Dr. Hartmann on "Human Security vs. National Security: A Gender Perspective"

Dr. Hartmann has been living and teaching in Ethiopia this past year on a Fulbright. Last week, she addressed an audience at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University on the issue of gender and security. For the original release, click here.
On 23 February 2016, the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) held its first Indaba session of the year, a lecture delivered by Dr. Lori Hartmann-Mahmud on ‘Human Security vs. National Security: A Gender Perspective’.
Dr. Hartmann-Mahmud is a Frank and Virginia Hower Associate Professor of International Studies at Centre College in Danville, US. IPSS organises Indaba sessions with a view towards exploring pertinent peace and security issues in Africa and providing a platform for academicians and policymakers to debate upon these issues. The Indaba session was attended by invited guests, academicians and students including Susan Page, Ambassador, U.S. Mission to the African Union; Ana Cervantes, Multilateral Affairs Officer, Embassy of Mexico; Keng Ajonde, Programme Manager, Institute for Security Studies; and Eden Taye Tefera, Human Rights Officer, UN-OHCHR.
 
Dr. Hartmann-Mahmud said, “The focus has [always] been on national security with the assumption that if we have a strong state, the state will protect the security of the individual; but we have realized over time that that’s not always the case. And so since the 1990s we saw a shift in the rhetoric to focus on the individual’s security. Women’s rights and feminist movements were one of the catalysts that resulted in such a shift.”
 
Human security is now adopted as an important principle in international relations, but the pace of the shift from national to human security is affected by international events. Dr. Hartmann-Mahmud noted that in 1990s the US focused on human security, but 9/11 moved it back to national security. It seems that states are constantly moving back and forth between human and national security but Dr. Hartmann-Mahmud argued the shift is progressing linearly towards human security.
 
Article 4(h) of the African Union (AU) Constitutive Act is one of the primary documents that reflects the principle of responsibility to protect (R2P), which allows intervention in cases of grave human rights violations. “A military intervention is difficult to pursue not just for the AU but also for the United Nations, which has a longer history,” Dr. Hartmann-Mahmud explained. Thus, in order for the AU to fully utilise all options between non-interference and military intervention, she recommended that the AU has to improve its procedures to quickly sanction countries that commit grave human rights violations and also strengthen its observer committees, panel of the wise and other similar organs.
 
Ambassador Susan Page, U.S. Mission to the African Union, posed a question from the floor, probing into the reasons behind the AU’s decision to intervene in Burundi. Dr. Hartmann-Mahmud responded by saying there was a fear that the situation in Burundi might lead to genocide and that the AU wanted to proactively respond to the crisis.
 
The Indaba session was attended by invited guests, academicians and students including Ana Cervantes, Multilateral Affairs Officer, Embassy of Mexico; Keng Ajonde, Programme Manager, Institute for Security Studies; and Eden Taye Tefera, Human Rights Officer, UN-OHCHR.

By |2016-03-01T12:29:40+00:00March 1st, 2016|Emeritus Faculty|