Throughout the world, people engage in dynamics of social change in the developing world. They do so through the thousands of bilateral, international and non-governmental organizations that are active in the fields of humanitarian relief, development, human rights and conflict resolution. Traditionally, practitioners and researchers have tended to specialize in only one of these fields. As a result, while in principle in favor of the other aims, they are often unaware of the positive or negative impact their actions may have upon these other fields.
We are now beginning to understand that any progress made in one field without attention to the others is sub-optimal at best and often unsustainable, since people who live in situations of extreme deprivation often face all these conditions simultaneously. Practitioners and researchers everywhere now urgently seek to gain insights about the overlaps and interactions between these fields, train staff who are able to collaborate with people from other areas of expertise and develop strategies that cut across traditional professional borders.
This field seeks to bridge interdisciplinary gaps and brings together the concerns and practices that deal with the interconnection between freedom from fear and freedom from want. This covers a broad variety of issues and practices, but they all share two components: a desire to cross boundaries between the fields of social change until now usually treated separately, and a strong ultimate focus on the inclusive well-being of human beings.
Students engaging in this field look at issues of human rights, crisis management and vulnerable populations, conflict resolution and development issues. This field is resolutely interdisciplinary and integrates economics, politics, law, nutrition and health, and all other perspectives it needs.
The Human Security field of study requires the completion of a minimum of three courses.