New international research project on Human Security in Africa has officially launched

How do people in various African contexts experience and deal with everyday security challenges? This is the main focus of a new European research collaboration headed by Aarhus University in Denmark. The collaboration has recently received an EU grant of more than 4 million Euros.

On January 1, 2018, the 4-year project ANTHUSIA (“Anthropology of Human Security in Africa”) was officially launched. ANTHUSIA is run by a consortium of four universities in Denmark, United Kingdom, Belgium and Norway and cooperates with numerous partner organizations in Africa. 

This project will combine interdisciplinary insights from Anthropology, Human Security and African Studies to develop analytical tools to critically understand and contribute to strengthening human security in Africa, and beyond. Fifteen PhD fellows will critically explore how human security has been conceptualized; how and why particular issues are classified as human security issues; and how these understandings shape everyday interventions. This critical approach will be applied to a range of phenomena, such as the expansion of young populations, processes of urbanization, unequally distributed growth, recurring conflicts, emerging health issues, and population displacement. The PhD projects all operate in the academic intersection between anthropology, human security and African studies, which is a combination not found anywhere else in the world.

A human security perspective shifts the focus from the security of nation states to the safety and well-being of humans in their everyday lives. The results will benefit exposed populations on the African continent and be valuable to organizations and companies dealing with human security issues in Africa, such as epidemics, infrastructure problems, economic security, environmental change, land and resource issues, political security, etc. Since human security problems, as well as growth rates in Africa, have obvious ramifications for European home security and economy, the project results will also be important for peoples and policymakers in Europe. 

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