AY2012 Human Security in Crisis

Past Symposia>AY2012

Human Security in Crisis?
– Global Insecurity after the Financial Crisis
and Fukushima –

10:30- 18:00, Saturday, January 26, 2013
Kiyoshi Togasaki Memorial Dialogue House, ICU
Social Science Research Institute (SSRI – ICU)
Institute for Global Concern (IGC – Sophia University)
Program is available here

Introductory Remarks

Prof. Junko Hibiya (President, ICU)
Prof. Wilhelm Vosse (Director, SSRI)

Symposium Theme: Human Security in Crisis?

Dr. Giorgio Shani (ICU)

Plenary Session 1

Human Insecurity of the Terminal Phase of Westphalian Capitalism: Human Security after the Lehman Shock, 9-11 and 3-11

– Prof. Kinhide Mushakoji (Osaka University of Economics & Law)

1. The New Cold War Between States and TNCs and the world vulnerable multitudes: Human Security Polarization between Total-War States and TNCs on the one hand, and Vulnerable citizens and Multitudes on the other, created by Fear (9.11), wants (Lehman Shock), and environment catastrophes (3.11) where moribund Financial Capitalism relies to survive on the financial support of Total-War coalitions of Westphalian States in and out of the United Nations transferring debt bonds on vulnerable citizens and multitudes.
2. The New Middle-Age and Human Security:
The Three-Levels Global System with a Westphalian Sphere in terminal phase with Emerging Powers, a Global Sphere of Mega TNCs and Emerging States enjoying unsustainable boom, and a Chaotic Sphere with islands of despair supported by Transnational Terrorism, and islands of hope supported by NGOs, ILCs and Anti-Hegemonic coalitions. Human Security plays two major roles in protecting vulnerable sectors in this new Dark Age, and in empowering new agents towards the emergence of a counter-hegemonic socio-cultural Renaissance.
3. Human Security protecting the victims of Human Security:
The Technocratic “Human Security” Efforts, generates Human Insecurity and fear through humanitarian interventions and Security Sector Reforms. It also reproduces wants and Eco-Social Insecurity by encouraging Global Exogenous development aids polarizing ecosystems and societies. These negative applications of protective “Human Security” create needs for empowering applications of Human Security towards vulnerable individuals and communities.
4. The Free Floating Planning mission of human security in face of the Chronic Human Insecurity in the Vulnerable Sectors of the Global System:
Protective “human security” is associated with Technocratic Meritocracy reproducing of Mediocracy misuse of Human Security, Human Security becomes a legitimizing argument for order maintenance denying Creative Alternatives by their association between Human Security and Imperial Common-Sense Reproduction. It also helps the fixation of models of modern humanism, based on the ideal types of Homo Economicus and Homo Politicus obstructing roads towards Multi-cultural Conviviality which require overcoming greed and arrogance associated with the two ideal types. Human Security has to support non-State security empowerment of the islands of insecurity in the Dark Age ocean of insecurity. Human Security should protect their efforts based on pluralistic identity recognition leading to multi-cultural “common-security” of all vulnerable peoples.
5. The Organic Intellectual mission of Human Security in Building a New Multi-Cultural Renaissance:
Islands of despair and of hope in the Ocean of Post-Modern Dark Age may someday generate new potentialities for counter-hegemonic change towards a new Pluralistic Renaissance. This will become possible only when Human Security can link their despair and hope through Common Security among citizens and multitude joining a Human Security Coalition with alternative economic development movements, global human rights and justice movements, and Mother Earth movements of indigenous communities and industrial society citizens. Human Security and Human Rights provide the possibility of combining universal values coming from the West Enlightenment with individual collective values of non-Western indigenous and Axial Religious civilizations.
6. Human Security Studies aiming should aim at the formation of a new Epistemic Community Surviving the Dark Age and Preparing a New Multi-civilizational Renaissance:
The New Dark Age needs that the Universal Values of the Western Civilization be transmitted and creatively combined with non-Western communitarian values through an inter-Civilizational dialogue. Human Security should become one of the Arena for such inter-Civilizational and inter-paradigmatic dialogue, as the Christian Monastic Orders did in Western Dark Age. This requires that Human Security becomes an epistemological intellectual field where free-floating and organic intellectuals can exchange ideas preparing for a multi-cultural renaissance, combining sub-national identity communities of bio-cultural local regions. The Universalism of Western Enlightenment should be linked with these local identity epistemic micro-communities through traditional epistemic communities recognizing the importance of a Common Security structure of multi-culturalism through a common acceptance of Human Security. Human Security should be closely associated with the Security of Mother earth, with the unity and diversity of Life should become the basis of Common Human Security. The Renaissance of the Western Civilization was built by the alliance of Universalist intellectuals sharing a Greco-Roman value system and the emerging national identity communities of the emerging national intellectuals. A new Renaissance in the post-Lehman, 9.11 and 3.11 world will have to combine the Universal Values of Human Rights with emerging, or rather re-emerging traditional community values of indigenous peoples and pre-modern axial civilizations representing different perceptions of the core values shared by all humans, individuals and communities at the root of the Human Security.

