- Professor: Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh
- Session: July
- Language of instruction: English
- Numbers of hours of class: 36
Objective of the Course
The course will introduce students to a broader, alternative, conception of “security,” one which concerns not only states and the international system, but also people in their everyday lives. It will examine what the analytical and policy implications would be of looking at contemporary security threats from an individual perspective.
The course will cover the applications of the concept by international organizations in debates about interventions and by states as a foreign policy tool; as well as measurements, both qualitative and quantitative, and complex indicators. It will employ concrete examples, case studies, and interactive exercises in order to contextualize the approaches and tools, and highlight linkages between theory and practice.
The course officers also practical skills in terms of presentations, field work and interview skills. Students will have the chance to conduct interviews with refugees in Paris and gather their human insecurity “stories” in groups which they will then present in class. During one session, an official of the UN will also talk to the students about careers in international organizations.
In today’s interconnected world, the concept of security extends well beyond the traditional analysis of the military actions and diplomatic policies of nation-states. The multiple crises of recent years have sharpened our focus on global inter-dependence and mutual vulnerability among people and nations. Cycles of financial crisis, pandemics, natural calamities, enduring and escalating wars, and rising food prices have not only brought havoc to the security and economy of nation-states and regional systems, but have resulted in disastrous consequences for the survival, well-being and dignity of individuals across national boundaries, often in a domino effect.
In this course, students will analyze international relations through the lens of human security, a topic at the intersection of the fields of security, economic development and human rights. The course will present a holistic worldview in which it is impossible to separate the effects of food security from environmental security, economic security from human dignity, and political security from violence and personal security. Over the course of four weeks, students will examine each of these topics in depth and assess how progress made in one of these areas simultaneously affects others— both positively and negatively. Students will not only develop a comprehensive understanding of the many issues that comprise human security, but also the tools to imagine innovative strategies to combat the problems faced by systems and individuals.
Organization of the Course
- Theme 1) Introduction to Human Security
- Theme 2) Relationship to Traditional Security
- Theme 3) Relations with the Development Approach
- Theme 4) Economic Insecurity
- Theme 5) Measurements
- Theme 6) Intervention, Responsibility to Protect
- Theme 7) Peace and Peacebuilding
- Theme 8) Radicalization and Violent Extremism, Part I: Causes
- Theme 9) Radicalization and Violent Extremism, Part II: Responses
- Theme 10) Community insecurity and Migration
- Theme 11) Human Security as Programmatic and Policy Tool
- Theme 12) HS and International Organization
- Theme 13) Working in the field as a development/humanitarian worker
- Theme 14) Wither Human Security: Wrap Up
Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh is a specialist in human security, peacebuilding, counter-terrorism and radicalization, with geographic specialization in Central Asia and Afghanistan. She teaches at Sciences Po within the Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA), Master's Level courses on Human Security and a course on Understanding and Responding to Radicalization as well as a Summer School Program on Human Security. Prior to the Sciences Po, Tadjbakhsh taught at Columbia University (New York) as an adjunct professor and has been a visiting professor at universities in Kabul, New Delhi, Pretoria, Moscow and Dushanbe. In 2017-2018, she worked as an Advisor to the Government of Kazakhstan during their Presidency of the Security Council (January 2018) where she helped draft a Code of Conduct for the Achievement of a World Free of Terrorism which was signed by more than 70 countries in September 2018. Between 2010 and 2018, she worked as a consultant for the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia (UNRCCA) and the UN Office on Counter Terrorism (UNOCT), implementing the UN Global Counter Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia.
She has also worked with OSCE on radicalization in Central Asia. Between 2010 and 2016 she was a researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) working on Regional Security Complexes around Afghanistan and between 1993 and 2003, she worked at the UN Development Program (UNDP). Tadjbakhsh holds a Bachelor's Degree from Georgetown University (1987), a Master's Degree (1991) and a Doctoral Degree (1994) from Columbia University. She is the author of dozens of publications, including three major books: A Rock Between Hard Places; Afghanistan in its Regional Security Complexes (with Kristian P. Harpviken) (Oxford University Press/Hurst Publishers, 2016), editor of Rethinking the Liberal Peace: External Models and Local Alternatives (Routledge 2011) and author with Anuradha Chenoy of Human Security: Concepts and Implications(Routledge, 2007).