Critical Connections: Human Rights, Human Development and Human Security
By Vira Somboon, Department of International Relations, Faculty of Political Science, and Head of the Research Project on International Cooperation and Human Security (HS1069A), Chulalongkorn University
This volume is the compilation of papers presented at an international conference on “Critical Connections: Human Rights, Human Development, and Human Security,” which constituted the 4th International Conference on Human Rights and Human Development. The conference was held at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, during 18-19 August 2011. It was a fruitful result of collaborative efforts between various curricula and institutions, including: Master of Arts in International Development Program, and Center of Development Studies, of the Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University; Asian Research Center for Migration, and the Research Project on International Cooperation and Human Security under the administration of Chula Unisearch, Chulalongkorn University; and Institute for Human Rights and Peace Studies, Mahidol University, Thailand.
The theme “Critical Connections” was aimed to provide a forum for academics and graduate students as well as professionals and practitioners to exchange research findings and experience on the same and overlapping fields of interests. The organizers and participants hoped to establish discursive linkage and practical networking between the subject-areas of human rights, human development, and human security, using both theoretical frameworks and contextual analyses as stepping stones for such endeavors. This volume, of course, can in no way reflect the warm and lively atmosphere of discussions, debates, and initiatives, generated by presenters, commentators, and participants. The event was, moreover, enriched by print and audio-visual exhibitions as well as artistic performances offered by various agencies.
On behalf of the organizing committee I would like to express our sincere appreciation for all kinds of contributions provided by individuals, groups, and institutions. We strongly hope that this volume enrich the attempts to further develop possible and necessary connections between human rights, human development, and human security. Many debates and arguments, generated for decades to clarify similarities and differences of these three approaches, seem to have exhausted intellectual and practical energy of all concerned. It is perhaps high time that a common aspiration among them, that is, better livelihoods for people, particularly the under-privileged and marginalized, should rather be the main focus. I, for one, believe that having a variety of conceptual tools to solve problems and generate change for betterment should not at all be considered and obstacle. On the contrary, we should welcome different but overlapping approaches as complementary and contributive to one another. This is why the connections of human rights, human development, and human security are critical for us all. We are certain that all the papers included herein reflect the initiatives to generate such connections.