Although the UN approaches are universally accessible, they often required modification to suit local needs and circumstances. Therefore Ramli and colleagues propose the addition of a ninth dimension: social security with their BAGHUS approach.

They argue that social security is the most important component of human security. People need a reasonable assurance of economic and to thrive. In other words, human security for the SE Asian encompasses security from within (freedom from fear) and the needs for human development (freedom from want).

Personal security is interconnected with that of the community due to a strong sense of individuals as members of a community in the region. Cultural security also focuses on the gender equality in BAGHUS whereas the UN focuses on protecting certain ethnic or .

The allows a more holistic analysis of human security and peace. Whereas as the models emanating from the UN Agencies tends to be universal, BAGHUS takes into account the specificities of the region. Other regions may have different conditions than SE Asia, so the model has to be applied creatively by taking into account their specificities. Nevertheless, BAGHUS provides a starting point for those wishing to more successfully apply UN approaches in a particular region.

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More information: Rashila Ramli, Zarina Othman*, Nor Azizan Idris and Sity Daud (2012) Towards a Modified Approach to Human Security in Southeast Asia - A Perspective from Bangi. Pertanika Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities 20 (3): 577-588.

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