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Human (in)security in an unsettled world

Our 2023 International Affairs conference, kindly supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs, is now available to watch back.

About the conference

In our unsettled world of intersecting human and environmental crises, or what has recently been termed ‘polycrises’, it can be argued that an urgent global governance challenge lies in actioning new visions and strategies of security. Two key tasks in addressing global security in the Anthropocene (the geologic era marked by human activity as the primary driver of environmental change) are: establishing holistic understandings of global security through effective communication of the overlapping human and environmental dimensions; and incorporating the range and interconnections of component elements – from climate security to military security, from food security to health security – in formulating policies that work to transcend insecurities on the ground, promote global cooperation and advance integrated strategies of security. This conference takes up this dual challenge of envisioning a wider discourse of global security, and setting out how to address the planet’s overlapping insecurities more holistically. Papers will reflect on the multiple (in)securities of our contemporary moment, how they intersect in complex ways, and how more effective security responses can be achieved.

Part 1

9.30 Welcome: Pádraig Carmody, MRIA

Session 1: Global Security and Statecraft

Chair: Professor Iulia Siedschlag (ESRI)

  • Unsettling human (in)security: challenging neglect and making the unapparent appear Professor Lorraine Elliott (Australian National University)
  • Homeland insecurity: the rise and rise of global anti-terrorism law Conor Gearty, Hon. MRIA (London School of Economics)
  • PEPFAR and the geopolitics of soft power Gerry Kearns, MRIA (Maynooth University) and Dr Andrew Tucker (University of Cape Town)

Part 2

Session 2: Health and Environmental Security

Chair: Dr Claire Dorrity (University College Cork)

  • The task of writing security for the Anthropocene Professor John Morrissey (University of Galway)
  • From securing health to enabling well-being: toward a more holistic view of addressing global health challenges Mr Barry Guihen (Independent)
  • Building global solidarity in a permacrisis: lessons learned from COVID-19 and future directions for a Pandemic Treaty Dr Mina Hosseini (University College Dublin)

Part 3


Pedro Conceição, Director, Human Development Report Office, United Nations Development Programme
Chair: Professor John Morrissey


Part 4

Session 3: Borders, Migration and Human Security

Chair: Mr Colin Wrafter

  • Everyday violence: necropolitics at the frontiers of Europe Dr Claire Dorrity (University College Cork)
  • Human (in)security as the only maritime (in)security: reviewing the notion of human security
  • at sea Dr Ramat Abudu (University College Dublin)
  • Children’s differing experiences of environmental insecurity and its impacts via the lens of a human rights-based analysis Ms Alexis Carey (Staffordshire University) and Dr Michelle Cowley-Cunningham (Dublin City University)

Part 5

Keynote Address: Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Defence, Micheál Martin TD,

Closing remarks: Pádraig Carmody, MRIA