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The Haven Project Conference: Intervening for Human Security

October 29, 2016 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm


October 29, 2016
9:00 am - 5:00 pm


The Moore Institute Seminar Room G010 Ground floor The Hardiman Research Building

The Haven Project Conference: Intervening for Human Security

Moore Institute, Hardiman Research Building, NUI Galway

Conference Overview

This conference emanates from an Irish Research Council-funded project entitled ‘Haven‘ that centres on advancing the idea of ‘intervening for human security’ in the ongoing Mediterranean humanitarian crisis. It seeks to put at centre stage the notion of ‘human security’ by invoking the idea of a ‘haven’, a place of safety or refuge. A core project concern lies in challenging how Western interventionism has long been guided by military definitions of security, involving repeated and frequently counter-productive mechanisms of military violence. On the contrary, the Haven Project aims to advance research and thinking on an alternative envisioning of intervention, based upon the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)’s concept of ‘human security’ from its Human Development Report from 1994. Attending to the UNDP’s vision prompts thinking about intervention and investing in intervention of a different kind: in humanitarian assistance; in civil society support; in diplomatic initiatives; in rebuilding programmes; in sharing governmental expertise; and in the long-term enabling of security mechanisms that are human-centred. The project is ultimately prompted by a sense of intellectual responsibility to respond constructively to the increasingly precarious geographies evident in our current moment of global geopolitics and its seemingly endless cycles of violent interventionism. Reflecting on the above and more, leading academics, including Prof. Derek Gregory (University of British Columbia) and Dr Alex Jeffrey (Cambridge), will join colleagues at NUI Galway for a one-day symposium on Saturday October 29th in the Moore Institute for Humanities. They will be joined by a range of other contributors from NGO advocate groups, including Galway One World Centre, and also by representatives from Irish Aid and the Irish Naval Services. The aim is to coalesce expertise from across the public sphere on geopolitics, humanitarianism and international development, with a view to offering a critical contribution to a series of vital debates on the Mediterranean Crisis and the West’s response.