BOOK: Rural Livelihoods and Human Insecurities in Globalizing Asian Economies 

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Rural Livelihoods and Human Insecurities in Globalizing Asian Economies 

Surichai Wun'gaeo 

Publication date:


Wun'gaeo, Surichai (ed.) (2007). Rural Livelihoods and Human Insecurities in Globalizing Asian Economies. Bangkok, Thailand: Center for Social Development Studies.


This book is a collection of papers presented at the international symposium Rural Livelihoods and Human Insecurities in Globalizing Asian Economies organized by the Asian Rural Sociological Association and the Center for Social Development studies, Chulalongkorn University on July 28-29, 2006 at Chulalongkorn University.

The participants came from 10 different countries in the Asian region and included prominent members of academia, independent institutions and non-governmental organizations. The numerous and diverse issues discussed involved globalization and changing rural values; sufficiency economy, sustainable development, food security, effects of natural disasters on human security including economic, ethnic, religious and socio-political factors affecting the conflict in the three southern border provinces of Thailand.

The symposium is highly pertinent in light of the most pressing social issues affecting Asian society today. In recent years, holistic, people-centered perspectives on security have emerged. Human security embraces the right of individuals and communities to live in safety, freedom and dignity. It seeks to create an enabling situation for communities to define their own livelihoods and happiness and for individuals to have opportunities and choices to fulfill their own potential while living together in a safe and healthy environment.

Nonetheless, ensuring human security continues to face widespread challenges. These challenges include natural catastrophes, such as the 2004 tsunami, and life-threatening communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS and Avian Influenza. Human security is also jeopardized by human trafficking, environmental degradation, violent conflict, systemic poverty, weak governance, inequitable access to education and health care and top-down development approaches that undermine rural livelihoods. In addition, the negative consequences of the “War on Terror” have only exacerbated the dilemma. Indeed, these issues are vast, but they can only be surmounted through cross-border collaboration and commitment. Although we come from diverse backgrounds, we are united in the common vision of combating these countless threats to human security and rural society.

As one of the organizers of this project, we would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the National Health Foundation and its Director, Dr. Somsak Chunharas, for research funding support, and the Social Research Institute, Institute of Asian Studies, Center for Social Development Studies, International Development Studies Program at the Faculty of Political Science and Chulalongkorn University, especially, Prof. Soothiporn Jittmitraparb, M.D., Vice-President for research affairs whose collective support made this project possible. The publication of this report is from Chulalongkorn University.