The Securitisation of Climate Change: Actors, Processes and Consequences, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

The Securitisation of Climate Change

Actors, Processes and Consequences, 1st Edition

By Thomas Diez, Franziskus von Lucke, Zehra Wellmann


206 pages

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This book provides the first systematic comparative analysis of climate security discourses.

It analyses the securitisation of climate change in four different countries: USA, Germany, Turkey, and Mexico. The empirical analysis traces how specific climate-security discourses have become dominant, which actors have driven this process, what political consequences this has had and what role the broader context has played in enabling these specific securitisations. In doing so, the book outlines a new and systematic theoretical framework that distinguishes between different referent objects of securitisation (territorial, individual and planetary) and between a security and risk dimension. It thereby clarifies the ever-increasing literature on different forms of securitisation and the relationship between security, risk and politics. Whereas securitisation studies have traditionally focused on either a single country case study or a global overview, consequently failing to reconstruct detailed securitisation dynamics, this is the first book to provide a systematic comparative analysis of climate security discourses in four countries and thus closes an empirical gap in the present literature. In addition, this comparative framework allows the drawing of conclusions about the conditions for and consequences of successful securitisation based on empirical and comparative analysis rather than theoretical debate only.

This book will of interest to students of climate change, environmental studies, critical security, global governance, and IR in general.


'The Securitisation of Climate Change is a welcome and important contribution to the literature. The authors provide detailed empirical analysis of the way securitisation practices play out in a range of national settings, and make the important point that the different forms of linking climate change and security are crucial to the types of practices securitisation encourages. In the process, this book not only provides much needed empirical depth and theoretical nuance to literature on climate security, it also makes a broader contribution to debates about the construction of security- and the normative implications of this construction- in international relations.' -- Matt McDonald, University of Queensland, Australia

'In addressing the great challenge of our time, The Securitisation of Climate Change brings unprecedented analytical sensitivity, nuance and breadth to the politics of climate change. Reflecting the fascinating diversity of securitizations exposed in their comparative study, the authors compellingly advance the conceptual and ethical frontiers of securitization theory.' -- Stefan Elbe, University of Sussex, UK

'The Securitisation of Climate Change is a great read for anyone seeking to understand how and why climate change gets connected to ideas of security. Cross-country comparisons provide a sophisticated look at the variation in ways that climate change-security links are made by actors in different political, economic and social contexts. The authors provide some much-needed depth to existing debates while remaining accessible to readers.' -- Nicole Detraz, University of Memphis, USA

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2 Analysing climate security discourses

3 The United States: climate change as danger to the state

4 Germany: ambivalent forerunner in individual security

5 Mexico: A case of politicised securitisation?

6 Turkey: no climate for change?

7 Conclusion: the politics of securitising climate change

About the Authors

Thomas Diez is Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He is author/editor of numerous books, including, most recently, A Different Kind of Power? The EU’s Role in International Politics (2014).

Franziskus von Lucke is Researcher in the Department of Political Science at the University of Tübingen, Germany.

Zehra Wellmann is Researcher in the Department of Political Science at the University of Tübingen, Germany.

About the Series

PRIO New Security Studies

The aim of this book series is to gather state-of-the-art theoretical reflection and empirical research into a core set of volumes that respond vigorously and dynamically to  new challenges to security studies scholarship. This series is now being published under the title Routledge New Security Studies.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HISTORY / Military / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / International Security
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / General
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Human Rights