1st Edition

Environmental Security in the Anthropocene Assessing Theory and Practice

By Judith Nora Hardt Copyright 2018

    This book provides a critical assessment of the theories and practice of environmental security in the context of the Anthropocene.

    The work analyses the intellectual foundations, the evolution and different interpretations, strengths and potential of the link between environment and security, but also its weaknesses, incoherencies and distortions. To do so, it employs a critical environmental security studies analytical framework and uniquely places this analysis within the context of the Anthropocene. Furthermore, the book examines the practice–theory divide, and the political implementation of the environmental security concept in response to global environmental change and in relation to different actors. It pays significant attention to the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC), which is led by different programs of the United Nations, the OSCE and until recently by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), among others, and has largely been overlooked in the academic literature to date. The goal is to study how environmental security practice could inform and shape the environmental security theory, and also to explore how, conversely, new theoretical insights could contribute to the enhancement of environmental security activities.

    This book will be of great interest to students and academic scholars of Environmental Security, Critical Security Studies, Green Political Theory, Global Governance and International Relations in general.

    1. Introduction: The new socio-ecological world of our making

    Part I: Environmental security in theory

    2. Genealogy, research phases and debates of the concept of environmental security

    3. Critical Environmental Security Studies (CESS): a framework for analysis

    Part II: Environmental security: analysis of the practical implementation

    4. Overview of environmental security implementation in the system of global environmental governance

    5. The case of the Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC) and its political implementation of the concept of environmental security

    6. Critical analysis of the ENVSEC conception of environmental security in the Critical Environmental Security Study framework (CESS)

    7. Conclusions. Environmental Security in the Anthropocene


    Judith Nora Hardt is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Hamburg, Germany, and holds a PhD in International Relations from the University of the Basque Country, Spain.

    'Using a critical approach to environmental security this innovative study investigates Western policy discourses on large-scale environmental change and resource conflict in Asia. It clearly shows just how complicated the links between security and environment are and the difficulties these present to intelligent policy making in the Anthropocene.' -- Simon Dalby, Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada

    'This book makes an important contribution to the emerging debate on the Anthropocene – the new geological epoch of our own making. Based on a comprehensive and thorough analysis of environmental security practices and discourses the book addresses a crucial question: What does it mean to be secure in the Anthropocene?' -- Delf Rothe, Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy, Germany

    'In this important book Judith Nora Hardt argues that the Anthropocene is both a challenge to being secure and to how we study security. To remedy this situation she re-conceptualises environmental security through an ambitious merger of Green Political Theory, Anthropocene Studies and Critical Security Studies. This study is relevant for everyone interested in (environmental) security; this book also features a much needed systematic engagement with the multi-actor Environment and Security Initiative (ENVSEC).' -- Rita Floyd, University of Birmingham, UK 

    'Drawing on insights from Critical Security Studies and Green Political Theory, Judith Nora Hardt describes the field of environmental security as critically important to the future of humankind, but biased towards a traditional geopolitical worldview and a modestly reformist global agenda. Her compelling reconceptualization of the field as Critical Environmental Security Studies adopts a social-ecological perspective that links the security of the environment to the welfare of humankind and supports a transformative approach to addressing the challenges of the Anthropocene.' -- Richard Matthew, University of California Irvine, USA

    'Judith Nora Hardt’s book provides a much needed analysis of the different perspectives on environmental security and of the challenges of reconceptualising security in the Anthropocene. The theoretical framework provided and the study of the ENVSEC initiative make the book a relevant contribution to explore how security practices can be transformed.' -- Maria Julia Trombetta, The University of Nottingham Ningbo China

    'The existential threat posed by Anthropocene and ecological challenge has been largely ignored by social sciences. This innovative book helps to fill that gap through its normative and consistent analysis of environmental security. Based on different critical approaches, it decisively contributes to the emerging Green Theory in International Relations.' -- Karlos Pérez de Armiño, The University of the Basque Country, Spain

    'The Anthropocene is a "game-changer" for security studies. No concept or assumption remains untouched by it. What are the new threats and possibilities and who are the new actors and agencies in the Anthropocene? What does security mean when the knowledges, practices and assumptions meant to secure humanity are themselves part of the problem? Judith Nora Hardt's detailed empirical and conceptual exploration of environmental security will be a must read for anyone involved in this field, student or practitioner.' -- David Chandler, University of Westminster, UK