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Conferences & lectures

Human Security and Human Rights - Competitive or Complementary?

Inaugural Address in the Human Rights Lecture Series

Date & time
Thursday, October 1, 2015
12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Dr. Des Gasper


This event is free


Political Science Department and Loyola Sustainability Research Centre


Adan Suazo


Henry F. Hall Building
1455 De Maisonneuve W. Room H-1220

Wheelchair accessible


In a recent paper in Human Rights Quarterly [vol. 34 (2012), 88–112] human rights scholar Rhoda Howard-Hassmann argues that human security thinking sometimes complements and sometimes undermines human rights principles. Especially ‘the broader view of human security at best repeats, and possibly undermines, the already extant human rights regime.

The two may be competing discourses, despite arguments by some scholars that they are not.’ This presentation will evaluate Howard-Hassmann’s argument, explicating some pitfalls in trying to describe and compare approaches, including her distinction between a useful ‘narrow view’ and a dangerous ‘broader view.’ We will then discuss a series of case studies, to assess whether human rights analysis and human security analysis or approaches appear as competing, or instead complementary, in particular policy fields: gender violence, international migration, and climate change. The talk will conclude with recommendations for future research.

About the speaker

Dr. Des Gasper is professor of States, Societies and World Development at the International Institute of Social Studies (ISS) of Erasmus University Rotterdam. In his research he seeks to combine and connect human development, development ethics, and public policy.

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