Be Curious, Do Research: An Interview with Professor Cynthia Enloe for PRAXIS

How do you define human security?

I have a really broad notion of security. Something I’ve learned is that people are very insecure in a lot of different ways. One really has to be curious about what makes somebody feel insecure, or what makes somebody feel secure. I think unless you’re curious, you won’t actually know what that person’s sense of security is because you don’t know what their insecurity is like. So, the first thing about human security is that one has to really listen to people to find out what makes them feel secure or insecure. It’s not a given.

The other thing to think about is about the word ‘human.’ There are some things that all humans share. Still, women and men can experience security and insecurity so differently. As a feminist, I never take “human” as my starting point. I’m always interested in a more intersectional and especially an intersectionally feminist curiosity about what an individual human person is experiencing. So, curiosity, I think, is where I start when I investigate both “human” and “security.”

Cynthia Enloe is interviewed by PRAXIS, the Fletcher Journal of Human Security (FULL INTERVIEW HERE).