Environmental Conflict and Cooperation: Premise, Purpose, Persuasion, and Promise, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Environmental Conflict and Cooperation

Premise, Purpose, Persuasion, and Promise, 1st Edition

By James R. Lee


234 pages | 27 B/W Illus.

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Environmental Conflict and Cooperation explores the evolution of environmental conflict as a field of research and the study of cooperation as an alternative to war.

Over four key parts, James R. Lee navigates the contours of this growing field and paints a vivid framework for better understanding issues around environmental conflict and security:

• The premise of the field and its historic manifestations

• The definition and purpose of research

• The persuasions or types of environmental conflict and cooperation

• The promise of research in leading to better decision-making and to broaching new challenges.

Over the course of these parts, the author outlines the deep historic record of this discipline, arguing that it will play a key role in understanding important future trends. Utilizing a wide variety of case studies that range from ancient examples, including conflict over the Cedars of Lebanon and the role of tin in the Peloponnesian Wars, to future-oriented scenarios, including expanded island-building in the South China Sea and the global politics of geo-engineering, Lee highlights key concepts, metrics, and policy contexts that will test current understandings. He also examines a variety of research methods and provides examples of the ways in which such research can be used to inform policy improvements.

This book will draw specific interest from students and scholars of environmental conflict and cooperation, as well as researchers of environmental politics and security studies.


"This book is a first and authoritative attempt to lay out a top-down view describing the field of environmental conflict and cooperation. It also makes the strong case that such a field exists and will become much more important. It is a fantastic companion reader to the bottom-up work I edited, the Routledge Handbook of Environmental Conflict and Peacebuilding."Ashok Swain, Department of Peace and Conflict Research, Uppsala University, Sweden

Table of Contents

List of Text Boxes

List of Tables

List of Figures


Part 1. The Premise of Environmental Conflict

1. The Ancient Roots of Environmental Conflict

2. A Case Study in Environmental Conflict

3. Why a Book on Environmental Conflict?

Part 2. The Purpose of Environmental Conflict

4. Defining Environmental Conflict

5. Dimensions of Environmental Conflict

6. Stages of Environmental Conflict Research

7. What is a Field and Why Does It Grow? Is There a Field of Environmental Conflict and Peacebuilding?

Part 3. Persuasions of Environmental Conflict

8. Ten Agreed-Upon Assumptions

9. Pictures of the Field

10. Types of Cases

11. Visualizing the Field through Dimensional Plots

Part 4. The Promise of Environmental Conflict

12. Where Do We Go from Here?

13. Using Scenarios for Problem Solving

14. Future Cases of Environmental Conflict and Cooperation

15. Will the Future Surprise Us?

Appendix A: ICE Coding Categories

Appendix B: Ranked Data Points Used in Plots


About the Author

James R. Lee isa Researcher in Residence, School of International Service, American University, Washington, DC, USA.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Ecology
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy
SCIENCE / Environmental Science