Routledge Handbook of Environmental Conflict and Peacebuilding: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Conflict and Peacebuilding

1st Edition

Edited by Ashok Swain, Joakim Öjendal


340 pages | 6 B/W Illus.

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The past two decades have witnessed the emergence of a large body of research examining the linkage between environmental scarcity, violent conflict, and cooperation. However, this environmental security polemic is still trying to deliver a well-defined approach to achieving peace. Studies are being undertaken to find the precise pathways by which cooperative actions are expected not only to pre-empt or moderate resource conflicts but also to help diffuse cooperative behaviour to other disputed issues. The recognition that environmental resources can contribute to violent conflict accentuates their potential significance as pathways for cooperation and the consolidation of peace in post-conflict societies.

Conceived as a single and reliable reference source which will be a vital resource for students, researchers, and policy makers alike, the Routledge Handbook of Environmental Conflict and Peacebuilding presents a wide range of chapters written by key thinkers in the field, organised into four key parts:

  • Part I: Review of the concept and theories;
  • Part II: Review of thematic approaches (resources, scarcity, intervention, adaptation, and peacebuilding);

  • Part III: Case studies (Middle East, Iraq, Jordan, Liberia, Nepal, Colombia, Philippines);
  • Part IV: Analytical challenges and future-oriented perspectives.

Enabling the reader to find a concise expert review on topics that are most likely to arise in the course of conducting research or policy making, this volume presents a truly global overview of the key issues and debates in environmental conflict and peacebuilding.


"Professor Swain and Professor Öjendal have assembled the essential reader on environmental security with its leading contributors and accessible presentation. The handbook weaves together the distinct components of this complex topic in ways that are analytically sound and practically useful." Geoff Dabelko, Professor, Ohio University; and Senior Advisor, Environmental Change and Security Program, Woodrow Wilson Center, Washington, DC, USA

"The relationships between environment and conflict, both interstate and intra-state, have become crucial topics of scholarly analysis in recent years. Ashok Swain and Joakim Öjendal, through this valuable handbook, offer one of the best compendiums for anyone interested in this crucial subject matter. The scholars and topics they have assembled will make this a great resource for years to come." T.V. Paul, James McGill Professor of international Relations, McGill University, Canada


Table of Contents

1. Environmental Conflict and peacebuilding: An Introduction

Ashok Swain & Joakim Öjendal

Part I Review of the Concept and Theories

2. Environment and Conflict

James R. Lee

3. Transnational Environmental Crime

Peter Stoett

4. Climate Change and Environmental Conflicts

Simon Dalby

5. Environmental Pathways to Peace

Ken Conca and Michael D. Beevers

6. Environment, Climate Change, and Peace

Randall Amster

Part II Review of Thematic Approaches

7. Post-War Environmental Peacebuilding: Navigating Renewable and Non-Renewable Resources

Erika Weinthal and McKenzie Johnson

8. Depoliticisation, Water, and Environmental Peacebuilding

Karin Aggestam

9. Climate Change Adaptation and Peacebuilding

Richard A. Matthew

10. Environmental Peacebuilding and the United Nations

David Jensen and Amanda Kron

11. Revisiting Securitization: An Empirical Analysis Of Environment and Natural Resource Provisions in United Nations Security Council Resolutions, 1946–2016

Peter Aldinger, Carl Bruch, and Sofia Yazykova

Part III Case Studies

12. Environmental Peacebuilding in the Middle East

Tobias Ide, Vakur Sümer, and Larissa M. Aldehoff

13. Environmental Peacebuilding in Iraq: Restoring the Iraqi Marshes and the Ancient Kahrez Systems in the Northern Governorates

Hannah Moosa

14. Are there limits to environmental peacebuilding? A critical reflection on water cooperation in the Jordan Basin

Anders Jägerskog

15. Environmental Peacebuilding in Liberia

Michael D. Beevers

16. Environmental Peacebuilding in Nepal: Lessons From Nepal’s Micro-Hydropower Projects

Florian Krampe

17. Environmental Peacebuilding in Post-Conflict Colombia

Pedro Valenzuela and Servio Caicedo

18. From curse to blessing – How natural resources affect peace and conflict in the Philippines

Colin Walch

Part IV Analytical Challenges and Future-oriented Perspectives

19. Environmental Conflict and Peacebuilding in Africa: Connecting Resources, Issues, and Ongoing Governance Initiatives

Timothy Adivilah Balag'kutu, Jeremiah O. Asaka, Linda Holcombe, Jason J. McSparren, and Stacy D. VanDeveer

20. The role of water diplomacy in peace building

Maria Vink

21. Climate Diplomacy and Peace

Dennis Tänzler

22. The Role of the Military in Environmental Peace-building

Saleem H. Ali and Rebecca Pincus

23. Environmental Resource Governance and Peace: A Critical Review

Larry Swatuk

About the Editors

Ashok Swain is a Professor of Peace and Conflict Research, UNESCO Chair of International Water Cooperation, and Director of the Research School of International Water Cooperation at Uppsala University, Sweden. He has written extensively on new security challenges and democratic development issues. 

Joakim Öjendal is Professor of Peace and Development Research at the School of Global Studies, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He has been researching water management for twenty years and has published widely within water management as well as within regionalisation in East and Southeast Asia, and has been specialising in Cambodia studies.

About the Series

Routledge International Handbooks

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Sustainable Development
NATURE / Ecology
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy