Western and East Asian protection of human security

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One of the main trends in the international relations and international security, for the past two decades, has been the new eagerness to intervene into failed and autocratic countries if they fail to protect their own citizens. This trend has distinguished East Asia (including both Southeast and Northeast Asia) from the West.
Generally, the distinction has been based on three differences in strategic orientations. First, the role of the military is seen differently in East Asia and the West. Secondly, the role of states as instruments of the protection of civilians is seen differently in the West and East Asia. Thirdly, there is a difference between East Asia and the West regarding to the expected role of the UN Security Council in the authorization of protection.
This article investigates the consequences of the two different strategies on human security by reviewing existing literature and by combining new data on discourses of protection with conflict data on various indicators of human survival and welfare. While the Western strategic concept of human security is dominant and hegemonic in the global debate, it seems, on the basis of this investigation, that the East Asian strategy of self-restraint, non-militarism and respect for sovereignty is more effective in the protection of civilians.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
JournalAsian International Studies Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2020


  • Human security
  • Intervention
  • Responsibility to Protect
  • East Asia
  • Battle-Related Deaths

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Political Science and International Relations


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