Policies and Institutions Shaping Human Security in an Era of Changing Climate and Increasing Disasters

In Climate Change, Disaster Risks and Human Security: Asian Experience and Perspectives
Chapter: 4
Book Chapter
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Policies are the channels through which governments influence society and make course corrections for intended consequences. Institutions have the power to influence policy processes and outcomes and can determine the way governments engage with society. Policy formulation and implementation thus far have largely been based on populist assumptions and preferences with simple developmental outcomes in a simpler world. However, the advent of human security principles and efforts to apply these principles to policymaking has proved that the current policy and institutional systems are inadequate to fully address the human security needs of societies and countries. Climate change is one factor that has contributed to even more complexity to the ever-changing topology of issues that policies are expected to address today and in the future. Climate change has necessitated a need to revisit the current institutional and policy mechanisms so as to uphold human security. Keeping this need in view, this chapter presents a conceptual background on the role of institutions and policies in shaping human security in Asia. There is a need for conceptual clarity on what constitutes human security for the human security principles to start making a significant impact on policies and institutions as a practical application of such principles are yet to emerge significantly. The available measures of human security consider a limited set of policy and institutional indicators and are incremental advancements over measures such as the human development index. Hence, they are yet to fully capture the multiple dimensions of human security in a practical manner.