The (Im)possibility of 'Environmental Security'

  • Michael Paul Trenell

Traethawd ymchwil myfyriwr: Traethawd Ymchwil MeistrMeistr yn y Economeg ac Astudiaethau Cymdeithasol


For over a decade the academic community has been locked in a stalemate regarding the most appropriate manner in which to conceptualize the threats posed to human life by the natural environment. Initial strategies attempted to generate an extraordinary policy response by conceptualizing the environment as a security issue, giving rise to the notion of „environmental security‟. Objections were raised to this connection on the grounds that locating the environment on the security agenda could prove counterproductive by importing statist, militarist and status quo mindsets into the environmental realm. Recent moves from the critical security camp have attempted to negate these concerns by contesting that the nature of security is not fixed, and therefore may be modified to more effectively accommodate environmental hazards.
Despite the scale of debate there is still no consensus on how best to frame
environmental concerns. This thesis attempts to contribute to the breaking of this impasse. I contend that the project to connect the environment and security operates on the basis of the assumption that labelling the environment as a security issue will key in to the mobilization potential associated with the concept of security. Drawing on the work of the Copenhagen School I argue that the capacity of „security‟ to mobilize is only unlocked as the result of complex political processes contingent on the presence of certain facilitating conditions which may not be fulfilled in the environmental sector. As such, successful securitization of the environment may not be a possibility. If connecting the environment to security will not mobilize an extraordinary response the entire rationale of the „environmental security‟ enterprise is undercut, opening up the incentive to search for answers to environmental vulnerability which go beyond security
Dyddiad Dyfarnu2006
Iaith wreiddiolSaesneg
Sefydliad Dyfarnu
  • Prifysgol Aberystwyth
GoruchwyliwrAlastair Finlan (Goruchwylydd)

Dyfynnu hyn