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Online Course: Security Studies- Theory of Human Security

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    Date: Starting March 16th (until June 12th) 2015
    Course instructor: Dr. Bishnu Pathak


    Profile: Dr. Bishnu Pathak:

    Dr. Bishnu Pathak, who holds a Ph.D. in Conflict Management and Human Rights, has been working as a Chief Coordinator (out of seven) on the Petition to the UN for Total Disarmament at the Global Harmony Association and he is the Chairman and Director at the Peace and Conflict Studies Center (PCS Center) in Nepal.

    He is a Board Member of TRANSCEND Peace University. He is presently involved as a senior peace, security and human rights expert on International Evaluation of Support to the Peace Process in Nepal. His book Politics of People’s War and Human Rights in Nepal is a widely circulated volume. His pioneer work on Peace-Conflict Lifecycle has been published in a book on Experiments with Peace, Norway. He is the author of more than 150 research articles on security, civil military relations, peace, human rights, UN, community policing, and federalism, including Nepal’s 2008 Constituent Assembly Elections: Converting Bullets to Ballots, East-West Center Bulletin, Washington. Most of his research articles have been published from abroad. His recent publication on Transitional Security (applying the six-point theory) is being received widely with positive comments. He is committeed to continue his work on peace and security issues in future through teaching, research and writings. He is involved in ongoing research on Second Generation Approaches to Army (Re)Integration in the World.

    Course Content:

    What are the issues and specifics to be covered in this course?

    Week One
    Introduction to the course as well as mutual introduction of the students attending the course. Students will be asked to write a few pages about their past background, interests and motivations to join the course. Respecting the size of the class and interests of the students, several working groups will be formed. Each working group would comprise three to five students of diverse background. All the students would be encouraged to liberally comment and provide feedback on the findings of one another.

    Week Two
    Concept of human security. Discussion on Schools of Thoughts would include traditionalist Security Studies. Notion and understanding of human security will be reviewed. Students will be asked to write their views in about 2 to 3 pages.

    Weeks Three, Four and Five
    Major efforts to define Human Security: Brandt Commission 1980, the Brundtland Commission 1983, Human Development Report 1994, Independent Commission on Human Security, led by Sadako Ogata and Amartya Sen 2001 by the UNDP, Human Security Now: Protecting and Empowering People 2003, Declaration on Security in the Americas 2003 by Organization of American States (OAS), African Union Non-Agression Common Defence Pact 2005, 2005 World Summit. Students will be asked to write their understanding in about 5 to 7 pages.

    Weeks Six and Seven
    Key driving forces for human insecurity: natural and man-made disasters; conflicts and internal violence; massive displacements; health related risks; sudden economic and financial downturns; human trafficking; etc. Principles of Human Security such as universal, people-centered, interdependent, early prevention, multi-sectoral, comprehensive, and non-interference will also be discussed. Students will be asked to write their opinion in about 3 to 5 pages and share them with one another for comments.

    Weeks Eight and Nine
    Human Security and Human Rights: Principles of human rights on philosophy, natural, political, civil, social, economy, culture, religion, legal, worker, and employer. Human security emphasizes triangular relationship with freedom, i.e. freedom from fear (security), freedom from want (livelihood/development), and freedom to live in dignity (human rights). Students will be asked to write 3 to 5 pages and share them with one another for comments and feedback.

    Week Ten
    Transitional security: Objective theory, subjective theory, horizontal theory, vertical theory, control theory and humiliation theory.

    Week Eleven
    What are the possibilities and limitations of security studies and human security ? 4

    Week Twelve
    What are the security options for human security? How the Government-non-Government Organizations shall play roles to enhance human security? Each student writes a proposal on one specific promotional activity. Arguments in favour and against the proposal shall be included. Put emphasis on the possible problems, conflicts and hindrances on the course to promote human security. Examination: The instructor evaluate each student’s participation in the discussions and quality of the papers. Students will be given opportunity to choice the desired topic related to security studies as a last part of the course. A Certificate shall be sent to all who meets the required standards.

    The last week includes a discussion if the whole, or parts of, the group wants to continue to keep in contact and build a network for support and mutual encouragement in the future.

    How is the course designed?

    Here is an example from one of our previous courses:
    The course consists of: (1) readings (2) online discussions among participants, and (3) six formal “solution oriented” collective essays that require cooperative work on a common document (font size 12, word format) of maximum 5 pages in length, drawn from your personal experience, readings and discussions accompanying the course. Additionally, the participants will have the opportunity to attend 6 Skype conferences with various experts in the field. These services are strongly recommended for the completion of the course. Since the goal is to acquire a creative, constructive and concrete idea of conflict dynamics and conflict transformation at micro, meso, macro, and mega levels through literature, complex real-life narratives and exercises, it is absolutely necessary that we share as much as we can. For this reason the entire process is highly interactive and transparent with all the participants freely exchanging their thought process, their interpretations and their views on the instructor’s responses. Through this approach, the core requirement of constructive conflict resolution and conflict transformation, namely cooperation and project building, come to bear.

    Course Format

    The course is articulated in modules. Each module includes a live discussion-session on Skype every two weeks, between 60 and 120 minutes maximum, depending on the number of the participants. It will take place at 12.00 Central European Time (CET) on Saturdays (please find the details), barring any unforeseen circumstances. You will experience how enlightening it is to have participants join in from all around the world. And there will be opportunities to contribute by asking questions and making comments on the course website.

