Studying Human Security: Global Concepts, Situated Social Realities, and Disciplinary Positionali

Presentation by Sabine Mannitz at the conference of the Australian Anthropological Society (AAS)

The AAS Conference "VALUES IN ANTHROPOLOGY, VALUES OF ANTHROPOLOGY" will be held at ANU, Canberra, December 2-5, 2019

The presentation draws on a research project conducted from 2012 to 2017 with a team from different disciplines (anthropology, political science, psychology). This research addressed frictions between the international knowledge regime of 'good security governance' and local context conditions by studying Security Sector Reform (SSR) programs and their practical implementations. Special attention was given to so called 'localization efforts' and 'ownership' on the one hand, and to the ways in which 'human security' was described, understood, and practised on the other. All of the team members conducted ethnographic research as part of their case studies. While they were foremost interested in studying the interactions between norm entrepreneurs, national stakeholders and local reform arenas and the dynamics that unfold between them, the multi-disciplinary composition of the project team also brought to light gains and frictions that result from disciplinary positionalities. Sabine Mannitz shall present result from both levels: SSR and the experience of directing a disciplinarily heterogeneous team.