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Europe and Global Public Policy 1: Human Rights and Security

Coordinated by Prof. S. Croft, GR:EEN work package four (WP4) focuses on the first of the public policy sets of issues, that we describe as Human Rights and Security. The key contributors will be Warwick, FRIDE, the Rajaratnam School of International Studies at NTU, and CEU.

The focus is on the ways in which rights are seen as a legitimate part of the security discourse. Given that a recognition that security can mean different things to different people in different places and at different times we seek to ‘fix’ the concept of security by focusing on the core demands of humanity; expressed as human rights, in relation to freedom from fear and freedom from want. Such an approach is best encapsulated in the concept of ‘human security’, and of course it has been a core commitment of the European Union to work for the enhancement of human security, and thereby human rights, around the world. A key test of how the EU adapts to a reshaped world order will be whether it can retain its commitment to such values.

We see five objectives for this work package. First, to analyse how deeply engrained human security is within European security discourse. Second, to interrogate how that European discourse has and can relate to security, and human security discourses in key partner states: especially the USA and China. Third, to produce a genealogy of, and engagement with, those working on Justice and Homeland security affairs within the Union as to how such matters connect to the human security agenda (for example, in terms of the supposed trade off between ‘security’ and ‘liberty’). Fourth, to understand how EU human security discourse has been received and challenged in other parts of the world; particularly the Middle East. Finally, to offer guidance on how the EU might retain a ‘rights-oriented’ approach to security amidst the many challenges of a reshaped world order.

There will be three sets of deliverables: First, comparative research papers, focussed on human security within the EU and human security in relation to security discourses in the EU, the USA and China; second, GR: EEN Policy Briefing Papers, analysing the core challenges of counter terrorism strategies for human security and how those challenges have and could be met. Other briefs will provide interim and over-arching results of fieldwork mapping out specific challenges for EU security and rights-based approach in the eyes of non-European interlocutors. Third, ‘foresight papers’, which will examine the development of EU policy, and in particular, how further ‘homeland security’ policies and processes could be developed across the Union and the security challenges emanating from the Middle East and associated EU security approaches towards the region focussing on particular case studies.

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