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Environmental Security

2002
Author:

Simon Dalby

Environmental Security

A critical look at the relationship between environmental degradation and international relations.

Since the end of the Cold War, environmental matters have figured prominently in debates about rethinking security. But do the assumptions underlying such discussions hold up under close scrutiny? In this first treatment of environmental security from a truly critical perspective, Simon Dalby shows how attempts to explain contemporary insecurity falter over unexamined notions of both environment and security.


Borderlines Series, volume 20

Environmental Security is an interesting contribution to the ever-expanding debate on the meaning and importance of the environment for contemporary security analysis. Environmental Security is a serious attempt to grapple with the broader issues that arise from any attempt to understand modern society’s relationship to the environment, and to the threats and insecurities emerging from the complex (and misleadingly dichotomous) interaction of man and nature.

Environmental Change and Security Project Report

Since the end of the Cold War, environmental matters-especially the international implications of environmental degradation-have figured prominently in debates about rethinking security. But do the assumptions underlying such discussions hold up under close scrutiny? In this first treatment of environmental security from a truly critical perspective, Simon Dalby shows how attempts to explain contemporary insecurity falter over unexamined notions of both environment and security.

Adding environmental history, aboriginal perspectives, and geopolitics to the analysis explicitly suggests that the growing disruptions caused by a carbon-fueled and expanding modernity are at the root of contemporary difficulties. Environmental Security argues that rethinking security means revisiting questions of how we conceive identities as endangered and how we perceive threats to these identities. The book clearly demonstrates that the conceptual basis for critical security studies requires an extended engagement with political theory and with the assumptions of the modern subject as progressive political agent. Viewed thus on a global scale, the environmental security discourse raises profoundly troubling political questions as to who we are and what kind of world we are collectively making in our efforts to be secure.


Environmental Security

Simon Dalby is professor of geography and political economy at Carleton University in Ottawa.

Environmental Security

Environmental Security is an interesting contribution to the ever-expanding debate on the meaning and importance of the environment for contemporary security analysis. Environmental Security is a serious attempt to grapple with the broader issues that arise from any attempt to understand modern society’s relationship to the environment, and to the threats and insecurities emerging from the complex (and misleadingly dichotomous) interaction of man and nature.

Environmental Change and Security Project Report

Dalby’s analysis in this book is important because of his nuanced understanding of the cultural, economic, geographical, political, and social construction of the environment in both aesthetic and scientific terms. It offers to geography a masterful display of the best that contemporary geography can do. Environmental Security is an important and necessary palliative to thinking about environmental security, and it should be read, carefully, by anyone interested in this field.

Environment and Planning D

Environmental Security

Contents

Preface

Introduction: Environment, Security, and Geopolitical Discourse

1. Rethinking Security Studies
2. The Environment as Geopolitical Threat
3. Environment, Conflict, and Violence
4. Geopolitics and History: Contexts of Change
5. Imperial Legacies, Indigenous Lives
6. Shadows, Footprints, and Environmental Space
7. Ecological Metaphors of Security
8. Ecology and Security Studies
9. Securing What Future?

Notes

Index