1st Edition

Human Security and Empowerment in Asia Beyond the Pandemic

    254 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    254 Pages 16 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, this edited volume revisits the framework of human security and development. It examines the protection-empowerment nexus as applied to various vulnerable groups and populations affected by the pandemic.

    While the conventional human security literature has focused on top-down protection, this book offers new perspectives on human security by exploring bottom-up empowerment from both theoretical and practical perspectives. It also encourages readers to rethink the agency of vulnerable people in addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic. Through eight case studies from Southeast Asia and Japan, the contributors to this book demonstrate the importance of empowerment in achieving human security. They focus on the responses of vulnerable groups and communities to multiple threats to their lives, livelihoods, and dignity. The chapters discuss key human security concerns, such as poverty, the environment, food, forced migration, gender, health, aging, peace, and justice – all of which have been compounded and exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    An essential resource for students and scholars of human security in the aftermath of COVID-19 and its wider impacts.

    The Open Access version of this book, available at www.taylorfrancis.com, has been made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivatives (CC-BY-NC-ND) 4.0 license. Funded by JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development.

    1. Human Security and Empowerment: Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World

    Mely Caballero-Anthony, Yoichi Mine and Sachiko Ishikawa

    2. Urban Poverty during COVID-19 in Vietnam Case Study: Ma Lang-Dong Tien Neighborhood, Ho Chi Minh

    Vu Le Thao Chi

    3. COVID-19 Impact on the Most Vulnerable Communities In Indonesia

    Jonatan A. Lassa

    4. ‘Lacking in Care’: COVID-19 ‘Shadow Pandemics’ in the Philippines (2020–2021)

    Maria Tanyag

    5. Finding Empowerment Amidst Displacement and Immobility during Disasters

    Lisette R. Robles

    6. COVID-19 and Plastic Pollution in the Citarum River, Indonesia


    7. From Vertical to Horizontal Empowerment of Women (in) Peace and Security: Towards a Feminist Perspective of Human Security

    Ma. Lourdes Veneracion

    8. Aging Society in Thailand during the COVID-19 Pandemic

    Surangrut Jumnianpol, Nithi Nuangjamnong, Montakarn Chimmamee and Thananon Buathong

    9. COVID-19 AND BARMM: The Nested Process of Protection and Empowerment

    Sachiko Ishikawa

    10. In Quest of Empowerment

    Sachiko Ishikawa, Mely Caballero-Anthony, Yoichi Mine, and Ako Muto


    Mely Caballero-Anthony is Professor of International Relations and Head of the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

    Yoichi Mine is Executive Director of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development and Professor at the Graduate School of Global Studies, Doshisha University, Japan.

    Sachiko Ishikawa is Professor at the Faculty of International Relations, Ritsumeikan University, Japan, and Visiting Fellow at Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development.

    For scholars and practitioners who intend to place human security at the center of a post-COVID-19 era, the case studies in the volume offer a truly thought-provoking investigation into protection and empowerment and their roles in addressing the needs of vulnerable communities experiencing the effects of compounded human insecurities. Prior to the pandemic, the communities examined here were already experiencing diverse insecurities due to poverty, food shortages, and forced migration due to conflicts or disasters. The research case studies eloquently steer away from stove-pipe approaches, and embrace a multi-disciplinary comprehensive approach in "solidarity," as argued in the 2022 UNDP Special Report, New Threats to Human Security in the Anthropocene. Research also reveals how ideas for empowerment can emerge from the process of protection. Three decades after the launch of the human security concept, the operationalization of human security is being severely scrutinized. This book offers a conceptual and practical guide map to its deployment.

    Akiko Fukushima, Senior Fellow

    Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research, Japan

    The pandemic has caused havoc around the world—particularly in vulnerable communities—whether in the Global South or the Global North. This book provides an evidence-based account of how people and communities were affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in various parts of Asia, and how they have overcome the structural barriers through empowerment in critical cases of human security. This is a must-read for policymakers, academics, and students who have understood that the concept of "human security" can provide a powerful tool to analyze and provide practical solutions for "freedom from fear, freedom from want, and freedom to live in dignity" for all.

    Eun Mee Kim, President, Professor 

    Ewha Womans University, Seoul, South Korea

    The concept and practices of Human Security face serious challenges, not least of which is a resurgence of traditional geopolitical visions of security focusing upon military defense, reinforced by a rise in nationalism and great power rivalry. Yet, the current polycrisis demonstrates that Human Security, as a guide to policy, is needed more than ever. This excellent book explores the importance and feasibility of Human Security in East Asia, in response to COVID-19 and development challenges, amongst others. Building upon the internationally leading research undertaken by the JICA Ogata Research Institute in the field of Human Security, it is conceptually rich and empirically rigorous, while demonstrating how ideas can have a positive impact upon people’s lives.

    Edward Newman, Professor of International Security

    University of Leeds, UK

    Human security is a beautiful concept that needs to be effectively operationalized, and this book aims to do just that by focusing on specific vulnerable populations in Japan and several Southeast Asian countries. The ten chapters cover a wide range of issues that scholars would find conceptually, theoretically, methodologically, and empirically stimulating and refreshing in light of COVID-19. I highly recommend this valuable book to everyone interested in delving into the latest research in the post-COVID world.

    Sorpong Peou, Professor; Graduate Program Director

    Toronto Metropolitan University, Canada

    Over the past decade, JICA Ogata Sadako Research Institute for Peace and Development (Previously JICA Research Institute) has yielded numerous impressive products. This volume is a continuation of its path-breaking work in the field of human security. This book can be widely used in classrooms and research offices.

    Ren Xiao, Professor

    Fudan University, Shanghai, China