Is global climate change likely to become a significant source of violent conflict, and should it therefore be seen as a national security challenge? Most Northern governments, militaries, think tanks and NGOs believe so, as do many academic researchers, on the grounds that increased temperatures, changing precipitation patterns and rising sea levels will worsen existing social stresses, especially within poor societies and marginal communities across Africa and Asia.
This book argues otherwise. The first collection of its kind, it brings together leading scholars of Anthropology, Geography, Development Studies and International Relations to provide a series of critical analyses of mainstream thinking on the climate-security nexus. It shows how policy discourse on climate conflict consistently misrepresents the causes of violence, especially by obscuring its core political dimensions. It demonstrates that quantitative research provides a flawed basis for understanding climate-conflict linkages. It argues that climate security discourse is in hoc with a range of questionable military, authoritarian and developmental agendas. And it reveals that the greening of global capitalism is already having violent consequences across the global South. Climate change, the book argues, does indeed have serious conflict and security implications – but these are quite different from how they are usually imagined.
This book was published as a special issue of Geopolitics.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Rethinking Climate Change, Conflict and Security Jan Selby and Clemens Hoffmann
2. Converging on Disaster: Climate Security and the Malthusian Anticipatory Regime for Africa Betsy Hartmann
3. Gardens of Eden or Hearts of Darkness? The Genealogy of Discourses on Environmental Insecurity and Climate Wars in Africa Harry Verhoeven
4. Climate Insecurity in (Post)Conflict Areas: The Biopolitics of United Nations Vulnerability Assessments Michael Mason
5. Positivist Climate Conflict Research: A Critique Jan Selby
6. What’s at Stake in Securitising Climate Change? Towards a Differentiated Approach Franziskus von Lucke, Zehra Wellmann, and Thomas Diez
7. Climatic Disasters and Radical Politics in Southern Pakistan: The Non-linear Connection Ayesha Siddiqi
8. Understanding Resilience in Climate Change and Conflict Affected Regions of Nepal Janani Vivekananda, Janpeter Schilling, and Dan Smith
9. The Militarisation and Marketisation of Nature: An Alternative Lens to ‘Climate-Conflict’ Alexander Dunlap and James Fairhead
Jan Selby is Professor of International Relations at the University of Sussex, UK, and Director of the Sussex Centre for Conflict and Security Research (SCSR). His research focuses on peace processes, environmental security, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and International Relations theory.
Clemens Hoffmann is Assistant Professor of International Relations, at Bilkent University, Turkey. His research interests include political ecology, environmental conflict and security, critical, postcolonial and materialist IR theory and Turkish foreign policy.