Vaughan, R. (2006) Special economic zone project assessment in Savannakhet, Lao PDR : an application of human security framework

Title: Special economic zone project assessment in Savannakhet, Lao PDR : an application of human security framework
Author: Robert Vaughan
Year: 2006
Keywords: Human security, Economic zoning -- Savannakhet (Laos), Social conditions, Economic conditions
Thai thesis available here.
Abstract: Human security is a relatively new theory in the world of international security; the new people centered approach advocated by the concept has been interpreted into a number of conceptual frameworks aimed at applying the notion to assess projects on the ground. Special economic zones have been utilised by a number of different Asia countries to increase economic growth through providing geographical areas that have different economic laws to other parts of the country they are created in. By bridging the literacy gap that exists between the two notions analysis can be employed to identify the usefulness of human security when the concept is applied to assess a mega-project such as the case study of the special economic zone in Savannakhet Lao PDR. This thesis has assessed the special economic zone project in Savannakhet by utilising the human security conceptual framework put forward by Alkires. Key components from Alkires framework such as identifying the expected empirical changes, using analytical tools and identifying where and how institutional changes can be created were utilised to find that there are a number of direct and indirect threats facing the communities in Savannakhet province. Social threats such as relocation, resettlement, displacement and urbanisation, political threats such as corruption and power politics, economic threats such as the negative effects of foreign direct investment and environmental threats such as water and air pollution were all identified as potential areas where negative impacts could manifest if action was not taken to eliminate or minimise threats. The usefulness of utilising a human security conceptual framework showed that it was highly prevalent to conducting research that identifies threats that the local communities of Savannakhet province would face. Problems however, were encountered because of the futuristic nature of the thesis, which limited the capabilities of utilising the concept of human security and the tools advocated by Alkires.

Contact MAIDS-Chula for more information and full thesis at maidschula@gmail.com

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