The Human Security Institute
Minutes of the 16th lecture of Lecture Series on “Dimensions of Human Security”.
Topic of the Lecture: Elements and Human Flourishing: Friends and Enemies
Guest Speaker: Dr. Michael Hannahan
Date: August 26th, 2021
Time: 01:00 pm
Origin of Constitutional concept of Human Security:
The fundamental concepts of human security are derived from Magna Carta is a royal charter of rights agreed to by King John of England at Runnymede, near Windsor, on 15 June 1215. The absolute monarch was made to concede that subjects possessed certain rights which could not be violated even by the sovereign. The origin of fundamental rights in modern Constitutions can be traced back to 17th and 18th century philosophers; John Locke and Rousseau. Initial rights were life, liberty and property, inviolability of human person was added later. American constitution and courts played a vital role in development of modern concepts of rights.
What is Security? human security defines as access to a minimum threshold of food, water, heath, care, shelter, education and work.
- Hobbes: the state of nature is characterized in which each individual has a nature right to everything (equality)
- Existence in the state of nature is as Hobbes famously states: “solidarity, poor, nasty, brutish and short”.
- The only solution is a Government that command absolute obedience.
- Locke “The state of Nature has a law of Nature to govern it”.
Problems create when people not understanding them. Creates dispute over rights and property and punishments were not executed.
- Locke believed in forming a government and give up some power to the common institutions, Checks and balances, Separate Powers, Independent Judiciary, Separation of Church and State.
- Williams says “The State of Nature has never existed, there has always been politics”.
- According to him “Providing order” is the first political problem, but that is not enough there must also be “Culturally appropriate justifications for those actions”.
- He gave the solution “A system of politics that provides for order (at a minimum) and successfully offers explanations.”
- Revolt is Failure to provide order or, failure to provide “accepted explanations” and “a process whereby explanations can be offered and altered and contested.”
- Despite earlier optimism that democracy would naturally lead to an increase in human security, existing data, in contrast to other security categories, reveal only a weak overall correlation between the strength of a country’s democracy and its levels of human security
- The evidence does suggest, however, a fundamental difference between more bureaucratic and institutionally strong regime types (whether democratic or autocratic) versus more patronage-based and institutionally weak forms of either regime type.
- Bureaucratic democracies are strongly associated with high levels of human security while patronage autocracies are associated with low levels.
- Human security results for institutionally weak or patronage democracies and bureaucratic autocracies are more mixed
- Factions “Majority oppress a minority.”
- Political problem is “Break and control the violence of faction.” And the solution is “Give everyone the same opinion.”
Short BIO of speaker
Michael Hannahan, Ph.D.is Director of the UMass Civic Initiative, a program based in the Donahue Institute. As Director, he has managed 47 different exchange programs over the past 11 years and has spoken extensively in Pakistan, Iraq, Indonesia, and Argentina. He has also managed programs in Croatia, Russia, and Bulgaria. Dr. Hannahan’s research examines the effects of political campaign activity, especially direct mail and phone banks. Dr. Hannahan has worked for political parties, managed campaigns and political consulting firms, and served as senior advisor to former Massachusetts Governor Jane Swift. He teaches American Political Thought, American Government, Campaign Finance and Reform, and Modern Political Campaigns. Dr. Hannahan received his master’s degree and Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and his bachelor’s degree from Miami University (Ohio).