Human Security Program

Brendan Howe Director

Contact Details:
Prof. Brendan Howe
Graduate School of International Studies
Ewha Womans University, Korea
E-mail: brendan.howe[at]

The Human Security Program (HSP) aims at promoting awareness about human-security related issues in Asia and consists of a series of academic events organized by APISA in co-operation with its global partners.
The research program has two book series published by Palgrave Macmillan:

  • - Pivot Series on Security, Development and Human Rights in East Asia
  • - Development Cooperation and Non-Traditional Security in the Asia-Pacific

Recent activities under the program include:


Democratic Governance in Northeast Asia

A Human-Centred Approach to Evaluating Democracy Edited by Brendan Howe Comprising case studies of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan, this edited volume explores the key characteristics of democratic governance in Northeast Asia. Each democracy is assessed on the extent to which it enables the flourishing of social capital; prioritizes the interests of all as characterized by freedom from fear and want; and empowers all to participate in the democratic process and governance. With particular focus on the experience of minorities, this volume contends that the acid test of democratic governance is not how well the government represents the interests of the elites, or even the majority, but rather how it cares for the needs of vulnerable groups in society.

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Post-Conflict Development in East Asia
Edited by Brendan Howe

East Asia is a region deeply affected by conflict. Colonial, ideological, and national wars have left their scars and legacies on regional, international, and national governance. Yet East Asian post-conflict development experiences have been viewed as remarkably successful. The three largest economies of East Asia, Japan, China, and South Korea, have all experienced dramatic growth but immediately prior to their periods of expansion, all experienced the devastating impacts of international conflicts and/or civil upheaval. These post-conflict development 'success' stories do not, however, tell the whole tale. Other states in East Asia and in particular certain regions within some of these states, while apparently emerging from similar conflictual backgrounds, have experienced far less positive transitions. This volume critically assesses measurements of success in East Asian post-conflict development from a human-centered perspective. This involves a major re-evaluation of accepted accounts of domestic governance and international relations in East Asia from both a comparative and inter-disciplinary viewpoint. Case study rich, this volume provides policy prescriptions for East Asian donors and actors in an effort to provide Asian solutions for Asian problems.

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The Protection and Promotion of Human Security in East Asia
Brendan Howe

Although many of the states of East Asia have achieved startling success, not all have benefited from the region's development. Many of the most vulnerable sections of East Asian populations still face tremendous challenges in their daily lives, have yet to enjoy the rewards of the Asian Century, and may even be further imperiled as a result of the forces of development. Brendan Howe examines the measurements of success in East Asian development and governance from a human-centered perspective. He assesses obstacles to the protection and promotion of human security and development through detailed case studies of the most challenged states in the region, including Burma, Timor-Leste, Japan and North and South Korea. He looks at the roles that East Asian actors can play, and have been playing, in protecting and promoting human security at the theoretical and practical level.

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HSP Global Partners: