Social Indicators Research

, Volume 129, Issue 3, pp 979–999 | Cite as

Using Thresholds of Severity to Threats to and the Resilience of Human Systems in Measuring Human Security

  • Pedcris M. OrencioEmail author
  • Aiko Endo
  • Makoto Taniguchi
  • Masahiko Fujii


Ever since the contemporary view of the concept of human security has expanded from a state level to an individual level, it has been tied to a normative measurement of risk from perennial and pervasive threats that affect the vital core of human values. The vital core comprises an individual’s set of functions for development relative to conditions such as safety, freedom, and wellbeing. Despite theoretical advances, a universal method for operationalizing the current human security concept has not yet been fully achieved. In this paper, we review different indicator-based frameworks in order to suggest a more feasible measurement of security at the individual level at different geographical scales. We see that a procedural evaluation at this level could be enhanced by using indicators based on (1) a severity threshold for risks that arise from threats that affect the vital core of an individual and (2) the overall capacity of an individual to respond to these threats. Suitability, accessibility, and reliability of data for evaluating the indicator variables of a particular security objective, however, could be a challenge when determining the variables on a local scale. Combining variables of varying quantitative and qualitative data types seems plausible only that there exists a grey area on which scale and dimension the approach can be more effectively applied.


Individual threshold Risk Resilience Human values Security 



This research was financially supported by the R-08 Init Project entitled, “Human-Environmental Security in Asia–Pacific Ring of Fire: Water-Energy-Food Nexus,” of the Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Kyoto, Japan.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pedcris M. Orencio
    • 1
    Email author
  • Aiko Endo
    • 2
  • Makoto Taniguchi
    • 2
  • Masahiko Fujii
    • 3
  1. 1.Urban Disaster Risk Reduction DepartmentCatholic Relief Services- Philippines (Manila Office)ManilaPhilippines
  2. 2.Research Institute for Humanity and NatureKyotoJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of Environmental Earth ScienceHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan

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