Discussant: Prof. Shin Chiba (ICU)
Chair: Prof. Koichi Nakano (Director, IGC)

Plenary Session 2

Expulsions: When Complexity Produces Elementary Brutalities

– Prof. Saskia Sassen (Columbia University)

The Keynesian period of the post-World War II decades brought with it an active expansion of logics that valued people as workers and consumers. The current phase of advanced capitalism prides itself in the development of complex systems, logistics, and capacities. But the outcome has been a growth of elementary brutalities. In the last two decades there has been a sharp growth in the numbers of people that have been “expelled” from homes, villages, life projects, support systems; their numbers are far larger than the newly “incorporated” middle classes of countries such as India and China. I use the term “expelled” to describe a diversity of conditions: the growing numbers of the abjectly poor, of the displaced in poor countries who are warehoused in formal and informal refugee camps, of the minoritized and persecuted in rich countries who are warehoused in prisons, of workers whose bodies are destroyed on the job and rendered useless at far too young an age, able-bodied surplus populations warehoused in ghettoes and slums. My argument is that this massive expulsion is actually signaling a deeper systemic transformation that has been documented in bits and pieces but not quite narrated as an overarching dynamic that is taking us into a new phase of global capitalism. The paper is based on the author’s forthcoming book Expulsions.

Discussant: Prof. Nana Oishi (Sophia University)
Chair: Prof. Wilhelm Vosse (Director, SSRI)

Plenary Session 3

Human Security and Abandonment

– Prof. Mustapha Kamal Pasha (University of Aberdeen)

Recent reworking of Marx’s category ‘primitive accumulation’ as ‘accumulation by dispossession’ (ABD) by David Harvey presents productive avenues (as ably demonstrated in Saskia Sassen’s work, ‘A Savage Sorting of Winners and Losers’) to map out complex processes attending late neoliberalism. Extending this line of thinking, this paper introduces the theme of abandonment as an essential constituent of the late neoliberal project. It is argued that late neoliberalism does not only rely upon the processes encompassed by the category of ABD, but also actively rest upon an affective register of vulnerability. The psychic, emotional, and physical aspects of this register help produce, it is argued, neoliberal subjectivities attuned to a capitalism which increasingly reveals a (nihilistic) death-wish. Against this backdrop, the implications for human security discourses, particularly of a critical vintage, are significant since neither the progressivist liberal promise of modernization nor the statist Keynesian program—hegemonic genealogies of human security thinking—can help mitigate the impact of a system wilfully structured around abandonment.

Discussant: Dr. Giorgio Shani (ICU)
Chair: Prof. Katsuhiko Mori (ICU)

Human Insecurity in Post Fukushima Japan

The Politics of Hybrid-Monster: Reflection on the Boundary between Misfortune and In justice
– Prof. Hiroyuki Tosa (Kobe University)

