Deepening Security: Towards Human, Gender and Environmental Security: A HUGE Concept


Spring, Úrsula Oswald. 2008. “Deepening Security: Towards Human, Gender and Environmental Security: A HUGE Concept.” Paper presented at International Studies Association’s 49th Annual Conference, San Francisco, CA, March 26-29.

Author: Úrsula Oswald Spring


HUGE suggests as a deepening security concept to integrate Human, Gender and Environmental Security (HUGE). It combines a wider understanding of gender (including children, elders, indigenous and other vulnerable groups) with a human-centered focus on environmental security and peace challenges. The HUGE concept analyzes the patriarchal, violent and exclusive structures within the family and society questioning the existing process of social representation-building and traditional role assignation between genders searching for processes responsible for thousand of years of discrimination. It assesses the human security approach with equity and development concerns, where survival strategies, social organization, specific governmental policies, private ethical investments and legal reinforcements could stimulate sociopolitical participation of the socially vulnerable. As a holistic concept, HUGE includes environmental security concerns where a healthy environment, integral management of natural resources, prevention and remediation practices reduce vulnerability from hazard impacts. Hazard-prone countries are enabled to develop technical, economic and human support to reduce social vulnerability, to foster progress in internal organization and to stimulate resilience-building, supporting themselves and other regions affected by social and natural disasters. It enables especially the socially vulnerable people such as women and exposed groups to reinforce their own resilience-building through bottom-up internal organization combined with top-down policies and institution building. As nonviolent conflict resolution represents a central part of personal and social identity in a world where processes of unification and diversification are occurring quicker than ever in history. Human beings have a basic necessity to simplify and to put order into complex realities through social comparison. The upcoming systems of values, ideas and practices creates simultaneously processes of living together offering persons and groups the possibility to get familiarized with the social and material world, on behalf of contradictory messages and behaviour. Finally HUGE includes reflections on the consolidation of participatory democracy and governance through conflict prevention, nonviolent conflict resolution processes and peace-building; in summary a huge solidarity process of sustainable and equal nonviolent development.

Topics: Conflict Prevention, Democracy / Democratization, Development, Environment, Gender, Gendered Power Relations, Gender Equity, Patriarchy, Governance, Nonviolence, Peace Processes, Peacebuilding, Security, Human Security

Year: 2008

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