After the demise of the Cold War, human security (HS) as a new international norm was born in the United Nations. The vision of human security is to build a society in which individual persons are assured to lead lives that they value, by relativizing the frame of nation-states, recognizing the nature of border-crossing downside risks, and combining protection and empowerment. The HS perspective is now expanding its influence and becoming one of the guiding principles of the international community in the 21st century.
Since the publication of UNDP’s Human Development Report 1994 and the release of the Ogata-Sen Report, Human Security Now, in 2003, the HS perspective has attracted keen attention not only from the practitioners of peace-building and development cooperation, but also from scholars and students at cutting-edge educational and research institutions. The HS approach is taking root as a keyword of multi-disciplinary education and research, involving various fields such as international relations, conflict study, development study, policy study, area study and humanities, as well as disaster management, health studies, sustainability sciences, etc.
It is particularly worth noting that post-graduate education on human security is gaining momentum with an increasing number of international students studying human security in Japan. However, given that human security study is a relatively new area of intellectual exploration, places of learning have tended to be isolated from each other. This is the reason why the Human Security Consortium (Japan Consortium for Human Security Education and Research) was established in 2007 to provide graduate students and young scholars with opportunities to read papers and learn from each other. Annual conferences have been organized at Chubu, Osaka, Tokai and Tokyo Universities, and the member institutions have reached 23 nationwide.
In 2010, the Consortium decided to launch a more formal academic association based on individual membership: Japan Association for Human Security Studies (JAHSS). JAHSS will publish a peer-reviewed electronic journal on human security twice a year. English communication shall be given special weight to facilitate participation of those with international backgrounds. Regarding the membership fees, special discount will be applied to students and overseas members. JAHSS members are entitled to submit papers to the e-journal and make presentations in the annual conferences.
JAHSS will be an open academic forum to promote human security studies in Japan and worldwide.