Why Human Security Matters

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Sea level rises pose a greater long term threat to Australia's coastline and major capital cities than a military attack by a foreign power. Citizens are more likely to experience a pandemic virus than a nuclear threat. Food shortages have already occurred as a result of flood or drought, and the tentacles of international trade in drugs, money laundering, and human trafficking already reach far into Australian communities. Why Human Security Matters argues that Australian external relations need to treat the "soft" issues of security as seriously as it treats the "hard" realities of military defense, but also the many complex situations in-between, whether it be civil war, political upheaval, terrorism, or piracy. Australia needs to do this first and foremost in our region, but also in relation to the unresolved regional and global security issues as we confront an increasingly uncertain and turbulent world. With contributions from leading thinkers in foreign policy and strategic studies, this is essential reading for anyone seeking a thoughtful and thoughtprovoking analysis of Australia's place in an age of transition.


Dennis Altman is professor of politics and director of the Institute for Human Security at La Trobe University. Joseph Camilleri is professor of international relations and director of the Centre for Dialogue, La Trobe University. Robyn Eckersley is professor of political science in the School of Social and Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Gerhard Hoffstadter is lecturer in anthropology in the School of Social Science at the University of Queensland. Previously he was a research fellow at the Institute for Human Security, La Trobe University.