Current Institutional Affiliation
Professor, Graduate School of Law, Kobe University

Award Information

Abe Fellowship 2019
Institutional Affiliation (at time of award):
Professor, Graduate School of Law, Kobe University
Research on UN Member States' Perceptions on Human Security in View of Exploring Possibility of Transnational Cooperation

In the contemporary world under globalization, security threats to individuals and societies have become more transnational and multi-dimensional in nature. Such threats range from pandemics, natural disasters, armed conflict, to terrorism. Human security, by taking a human-centered approach, calls for the transnational cooperation to promote policies and actions necessary for avoiding downside risks of human existence. In the United Nations, the resolution on human security was adopted at the General Assembly in 2012 as a result of leading initiative by Japan and Mexico. After seven years, how far have UN member states understood the concept and made efforts to utilize human security approach in concrete policies? First, the applicant will empirically clarify what kind of changes in perceptions of the member states have been discerned and what kinds of policy postures they have taken in the UN to realize ideals in human security. Second, the applicant will find ways in which human security can serve as concrete policy guidelines, by conducting interviews with major think tanks, researchers, and policy makers. The goals of the present research are two-fold. First, it empirically elucidates UN member states' perceptions on the concept of human security and the ways human security should be implemented. Second, the proposed research aims to find concrete ways to promote transnational cooperation among researchers, civil society members, and policy makers. American researchers' participation in the global human security research community has been so limited that the applicant aims to promote further ties with the US scholars to develop a transnational "epistemic community" in the field of human security. The proposed research has an academic significance for the constructivist research paradigm. The question of whether and how international norms do matter in international relations has been one of key issues in constructivist research. Her research contributes to the debate by focusing on the debated question of how norms/ concepts are interpreted and internalized by agents. This is crucial since interpretation of norms does affect the way they are implemented by agents. In order to examine member states' perceptions on human security, the applicant uses a mixed methods of quantitative text analysis and in-depth interview. The applicant will select target countries that represent different attitudes towards human security. By setting the timing of adoption of UNGA resolution in 2012 as an important juncture for a human security concept, overall trends and changes in member states' perceptions will be analyzed based on computer-based text analysis. Then, utilizing the insights from the quantitative text analysis, the applicant will conduct in-depth interviews with the selected member states' representatives at the UN. The interview data will be also used for descriptive analysis on perceptions and implementation of policies by member states. Lastly, through the above-mentioned interviews with foreign policy officials of UN member states and additional interviews with think tanks and researchers, the applicant will try to find possible areas and ways of transnational cooperation among researchers and policy makers.