2nd Edition

Environmental Security An Introduction

By Peter Hough Copyright 2021
    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    220 Pages
    by Routledge

    This textbook offers a student-friendly survey of the global politics of the environment through the prism of security studies.

    This book is divided into three thematic sections. The first part sets out the key theoretical and practical arguments for and against bringing together environmental and security issues. The second part examines why environmental issues have been framed by some 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. The chapters have been updated to include the 2015 Paris Climate Change Accords, the Trump and Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, and there is a new chapter on environmental history. Overall, the book provides a clear, systematic and thorough overview of an area of great academic and ‘real-world’ political interest.

    This book will be essential reading for students of environmental studies, critical and human security, human geography, development studies, and International Relations in general.

    Part I: The Environment and Security

    1. The Early History of Environmental Security: ‘Green Shoots’

    2. The Politicization of the Environment

    3. The Securitization of Global Environmental Policy

    Part II: The Environment and ‘National’ Security

    4. The Threat Posed by Overpopulation: ‘Breeding to Death?’

    5. Resource Wars and Energy Security: ‘Fighting over the Last Drop?’

    6. Military Security and the Environment: ‘The Smog of War’

    7. ‘Civilizational Security’: Global Threats from Environmental Change

    Part III: The Environment and Human Security

    8. Climate Change: ‘Adapt or Die?’

    9. Pollution and Human Security: ‘Messy Business’

    10. Resource Depletion and Biodiversity: ‘Running on Empty’

    11. Natural Disasters: ‘Learning to Expect the Unexpected’

    Part IV: Conclusions

    12. Conclusions: To Securitize or Not to Securitize?


    Peter Hough is an Associate Professor in International Politics at Middlesex University, London, UK. He is author of The Global Politics of Pesticides (1998) and Understanding Global Security (2018, 4th edn), and co-author of International Security Studies (2020, 2nd edn).

    'A well-researched, empirically rich and incisive book that offers a comprehensive overview of environmental security and its different meanings from the nineteenth century to the present day. 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. This edition has been fully updated and includes the most recent debates from science and politics. The helpful "key points" section at the end of each chapter provide an invaluable navigational aid for readers. Written in a lively and engaging tone, this book is indispensable reading for students and seasoned scholars alike.'--David Humphreys, The Open University, UK

    'Peter Hough's Environmental Security: An Introduction remains by far the most accessible overview of the complex interplay between environmental change and human, national, and global security. This timely second edition draws on the latest scholarship to provide crucial new insights into the most recent developments in this arena, at a time when environmental security is attracting more attention than ever before. This concise, elegantly written book should be considered essential reading for students, scholars, and the general public alike.'--Nick Kapur, Rutgers University, Camden NJ, USA

    ‘In Environmental Security (2nd edition), Peter Hough traces today’s climate security agenda, via environmental security, right to the early beginnings of the environmental movement. Along the way he considers the function of a multitude of different actors in climate and environmental change, distinct threats as well as possible solutions. Accessible, interesting and well written, Hough’s book offers an up-to date introduction to the complexity of environmental security in both theory and practice.’-- Rita Floyd, University of Birmingham, UK

    'The second edition of this text cuts to the chase; it concentrates on what matters: healthy ecosystems – life support systems for every being, biodiversity protection, caring for a common biosphere we share with innumerable other species, human welfare and the rights to live in a clean environment for all lifeforms on this earth. This book is a well-structured, invaluable text for any environmental studies subject or a book that focusses solely on environmental security. I have used the first edition as a text in an undergraduate course on environmental security and can say without a doubt that I would use the second edition as a text to revise my course.'--Bert Jenkins, University of New England, Australia