Want, Waste or War?: The Global Resource Nexus and the Struggle for Land, Energy, Food, Water and Minerals, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Want, Waste or War?

The Global Resource Nexus and the Struggle for Land, Energy, Food, Water and Minerals, 1st Edition

By Philip Andrews-Speed, Raimund Bleischwitz, Tim Boersma, Corey Johnson, Geoffrey Kemp, Stacy D. VanDeveer


230 pages | 30 B/W Illus.

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In addition to environmental change, the structure and trends of global politics and the economy are also changing as more countries join the ranks of the world’s largest economies with their resource-intensive patterns. The nexus approach, conceptualized as attention to resource connections and their governance ramifications, calls attention to the sustainability of contemporary consumer resource use, lifestyles and supply chains. This book sets out an analytical framework for understanding these nexus issues and the related governance challenges and opportunities.

It sheds light on the resource nexus in three realms: markets, interstate relations and local human security. These three realms are the organizing principle of three chapters, before the analysis turns to crosscutting case studies including shale gas, migration, lifestyle changes and resource efficiency, nitrogen fertilizer and food systems, water and the Nile Basin, climate change and security and defense spending. The key issues revolve around competition and conflict over finite natural resources. The authors highlight opportunities to improve both the understanding of nexus challenges and their governance. They critically discuss a global governance approach versus polycentric and multilevel approaches and the lack of those dimensions in many theories of international relations.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Struggling in the Global Resource Nexus

1. Introduction: Resource Struggles and Hard Choices

2. Understanding the Resource Nexus

Part 2: The Three Realms of the Nexus

3. Managing Markets under Stress

4. Strategic Interests and Interstate Conflicts

5. Rethinking Human Security: The Nexus on the Ground

Part 3: Cases and Controversies

6. Shale Gas in the US: Games Unchanged?

7. Climate Change and Security: Follow the Money and the Plans

8. Gated Globalism: Migration and Borders

9. Resource Scarcity, Political Outbidding and Potential for Conflict in the Nile River Basin

10. Nitrogen Fertilizer and Food in the Nexus

11. Lifestyle Changes and Resource Efficiency: Opportunities to Bend the Curves?

Part 4: Conclusions

12. Facing up to the Nexus Challenge: Avoiding Waste, Want and War

About the Authors

Philip Andrews-Speed is Principal Fellow, Energy Studies Institute, National University of Singapore.

Raimund Bleischwitz is BHP Billiton Chair in Sustainable Global Resources, University College London (UCL), Institute for Sustainable Resources, London, UK.

Tim Boersma is Fellow at The Brookings Institution, Energy Security Initiative, Washington, DC, USA.

Corey Johnson is Associate Professor of political geography, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, USA.

Geoffrey Kemp is Director of Regional Security Programs, The Center for the National Interest, Washington, DC, USA.

Stacy D. VanDeveer is a Professor and Department Chair, Department of Political Science, University of New Hampshire, USA.

About the Series

Earthscan Studies in Natural Resource Management

Earthscan Studies in Natural Resource Management
This series includes a wide range of inter-disciplinary approaches to natural resource management, integrating perspectives from both social and natural sciences. It includes textbooks, research monographs and titles aimed at professionals, NGOs and policy-makers. Authors or editors of potential new titles should contact Hannah Ferguson, Editor ([email protected]).

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy