Human Security pp 217-230 | Cite as

Human Security, Capital Punishment, and East Asian Democracies

  • Sangmin Bae


The primary goal of global human security policy is not only to prevent and stop war but also to eliminate the economic, social, environmental, and political conditions that generate threats to the security of people. Since the end of World War II, the death penalty has become a major issue on the international human rights and human security agenda, and the movement to abolish it has gained significant international support. In East Asia, however, retention of the death penalty rather than abolition is the norm, despite the great variance between countries in their abolition movement. This chapter addresses the domestic variables that help explain varying stages of the anti–death penalty movement among major democracies in East Asia. Focusing on the role of domestic political conditions and institutions, this chapter seeks to address whether particular domestic factors are likely to help or hinder the norm’s effectiveness.


Death Penalty Death Sentence Human Security United Nations General Life Imprisonment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Acharya, A. (2003). Guns and butter: Why do human security and traditional security co-exist in Asia? Global Economic Review, 32(3), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. (2008). ACHPR/Res.136 (XXXXIIII).08: Resolution calling on state parties to observe the moratorium on the death penalty. 5 May 2010.
  3. Agence France-Presse. (2006, December 26). Japanese minister vows more executions.Google Scholar
  4. Akiyama, N. (2004). Human security at the crossroad: Human security in the Japanese foreign policy context, IPSHU English Research Report Series 19, Hiroshima: Institute for Peace Science of Hiroshima University.Google Scholar
  5. Amnesty International. (2009). Death sentences and executions in 2008. Accessed 5 May 2010.
  6. Axworthy, L. (2001). Human security and global governance: Putting people first. Global Governance, 7, 19–23.Google Scholar
  7. Bae, S. (2007). When the state no longer kills: International human rights norms and the abolition of capital punishment. Albany: SUNY Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bae, S. (2008a). Is the death penalty an Asian value? Asian Affairs, 39(1), 47–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bae, S. (2008b). The abolitionist movement in death penalty-friendly Asia. In J. Yorke (Ed.), Against the death penalty: International initiatives (pp. 220–246). London: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  10. Bae, S. (2009). South Korea’s de facto abolition of the death penalty. Pacific Affairs, 82(3), 407–425.Google Scholar
  11. Baldwin, D. (1997). The concept of security. Review of International Studies, 23(1), 5–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bohm, R. M. (2003). The economic costs of capital punishment: Past, present, and future. In J. A. Acker, R. M. Bohm, & C. S. Lanier (Eds.), America’s experiment with capital punishment: Reflections on the past, present, and future of the ultimate penal sanction (pp. 572–594). Durham: Carolina Academic Press.Google Scholar
  13. Chyung, D.C. (2002). Capital punishment abolition campaign in Korea and its prospect. Paper presented at a seminar on justice and human rights in council of Europe observer states: The abolition of the death penalty. Tokyo, Japan, 4–5 May.Google Scholar
  14. Diehl, P., Ku, C., & Zamora, D. (2003). The dynamics of international law: The interaction of normative and operating systems. International Organization, 57(1), 43–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Donga Ilbo (2004, February 5) Life imprisonment for murderers.Google Scholar
  16. Evans, P. (2004). Human security and East Asia: In the beginning. Journal of East Asian Studies, 4(2), 263–284.Google Scholar
  17. Gallup Korea. (2003, September 27). Gallup poll: Should the death penalty be abolished?.Google Scholar
  18. Galtung, J. (1971). A structural theory of imperialism. Journal of Peace Research, 8(2), 81–117.Google Scholar
  19. Gasper, D. (2005). Securing humanity: Situating ‘human security’ as concept and discourse. Journal of Human Development, 6(2), 221–245.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hankook Times (2008, March 4). Human rights movement – Korea’s campaign to abolish the death penalty.Google Scholar
  21. Hankyoreh (2002, February 23). Supreme court made a decision on a murder case.Google Scholar
  22. Ho, S. (2008). Japan’s human security policy: A critical review of its limits and failures. Japanese Studies, 28(1), 101–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Johnson, D. T. (2006). Where the state kills in secret: Capital punishment in Japan. Punishment & Society, 8(3), 251–285.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Johnson, D. T., & Zimring, F. E. (2006). Taking capital punishment seriously. Asian Journal of Criminology, 1, 89–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Johnson, D. T., & Zimring, F. E. (2008). Law, society, and capital punishment in Asia. Punishment & Society, 10(2), 103–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Jones, B. D. (1994). Reconceiving decision-making in democratic politics. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  27. Kahn, P. W. (2005). American exceptionalism, popular sovereignty, and the rule of law. In M. Ignatieff (Ed.), American exceptionalism and human rights (pp. 198–222). Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Kay, C. (1997). Globalisation, competitiveness and human security. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  29. Keeler, J. T. S. (1993). Opening the window for reform: Mandates, crises, and extraordinary ­policy-making. Comparative Political Studies, 25(4), 433–486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Kim, S. S. (2004). The international relations of Northeast Asia. Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield.Google Scholar
  31. Korea Herald (2001, December 4). Anti-death penalty: a prayer for the dying.Google Scholar
  32. Korea Herald (2006, February 24). Debate on death penalty.Google Scholar
  33. Korea Herald (2010, February 26). Court rules death penalty constitutional.Google Scholar
  34. Korean Constitutional Court. (2003). Han Ba 24 (Decision of 27 November).Google Scholar
  35. Lam, Peng Er. (2006). Japan’s human security role in Southeast Asia. Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs, 28(1), 141–159.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lane, C. (2005). Why Japan still has the death penalty. The Washington Post, 16 January. Accessed 5 May 2010.
  37. Levy, J. S. (1994). Learning and foreign policy: Sweeping a conceptual minefield. International Organization, 48(2), 279–312.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Makino, C. (2008). Death penalty – Japan: No “conveyor belt” executions – Abolitionists, Inter Press Service News Agency, 12 March. Accessed 5 May 2010.
  39. Newman, E. (2001). Human security and constructivism. International Studies Perspectives, 2(3), 239–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schmidt, P. (2001). Capital punishment in Japan. Leiden, the Netherlands: Brill.Google Scholar
  41. Stockholm Initiative on Global Security and Governance. (1991, April 22). Common responsibility in the 1990s: The Stockholm initiative on global security and governance. Stockholm, Sweden Prime Minister’s Office.Google Scholar
  42. Struck, D. (2001). On Japan’s death row: Uncertainty by design. The Washington Post, 3 May.Google Scholar
  43. Tang, J. T. H. (2003). A regional approach to human security in East Asia: Gglobal debate, regional insecurity and the role of civil society. Paper read at international conference on human security in East Asia, Seoul, South Korea.Google Scholar
  44. The Cabinet Office of Japan. (n.d.). Public opinion survey on the death penalty. Accessed 5 May 2010.
  45. The National Human Rights Commission of Korea. (n.d.). Sahyŏngjedoe daehan kugminuisikjŏsa [Public opinion survey on the death penalty]. Accessed 5 May 2010.
  46. United Nations Development Program (UNDP). (1994). New dimensions of human security. Human Development Report. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  47. von Feigenblatt, O. (2007). Japan and human security: 21st Century ODA Policy apologetics and discursive Co-optation, Ph.D. Dissertation. Bangkok: Chulalongkorn University.Google Scholar
  48. Yomiuri Shimbun, T. (2010, July 29). Chiba: It was my duty to watch – Justice minister says death penalty discussions should start a new. Accessed 1 Aug 2010.
  49. Yonhap News (2010, February 25). Constitutional court rules in favor of death penalty.Google Scholar
  50. Zimring, F. E., & Hawkins, G. (1986). Capital punishment and the American agenda. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Northeastern Illinois UniversityChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations