TRU professor endorsed by UN

Rob Hanlon’s book has been placed on a UN reading list

While the book Thompson Rivers University political science professor Rob Hanlon co-authored with Ken Christie came out in 2016, it has just recently been added to a list of publications endorsed by the United Nations. Freedom from Want/Freedom from Fear: An Introduction to Human Security is a book that explores a wide range of issues that affect human security, including climate change, terrorism and poverty.

“Getting on this list not only impacts the UN infrastructure itself where UN officers and contractor and collaborators can look to do get a deeper understanding of human security but it also shares and builds on some of the bigger challenges that the UN is facing. So it’s quite exciting to be put on that list,” Hanlon said about being placed the reading list. “It just got put on there, we weren’t even given notice. As we do lots of research on human security we’re always looking for new material and for who’s writing on what and trying to build up the discipline. And so we came across it just last month that it had been added to that list.”

This isn’t the only time that the two have partnered up to release works in the discipline of human security either.

“I’ve known Ken for almost ten years. I originally met Ken through his research. So he’s been working on rights and human security in Asia for decades. We crossed paths in different parts of the world. He was in Singapore when I was in Hong Kong at the time,” Hanlon said about their professional relationship.

“We started collaborating on projects at the time I was teaching, for this book, a course in human security at Simon Fraser University and the publisher had reached out to me wondering why I wasn’t using a textbook and so I’d said, ‘Well you know the book isn’t written, the book needs to be written on this stuff,’  And so they said, ‘Can you write the book for us?’ and then I approached Ken and said ‘Ken, do you want to co-author this?’”

The book is a reflection on what the two have been working on separately for many years now and is an amalgamation of their experiences in the field.

“When I finished my undergrad I went abroad and just worked for human rights groups for about ten years. So again, what I found was this difference between what I was told in classes and what was in the literature and the theory and what was happening on the ground. It was quite shocking for me at least. I learned more in the first two weeks working on human rights in a country like Cambodia or Thailand then I did when I did four years of an undergraduate program,” Hanlon said about his personal experience in the field. “One of the reasons we wrote the book was a way to make our case or our argument of the changing nature of security and also just kind of capture what we’ve been working on, both of us, for the past nearly two decades.”