Environmental Security: An Introduction, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Environmental Security

An Introduction, 1st Edition

By Peter Hough


158 pages

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This student-friendly textbook offers a survey of the competing conceptions and applications of the increasingly prominent notion of environmental security.

The book is divided into three sections. In the first, the key theoretical and practical arguments for and against bringing together environmental and security issues are set out. The book then goes on to present how and why environmental issues have come to be framed in some quarters as ‘national security‘ concerns in the context of the effects of overpopulation, resource depletion, climate change and the role of the military as both a cause and a solution to problems of pollution and natural disasters. Finally, the third section explores the case for treating the key issues of environmental change as matters of human security. Overall, the book will provide a clear, systematic and thorough overview of all dimensions of an area of great academic and ‘real-world’ political interest but one that has rarely been set out in an accessible textbook format hitherto.

This book will be essential reading for students of environmental studies, critical and human security, global governance, development studies, and IR in general.


'Peter Hough provides an authoritative and critical analysis of the causes and consequences of environmental degradation, both natural and human-induced, from the tropics to the poles. The helpful "key points" section at the end of each chapter will provide an invaluable navigational aid for those who are new to this subject. Written in a lively and engaging tone, this book will be indispensable reading for students and seasoned scholars alike.'-- David Humphreys, The Open University, UK

'This book offers a solid introduction to the manifold linkages between environmental degradation and human, national and international security. Hough’s account is particularly strong in drawing out the relationship between human security and environmental problems. Alongside the standardly covered implications of both climate change and resource depletion for human security, it also includes those of pollution and of biodiversity decline.' -- Rita Floyd, University of Birmingham, UK

Table of Contents

Part One: The Environment and Security 1. The Politicization of the Environment 2. The Securitization of Global Environmental Policy Part Two: The Environment and ‘National’ Security 3. ‘Breeding to Death?’ The Threat Posed by Overpopulation 4. Fighting over the Last Drop?’ Resource Wars and Energy Security 5. ‘The Smog of War’. Military Security and the Environment 6. 'Ultimate Security’. Global Threats from Environmental Change Part Three: The Environment and Human Security 7. ‘Adapt or Die?’ Climate Change 8. Messy Business. Pollution and Human Security 9. ‘Running on Empty’. Resource Depletion and Biodiversity 10. ‘Learning to Expect the Unexpected’. Natural Disasters Part Four: Conclusions 11. Conclusions. To Securitize or Not to Securitize?

About the Author

Peter Hough is Principal Lecturer in International Politics, Middlesex University, UK. He is author of The Global Politics of Pesticides (1998) and Understanding Global Security (2004; 2008; 2013 3rd edn). His research interests are Human Security, Global Environmental Politics, Global health politics, Sport and International Politics, and the Politics of the Arctic.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General