    Content Carriers
    What technologies –Web-based, CD ROM, print, audio, video, pdf, etc.–will be used to deliver the course? For each technology or carrier of information you would like to use, please briefly explain how that technology will be employed (whether a printed study guide would be used to deliver the core course content or the Course lecture materials would be in pdf format and delivered to the students on a CD ROM or Class discussions would take place in a Web-based discussion forum).
    Web-based, CD ROM, print, audio, video, pdf, etc.

    Course Syllabus and Timetable
    The course given below is based on Dr. Pathak’s research on Human Security: From Theory to Practice and his published book on Politics of People’s War and Human Rights in Nepal, and other publications:

    The course will be taught in English.

    Week 1: Introduction
    Week 2: School of Thoughts
    Week 3: Major efforts to define Human Security
    Week 4: Human Development Report 1994
    Week 5: Commission on Human Security Week 6: Key driving forces for Human Insecurity Week 7: Principles of Human Security
    Week 8: Human Security and Human Rights
    Week 9: Freedom
    Week 10: Transitional Security
    Week 11: Possibilities and Limitations Security Studies and Human Security
    Week 12: Security Options for Human Security

    Study Material & Suggested Readings, videos and websites will be discussed with students
    Please mention here the study material that will be needed throughout the course.
    1. Human Security Report. 2012. Simon Fraser University Canada.
    2. Alkire, Sabina. 2003. A Conceptual Framework for Human Security. Centre for Research on Inequality, Human Security and Ethnicity, CRISE Queen Elizabeth House, University of Oxford. Working Paper 2.
    3. Taureck, Rita. 2006. Securitization theory and securitization studies. The Unversity of Warwick
    4. Human Security: Brandt Commission 1980
    5. United Nation’s Second Environmental Conference. 1983. Brundtland Commission 1983.
    6. UN Trust Fund for Human Security. September 10, 2009. Human Security Theory and Practice. Human Security Unit.
    7. UNDP. 1994. Human Development Report 1994. Oxford University Press
    8. Ogata, Sadako and Amartya Sen. 2001. Independent Commission on Human Security. UNDP
    9. Commission on Human Security. 2003. Human Security Now: Protecting and Empowering People. New York.
    10. Organization of American States. October 2003. Declaration on Security in the Americas. Online Available at (Retrieved on January 24, 2013)
    11. African Union Non-Aggression Common Defense Pact. 2005. Online Available at (Retrieved on January 25, 2013)
    12. UNGS. October 24, 2005. 2005 World Summit Outcome. A/RES/60/1
    13. UNGS. March 2010. Human Security. A/64/701
    14. Human Security at the UN. September 2012. Briefing on the Report of the Secretary-General on Human Security. A/66/763
    15. Human Security Center. August 2005. Human Security Report: War and the Peace in 21st Century. The University of British Columbia, Canada.
    16. Bajpai, Kanti. August 2000. Human Security: Concept and Measurement. Kroc Institute Occasional Paper #19:OP:1
    17. Gasper, Des. 2005. Securing Humanity – Situating ‘Human Security’ as Concept and

    Discourse, Journal of Human Development. Vol 6. No. 2.
    18. Basnett, Yurendra. March 2009. From Politicization to Grievances to Political Violence. An Analysis of the Maoist Movement in Nepal. London: London School of Economics and Political Science. Working Paper Series No. 07-78.
    19. Baucom, Donald R. Fall 1985. The Professional Soldier and the Warrior Spirit. In Strategic Review.
    20. Bimali, Pawan and Bishnu Pathak. December 16, 2009. Child Soldiers: Crime against Humanity. Kathmandu: CS Center. Situation Update 89.
    21. Bruneau, Thomas C. et al. October 19, 2009. National Security Councils: Their Potential Functions in Democratic Civil–Military Relations. Routledge Tylor and Francis Group. In Defense and Security Analysis Vol. 25, No. 3.
    22. Child Soldiers Global Report 2008. 2008. Washington: Human Rights Watch. Volume 19 No. 15.
    23. Huntington, Samuel P. 1957. The Soldier and the State; the Theory and Politics of Civil-Military Relations. Cambridge: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.
    24. Janowitz, Morris. 1960. The Professional Soldier: A Social and Political Portrait. Glencoe Illinois: Free Press.
    25. Pathak, Bishnu. 2005. Politics of People’s War and Human Rights in Nepal. Kathmandu: Bimipa Publications.
    26. Pathak, Bishnu. December 2012. Transitional Security. Kathmandu: Transtional Justice Resource Center
    27. Pathak, Bishnu. Manuscript. Human Security Theory to Practice. Kathmandu: PCS Center
    28. Pathak, Bishnu. May 27, 2010. Assessing Maoists Janaandolan III in Theory. Basel: TRANSCEND Media Service. Available at
    29. Pathak, Bishnu. September 12, 2010. An Unpublished Report on Understanding National Security Policy in Nepal. Kathmandu: Nepal Institute for Strategic Studies.
    30. Tzu, Sun. 1971. The Art of War. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    31. Human Security Reports. Online Available at
    32. Human Security Report Project. Human Security Report 2009/2010: The Causes of Peace and the Shrinking Costs of War. New York: Oxford University Press, 2011.
    33. Human Security Gateway. Onlie Available at
    34. Human Security Report Project. 2008. Human Security Brief 2007. Vancouver: HSRP
    35. Human Security Centre. 2006. Human Security Brief 2006. Vancouver: Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia.

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