TEHRAN, Oct. 16 (Press Shia Agency) – A distinguished professor of conflict resolution has said there has been a shift of paradigm from prioritizing state security to security of the citizens.

Professor Timothy M. Shaw, a University of Massachusetts Boston professor of conflict resolution told, through a brief interview to Vahid Pourtajrischi of Mehr News International Service, that regimes in the Arab world were negligent of the concept of human security which backfired with a popular uprising which toppled the autocratic rulers in those countries. “Emergence of Arab Spring was the result of the Arabic governments’ incuriosity to human security issue and its significance,” he added.

What is the importance of Human Security? The concept of Human Security had existed before the end of the Cold War. Why has it taken momentum after the Cold War?

The end of bipolarity made some states more willing to advance human than state security and unacceptable deaths/injuries in Rwanda, Sudan, Syria, etc., make it more necessary and it can be advanced by non-state actors/networks too.

Do you believe that the Arab Spring has been the result of neglect of the issue of Human Security?

The Arab Spring was one result of the world/national regimes not advancing human security or human development, so are other progressive social movements including LGBT, pro-democracy, anti-fundamentalist and opponents of war on drugs networks, etc.

The International Criminal Court has been allowed to investigate the environmental issues quite recently. It means, any kind of damage on environment could be investigated as a lawsuit in court. Do you evaluate this issue as an improvement and great step forward for Human Security?

Yes. Any national/regional/global move to outlaw policies and practices against people, species, treasures, etc. should be encouraged, not just short-term criminal acts, although gender-based violence, gun smuggling, nuclear proliferation and racial or religious stereotyping must still also be prosecuted and condemned.

Some analysts believe that the concept of Comprehensive Security could be a true combination of Security of State and Human Security. Could these two concepts be reconciled to form a coherent whole? 

[It is] difficult to treat them equally as state security; [it is] usually privileged and acts to excuse state violence against citizens, human or citizen. Security is imperative if the world is to survive despite climate change. We need good global governance to limit state security and maximize security.

Timothy M. Shaw, PhD, is a visiting professor, Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance, McCormack Graduate School.

Interview by Vahid Pourtajrischi