Although technology has greatly decreased the empire of fatality, its newly manufactured uncertainty may bring about a big scale of catastrophe. In order to control the nature, the human ironically may create a hybrid monster of nature and science-technology, which the human cannot control. The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster was one convergent consequence of a triple disaster: a magnitude 9.0 earthquake, following 14-meter tsunami and the subsequent full meltdown. More than three hundred thousands people were forced to leave their home due to high degree of radiation caused by the collapse of a nuclear reactor system. These internally displaced persons (IDPs) blame the Japanese government and Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) for permitting the big scale of radioactive contamination at their homeland. Before Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, IDPs had seemed to be a word describing persons suffering from the humanitarian crisis far away from Japan. But the realities of IDPs suddenly fell down upon the people who had lived in a 20 km evacuation zone next to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant due to nuclear radiation leaks. TEPCO tries to defend itself by proclaiming that the company has no responsibility for this disaster because it was beyond the realm of regular expectations. According to TEPCO, this disaster was an extremely unlikely black-swan event and just a misfortune.
However it is quite difficult to describe this disaster just as a misfortune. Even before the happening of this disaster, some scientists and anti-nuclear activists had continued to alarm by saying that nuclear power would bring about un-controllable disaster due to unpredictable causes including a series of human errors and natural disasters such as earthquakes and that these types of disaster would reach a catastrophic level to such an extent that the original natural environment cannot be restored. It involves very high risks to build nuclear power stations on the Japanese archipelago that is situated on the edge of the Pacific Ring of Fire known for earthquakes and tsunamis. Based on the speculated worst scenario, they claim that the nuclear power stations should be stopped to avoid a catastrophe. Despite these warnings and lessons from previous catastrophe such as Chernobyl, the Japanese government had continued to build up nuclear power stations year by year, which total number reached 54 at the time of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. If this was not a misfortune, who are to be blamed for this disaster? This paper scrutinizes the politics of a boundary between misfortune and injustice as well as the politics of risk perceptions between probabilism and the possibilism in the case of nuclear technology.

Accidents, Contracts, and the Radiated Body: Global Nuclear Order at the Break of Fukushima
– Prof. Anna Agathangelou (York University, Canada)

Nuclear accidents are a nightmare for the formation of power and the safeguarding of a global nuclear order. Today, and in the face of nuclear accidents, global ethico-bio-economies have become a vital ground of contestation of global nuclear power. In the name of providing for the victims, a “global defense” contract economy is deployed. This paper looks at the dominant nuclear epistemologies and methods of this economy by exploring the transnational politics of technology and science with a focus on the radiated bodies of Fukushima. It traces the political questions of the present, violence and resuscitation, by pointing to the tensions of regenerating a ‘global body’ in the unfolding of colonization, neoliberal politics, and nuclear accidents. I analyze the activating discourses regarding the body, and its body parts, and engage with the tensions in the humanitarian security protection of the corporeal and the discourses by biotech companies to treat short- and long-term accident effects. This paper draws on the discourses of bio-tech companies and also the interim and final report of the investigation committee on the accident at the Fukushima Nuclear Power States of Tokyo Electric Power Company and articulates a postcolonial framework of techno-scientific understandings of the human body and its security by problematizing major theoretical divides in human security discourses: human and non-human, security and (dis) order. From this vantage point, I rethink the modern scientific-technologies and processes, especially the articulation of their value and meaning in “science cultures” of modernity and its effects on different gendered and racialised bodies and sites. Specifically, I point to the implications for human security IR research and practice and its obsession with the immanent critique of the present, including its critique of the major agents of politics (i.e., the state and the market). I conclude by showing that questions about the suffering and the security of the “radiated” body lie at the heart of today’s shifts and formations of the global nuclear order that require thinking otherwise humans, security and globalization.

Human Security after Fukushima: Plus ça change…
– Dr. Christopher Hobson (United Nations University)

Japan has been one of the biggest proponents of the human security approach, but until March 11, 2011, there was an underlying assumption that was something only relevant for ‘others’. Human security was a development issue; there seemed little need for it in domestic policy. The fallacy of this assumption became abundantly clear as a result of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, however. In this context, the purpose of this paper is to reflect on this disaster through a human security lens. It will be proposed that human security can offer a valuable perspective, if the limitations of the approach are acknowledged. Focusing specifically on the disaster at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, the paper will identify serious vulnerabilities – at the individual and societal levels – that were pre-existing before the disaster, and how these were amplified as a result of the way the Dai-ichi meltdown was handled. More than 1.5 years after the disaster commenced (and it is far from being over), Japan’s nuclear village – the informal coalition of politicians, bureaucrats, and private industry that uses its power to promote nuclear power – has proven to be remarkably consistent, and persistent, in prioritising its own interests ahead of those people affected. In this context, the basic move that human security makes – that the most severe threats and vulnerabilities that people face should drive our decision-making – represents an important, perhaps even radical, critique of the prevailing situation.

Discussant: Prof. Julian Reid (University of Lapland)
Discussant: Prof. Kosuke Shimizu (Ryukoku University)
Chair: Prof. Wilhelm Vosse (Director, SSRI)

Joint Prayer

Father Juan Haider (Sophia University)
Rev. Shoko Kitanaka (ICU)

Concluding Address

Prof. Koichi Nakano(Director, IGC)